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Digital Update: Employee On-Boarding, HCD, All-Hands, and more!

Posted on October 14, 2019

Digital Team Agreement

New Employee On-Boarding 

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! 

Bringing Human Centered Design to Local Government 

Last week we kicked off Learning Lab 3.0 and hosted two training sessions focused on applying Human Centered Design to government services. Learning Lab 3.0 has four cross-departmental teams working on Spanish-language engagement, housing, cross-departmental permits, and paperless forms. 

The second session, co-hosted with ELGL, was open to anyone working in government. We were joined by employees from the County of Marin, Novato, San Anselmo, Walnut Creek, and even as far as Stockton. Judi Brown, from CivicMakers, guided us through how to apply empathy, design, and iteration through an interactive and collaborative session. The events included a hands-on experience where participants developed prototypes of possible solutions to challenges we face. 

September 2019 All-Hands Recap 

On Monday, September 30 we held our monthly all-hands meeting. A few highlights: 

  • The beta launch of the City’s Street Sweeping Routes and Schedules Map continues to get feedback from residents and staff so we can make adjustments to meet the needs of our users. If you haven’t already, check it out and let us know what you think! 
  • We put a big dent in building out a Product Management playbook on the employee website and we’re super excited to use this framework for service design.  
  • The team broke out into small working groups to continue to improve the New User Orientation. Solutions were explored to fill identified, undocumented gaps in the orientation and setup process. We’re making tools and resources for new (and existing) employees readily available on the employee website. New User Orientation page coming soon! 
  • Sergio, Nate, Vinh, and Christine worked together to create Digital’s new Team Agreement. Sean made it into a rad poster (see below) and Thomas at DPW printed it for us on the plotter. Stop by and check out our walls sometime. 

Deep Work 

One of the elements of our new Team Agreement is to create time and space for “deep work.” We all need dedicated time to focus on work without disruptions, so we created flags for our desks with guidelines to help ensure that we all respect each other’s needs. 


  • Use a flag or sign to show your colleagues you are in “deep work.”  
  • Set your Outlook to “Do Not Disturb.”​ 
  • Block out time in your calendar for deep work 
  • Set call handling in ShoreTel to “In a Meeting” or make sure it is synced with Outlook, so it sets to Do Not Disturb when you are in dedicated “deep work” time in your calendar. 
  • Ignore incoming emails while you are focusing in “deep work.” 


Please be considerate of colleagues’ effort to do focused work 

  • Check calendars before disrupting them 
  • Make team agreements with your team on how to handle deep work. 



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