Honors Program: Germany's Labor Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit)

Project Name: Virtual Labor Market (VAM)

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Originality

What are the exceptional aspects of your project?

An exceptional aspect of the project was the highly efficient project management. Due to the extremely ambitious time schedule for the rollout of the internet portal after 9 months, the number of team members had to be increased to over 100 in a very short time frame. To accelerate the time for development the standardized methods for software projects had to be tailored considerably. Consequently an iterative process was introduced which required extensive collaboration between the different teams of the project. Due to these adaptations and the high level of flexibility in the development and management process, a successful roll-out within a short time frame was achieved.

The roll-out was split into five stages. The last two stages were particularly challenging as each affected about 25,000 users. The intranet portal VerBIS is now available in over 1500 branches across Germany and supports 100,000 internal users guaranteeing response times of less than one second and a system availability of nearly 100%.

How is it original?

The Virtual Labor Market is considered to be Europes most ambitious effort to achieve a reduction in unemployment and is a central part of the biggest restructuring of a German public institution ever seen. Its concept won the eGovernment Award 2002 which was announced at the world's largest IT trade fair "CeBIT."

The intranet portal VerBIS and the internet portal "Jobbörse" jointly form one of the largest web-based transactional applications in Europe. With its twelve interfaces to other BA systems it is not a stand-alone solution but is completely integrated in the very complex IT landscape of the German Labor Agency. The Virtual Labor Market is by far the biggest and most reliable job pool in Germany and one of the best in Europe. About 800,000 jobs and 5.5 millions applicant profiles are registered within the Labor Agencys database. Through the sophisticated real-time matching tool an average of 4.2 million matches are performed per week.

The application uses leading-edge technology and makes all data available to external and internal users at the same time. The shared data pool improves transparency and increases the public trust in the Labor Agency's work. VerBIS is the central application within the BA's IT landscape and collects all relevant data of the customers nationwide. By providing the same information to any BA employee the abuse of social benefits is minimised. As such it is also a very effective tool for the Labor Agency to control public spending.

Is it the first, the only, the best or the most effective application of its kind?   Only

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