Transforming Municipality Efficiency with Karlskrona and Camunda


Local governments have a tough task, with a relatively small staff assigned to handle the
concerns of many thousands of constituents. There is a continually growing need for all
governmental departments to work together efficiently and serve the needs of their citizens aseffectively as possible.

That’s what inspired the seven person Digitalization Unit at Karlskrona, a Swedish municipality serving about 66,000 citizens, to start looking into process orchestration as a way to power its back-office operations and future citizen self-service applications.They needed a solution that would be flexible, transparent, able to support BPMN as a common language for technical and non-technical stakeholders, and capable of handling complex and long-running processes. Camunda was a perfect match for their needs.

The Challenge

Karlskrona had an older homegrown workflow technology system, but it had limitations. They were looking to replace it with a modern, developer-friendly solution that would enable both a citizen-facing public interface as well as backend process automation. It also needed to make it easier to share information and coordinate across internal systems. “We’re a seven member team, and we support 5,000 local government employees,” explained Per-Olav Gramstad, Business Developer at Karlskrona. “We’re the new kids on the block, trying to challenge the municipality’s current system and [improve] the support for our colleagues to cross the technical knowledge gap.”

The Solution

Initially, the team began developing a new solution internally. However they soon realized the level of complexity required by their processes, which often included multiple overlapping workflows that needed to coordinate, was too high for this, and they needed a process orchestration solution to meet their needs.

“Our team had become quite sophisticated at managing forms and platform integrations, but there was too much data and layers of complexity,” Gramstad explained.

When Gramstad and his team discovered Camunda, they immediately appreciated the flexibility. Camunda could handle multiple layers of complexity, and was able to coordinate the flow of data and decisions needed to power the backend processes they wanted to modernize. Camunda fully supports BPMN as a shared language that both technical and non-technical employees can understand. With transparent and flexible pricing options as well, Gramstad and his team chose Camunda and, along with IT consultancy Apendo, quickly got to work implementing.

The Results

Camunda’s easy “Build-Model-Run” features help Karkslrona simplify process design, as the team is able to start with a given form used to start a process, and can then model their way through to the end of the application using BPMN. A powerful process engine behind it handles all information provisioning smoothly.

Local government employees used to spend a lot of time collecting data and verifying its accuracy, but now the information is collected via form. Process automation then parses it and delivers it to the human managers who need to make decisions, saving significant manual time and effort.

Thanks to process orchestration and Camunda, Karlskrona has reduced their maximum overall lead time from a year to a month in their first batch of processes, which center around internal HR processes.

Karlskrona also launched the managers’ HR-to-do-list, which is automatically fed by the HR processes automated with Camunda. This is a highly valued tool for Karlskrona managers, and is prominently displayed in the local government’s HR portal, facilitating easy access to a number of HR decisions.

Before Camunda, there had previously just been one large and long-running process in place internally. Using Camunda, the team is now already orchestrating ten large-scale, complex processes.
“In local government, the challenge isn’t the volume, but the complexity of the processes we need to run,” noted Gramstad. “Before Camunda we were struggling with how to get a better grip on the activities needed to provide a more easily accessible decision.Now that we are up and running with Camunda, we have a tweezers grip on these activities, enabling us to hold and form in a more comprehensible way.”

The takeaway

Process orchestration - done right - can help a wide range of automated processes run more smoothly, freeing up time for everyone and improving the experience of employees and customers. Public agencies with complex processes can save significant time and effort with a flexible, standards-based and transparent solution that can grow with you.

“In our experience, other technologies were limiting,” Gramstad pointed out. “It’s important that the technology is where you start, and it empowers you to build your solution as high as you want. We’ve experienced that with Camunda.”