The Digital team manages and prioritizes our workload through a combination of factors including:
- Technology Improvement Planning for long-term enterprise projects
- Goals and Objectives for Digital programs
- Digital Request triage
- IT Operations
- Incident response
We make every effort to create space for unanticipated initiatives that improve Citywide processes or address emerging challenges. Our team has developed a process to manage the in-take of new requests and prioritize the allocation of Digital resources to support our colleagues across the City while maintaining momentum on annual goals and objectives.
Make a Digital Request
If you have an idea for a service redesign, improvement of an existing process, or strategic support with data insights, civic engagement, or technology, please reach out to Digital using our Digital Request Form. You can find a link to the form on the Employee Website home page. Our team triages incoming requests and will assign a team member to schedule a discovery call with you.
Step 1: Discovery
Our first step in responding to a request is to set up a discovery call to learn more about your request. Is it a quick task that can be resolved by our team or is it a challenge that requires more attention and a plan? If the request requires more time, resources, and attention, we will work with you to develop a scope of work to define how Digital can work with you.
Step 2: Scoping
Once we have determined that your project requires in-depth review and project management, we will work together to define a scope of work that is achievable, and time bound, so we can deliver results and not get bogged down trying to solve giant problems. We believe giant problems can be solved, in small bites, so we start our conversation with a discovery call to understand why you want to engage with Digital and begin the process of understanding how we can help you reach your goal. We will present a scope of work that we mutually agree upon with deliverables and next steps.
2a: Framing the Challenge
An important step in the scoping process and in the first stages of trying to solve a challenge is understanding what that challenge is. Is it a process challenge or a tool challenge? We spend some time with you to determine exactly what we are trying to solve.
2b: Defining Success and Our Engagement
Our scope of work will include deliverables and frame what we can do within scope and what we will not do. It is important for us to agree upon a successful resolution of our work since so much of what we do at a City requires continuous improvement. By having clear deliverables, we all get a sense of accomplishment when we complete our scope and can mutually decide on what next steps may be needed to continue our work together.
Our Services and Programs
The Digital team has a set of services we provide when working with Departments to improve services and reimagine the government experience. Projects and engagements with Digital can involve multiple services from the list below.
|Service Design and
and User Experience
|Digital Tools and Software||Data and Insights|
|Process Mapping||Engagement Strategy||Solution Development||Data Tools|
|Solution Ideation||Website Strategy||Integration and Automation||Performance Management|
|Prioritization||User Research||Technical Guidance||Insights and analysis|
|Prototyping||Usability Testing||Configuration||Data training|
|Change Management||User Personas||Vendor Evaluation||Open Data|
|Scaling Innovation||Software Training||GIS Program|
Service Design and Process Improvement
Some engagements with Digital will involve process mapping. Process mapping is a great collaborative tool to build your team’s understanding about how a process works, and to use when your team wants to redesign a service or internal process. If you recognize that things could be better, problems or mistakes regularly arise, or there is a feeling of wastes of time and resources, process mapping is your baseline to get started on improving the process.. Process mapping involves working with stakeholders and documenting the steps that are taken by everyone involved in the process. We will work with your team to walk you through the exercise of mapping out your process, find the steps that do and do not provide value to the process, and areas where improvements can be made. Process mapping can include the “as-is” process as well as an ideal future state. Creating a future state map is particularly useful when there is no clear current state process, or the current process is not standardized. Your future state map will eliminate the obstacles experienced in the current state and serve as a visual representation of how the process should go.
We give you the tools to help redesign the process and outline recommended next steps for prototyping, testing, change management, and scaling your innovation.
We will work with your team to identify challenges, measure those challenges by importance, brainstorm solutions to address challenges, brainstorm solution to make improvements, identify dependencies that need to be in place to reach our goals. Identifying the challenges, particularly their root causes, is important for a team to move beyond assumptions about why a problem is occurring. We will help your team get to a level of understanding about why a problem is happening and to shift from blaming people to blaming the process.
Design Session – The goal of this session is to prioritize the challenges and begin developing actions that can mitigate challenges and/or improve processes.
- Workshop Root Causes of Problems
- Problem Impact/Importance Matrix
- Brainstorm Pain-relievers
- Brainstorm Gain-creators
- Define dependencies (Digital)
We can’t do everything at once so we need to prioritize where we start. That involves reviewing the actions we can take that have the greatest impact with the right level of effort based on available resources and the scope of our work with you. We will prioritize the actions Digital can take, help you prioritize what your team implement, and focus on delivering that work product to you and your team.
Design Session – The goal of this session is to take learnings and outcomes of session 1, evaluate risk and effort, and then prioritize projects to build a roadmap.
Designing and prototyping solutions is a great way to try new things, fail, and learn from your mistakes. Once we have prioritized the specific scope of a solution that we have co-developed, our team will work with you to design and prototype solutions or process improvement. This phase can vary depending on the design in question. We will design, pilot, and test our solutions with your team and other stakeholders as needed. Sometimes a prototype can lead to a final product and sometimes a prototype serves as a temporary placeholder until a long-term solution can be procured or developed.
Testing is an important part of process improvement and prototype design. Before determining if a solution can be scaled to the public or Citywide, we will put it through a testing process. Testing involves working with stakeholders, and/or members of the public to assess the viability of the prototype. Testing allows us to identify issues that need to be resolved before scaling a solution or launching to the public. One form of testing, usability testing, we have specific tools and processes for that are detailed below.
