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Innovation Lab

We all have services or processes within our work that could run a bit smoother, provide a few more community benefits, and make our jobs a little easier. In the San Rafael Innovation Lab, you will be introduced to process improvement techniques so you can continuously solve problems, improve the way you work, and make City services easy to use and work for everyone.  

How we do it:  

The San Rafael Innovation lab trains and coaches employees to rethink how to approach problem solving, learn ways to redesign processes, and quickly put ideas into action. The training will teach you how to identify a process problem, how to talk about a process problem in a structured way, and how to solve a process problem using repeatable techniques.   

Here’s the impact of your innovations: 

Over 70+ City staff  have participated and began developing innovations in their own departments from the techniques taught in the training. Here are some highlights from your colleagues: 

  • Admin Services reduced the total time to process PAR and I-9 forms, and created a standardized way to effectively track and maintain emergency vendor contracts to increase transparency to staff;
  • City Attorney’s Office developed checklists for their records retention schedule and professional services contracts to make it easier to know when records can be disposed and which documents are needed for setting up contracts;
  • Community Development staff created standard work to reduce the error rate and overall time it takes to develop their annual state report on housing, made improvements to how Planning Division responds to public inquiries to ensure consistent and timely responses, and modified templates to reduce the processing time of administrative use permit intake;
  • Fire Department staff created guidelines and visual tools for extracting GIS data for wildfire mitigation to help eliminate errors and save overall staff time, and developed standards to more easily onboard new EOC staff so they will be better prepared in their roles for future emergencies;
  • Library staff utilized the 6S method to organize specialized holding shelves so books can be delivered more efficiently; and 
  • Public Works identified and eliminated duplicative work occurring within their phone intake process
Innovation Lab

Feedback from Your Colleagues

"I liked the positive energy. I felt like the training tied into the online class well and complimented it."
"I was surprised how accessible and basic the topic was while still having really positive outcomes...we're taught how shockingly simple an innovation can be."
"It was really interesting to hear how other people approached their innovations. I liked how the training got me to think about improving small processes."

Get Started Here

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