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Digital Update: Baby sprints, human centered design, the bcc, and more!

Posted on September 24, 2019

BCC Photo

New User Orientation

On Friday, the Digital team spent the day re-imagining our new user orientation. We dusted off our checklist and brainstormed ideas on how we can better welcome new employees to their technology equipment and resources. 

Our draft vision: 

New employees feel supported and excited about their new job. They feel like Digital is a resource for them and are not afraid to ask for help. They get a tailored orientation based on their position. They are not overwhelmed, and know where to find answers to their questions. They are introduced to our organization’s culture. 

We developed new prototypes for how we set-up new users in a more tailored fashion, how we convey information overtime instead of all at once, different ways to convey information, and how to socialize our resources and culture. 

We’re excited to make these improvements to our process and work towards making our vision a reality! 

Data Strategy

When it comes to data, our goals are to deliver services more efficiently, prioritize risk more strategically, enforce laws more effectively, and increase transparency. 

Over the last several months, Zak Baron has been working with our consultant Jessica Carsten on a data listening tour. They met with every department to learn about their pain points and opportunities when it comes to data.  

A summary of our findings: 

  • All departments said they want better mechanisms for measuring the impact of their work and insights into their performance as it relates to city-wide priorities. 
  • Over half of departments interviewed identified challenges in answering common questions about the operations of their department and utilization of their services. 
  • Over half of departments cited managing service utilization, project status, and answering budgetary questions as pain points. 
  • Almost half of departments noted that data collection is a manual process on paper. They cited data quality, completeness, and timeliness as a pain point. 
  • Almost half of departments interviewed said they would like access to data from other departments but did not know how to request or gain access to the data they need. 
  • Several departments indicated that with greater access to data, they could proactively assign resources, prioritize work, identify individuals or locations of greatest need, and save the city money 
  • Several departments cited lack of access to administrative data and statistics about the city and county as pain points. 

We are now working to scope some early opportunities to get us started. Our initial projects will be focused around data that already exists or is being collected, clear use cases that solve a pain point, opportunities to measure impact, and have a spillover effect to build capacity for future projects and other departments. 

This Fall we will be creating a cross-departmental data and analytics team. The team will meet periodically to work together and learn from each other on various data projects. Stay tuned for more on this over the next couple of months. 

The Beauty of the BCC

In the digital age where email is the unfortunate standard, BCC is commonly known as blind courtesycopy. It is also a handy way to send an email to a large number of people (like a distribution list) while relinquishing recipients of having the ability to “reply-all.” 

So, for emails such as getting rid of office furniture, letting people know about an event, etc.—try the BCC so all your cherished colleagues don’t have to suffer that wrath of a “reply all.”  

Fun fact: Bcc originally stood for blind carbon copy because when typewriters were the standard, a typist could create a duplicate by using a special kind of carbon paper. It was especially useful for saving time, reducing the need to make duplicates of office memos and common forms (shout out to the departments that still have carbon paper forms!)  

Human Centered Design Training Reminder

As part of the Learning Lab this year, we are offering two Human-Centered Design trainings next week! You’ll learn about creative problem-solving techniques, active listening, and testing your ideas. These skills can help you get more meaningful feedback, design better programs, and improve outcomes—what’s not to love?! Human-Centered Design Training

The Thursday training is in partnership with Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) as part of a nationwide series of local government workshops called ELGL Road TripIt is open to anyone who works in (or loves) local government, so feel free to invite friends and colleagues from other agencies!  


Wednesday, September 25
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM 

Thursday, September 26 (also open to non-City employees)
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM 

Public Works Break Room 




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