Changes to processes or the implementation of new software and services can be disruptive if consideration is not made for how it will impact users. Change management is an area of study that helps develop a plan for communication and scaffolding to support change both within the organization and for the public. More difficult or bigger changes require more thought and planning, so it is important to plan for how the change will be communicated to all stakeholders throughout a process and what training different stakeholders may need. We will work with your team to consider how change management should be considered in communicating to stakeholders and implementing your new process or product.
Once your idea has been tested and we have a plan for launch we will work with you to define a launch plan to scale it to a wider audience. Considering how you scale your innovation is important to help support a successful launch and make sure everyone is aware of the changes you plan to implement.
Sample Workshop Session Agenda
- Session 1 - Current State + Problem Identification (60 to 90 minutes)
- Session 2 – Future State + Solution Ideation (60 to 90 minutes)
- Session 3 –Solution Prioritization + Action Plan (60 minutes)
- Session 4 – Post Implementation Follow-Up (30 to 60 minutes)
Engagement and User Experience
Civic Engagement Strategy
Digital can work with your Department or Project team to develop engagement strategy and recommendations to successfully engage with our community. Engagement is a two-way street and we will make recommendations to help coordination with community partners and leverage multi-modal engagement tools, to both amplify messaging and provide feedback from the public.
Website – Content Strategy and Product Management
Digital is the City’s product owner for the website. WE coordinate with the vendor to guarantee up-time and work with staff to support onboarding and training of new staff members to the website.
We also support content strategy and special website projects to improve accessibility, usability, and discovery of information on the City website. We will work with your Department to suggest improvements to site and page structure and make it easier for people to find the information they are looking for.
User research helps us to understand user needs, pain points, and opportunities. The insights we gain from this type of research is crucial to building empathy with users and helps to determine an ideal future state. User research can be conducted by interviews, workshops, and usability testing. User research is helpful before creating requirements for a new software solution, designing a new service, or improving existing services.
Our aim is to make City services easy to use, and work for everyone. What does the experience of a service feel like? How do users navigate a webpage and what is the thought process of users when they are trying to work with the City? Usability testing is a formal process that includes walking through a service or experience with a user to hear their thoughts, frustrations, challenges, and input on the design of a service. We use information from testing to make improvements to the design and functionality of a service or product so it is better adapted to the needs of our users.
Technology and Software
IT Operations and User Support
A majority of our touch with City staff is through IT support via Xantrion, our IT Managed Service Provider. Our team oversees and coordinates with Xantrion and Digital Coordinators to support communication and coordination on security initiatives, user support, and IT infrastructure projects. All IT-related services are provided through Xantrion and all requests for support are managed through Xantrion’s ticketing system and dispatch.
Is your team looking for a software solution to launch a new service or replace an existing platform? We can help provide guidance on the process for discovery, demonstration, and requirements gathering to support your team in making the decision that works best for you. We will help your team walk through the process of vendor discovery and evaluation until you are ready to establish an agreement with a vendor. While your team will be responsible for drafting and routing agreements, we can help coordinate integrations with other systems when needed and provide technical coordination between the vendor and Xantrion. For larger enterprise systems, we can help guide procurement recommendations and third-party implementation support if needed.
Integration and Automation
Our team can work to integrate software applications across platforms to make it easier to work with multiple systems, automate processes, and use technology to make life easier. Examples of this include creating digital approval workflows, making payment systems talk to application systems, integrating third party software with communication tools like Teams or Outlook.
Our team is on hand to support the success of any new software or technology your Department wants to bring online. Bring us on early in the discovery process so we can provide technical guidance and recommendations to guarantee your new system is secure and compatible with City platforms,
Our IT team will work with vendors to configure new software when transitioning to new systems and support updates to software that support up-time and reduce the impacts on Department operations. Xantrion will work directly with the vendor and your Department’s coordinator to support these projects.
Digital is developing a comprehensive program to support the onboarding of staff to new digital tools and ongoing support for existing applications. We manage our digital training resources including LearnIt, ClipTraining, and employee led training sessions to support the ongoing development of staff education and onboarding.
Data and Insights
Data Tools and Dashboards
Our Data and Insights team works with Departments to build data tools that help provide insight into operations, measure the impact of programs, and improve the visibility of trends. Data tools can include Department reporting dashboards the show key metrics across your Department. Some examples include the Illegal dumping dashboard, Use of Force dashboard, and Police Incident dashboard.
Digital developed the Performance Management program to track progress towards annual goals and objectives. The goals of our performance measurement program are to:
- Track the City’s progress on targets set in key policy areas,
- Track the outcomes of activities conducted by the City,
- Use the metrics and relevant data to help inform decision-making, progress towards our goals and objectives, and improve outcomes.
Insights and analysis
What can data tell you about operations or historical trends? How can you use data to tell a story or improve services? Our team will help you not only find the right metrics to measure but assist in providing insights to tell you what story the data is telling.
Digital manages the City’s Open Data program including the Open Data portal. The goal of this program is to increase transparency and trust with the community by providing access to City data sets and dashboards that tell the story of our work in the Community. The Open Data portal also provides access to data sets and information that typically are requested by members of the public or staff to improve self-service.
We work with Citywide Data Leaders to socialize best practices with data and support training of data tools and platforms in use across the City. We seek to empower staff through training and build capacity for self-service across Departments.
GIS Program Management
Digital manages the Citywide GIS program and coordinates with our GIS service provider to build GIS tools and applications.