Breaking Out from Poor Government Technology

Local governments are under a tremendous amount of pressure. From federal and state regulations, elected local officials, staff, and of course residents and local business owners.

However, many communities struggle to meet the changing demands and expectations of internal and external forces. In the video below, and the associated eBook, we highlight a couple of straightforward ways to help you evaluate and improve how your community does business.

Best Practice #1: Review processes - Do they fit your current needs?

Have you ever heard "We have always done it this way"? This statement embodies status quo and is the number one thing holding organizations back from evolving. Be forward thinking, not backwards thinking!

  • Review the tasks and processes conducted most frequently by staff
  • Map the processes you currently use and identify how much each step takes
  • Analyze steps where processes could be automated or streamlined
  • Determine change agents within the organization as well as those who will push back
  • Establish ideal processes for your organization; do not limit these by current staff, resources, or tools currently available to the organization

Best Practice #2: Embrace change

The key to ANY change is to envision the future and not live in the past. Embracing the idea that process is more important than results will lead to positive changes in the way your organization operates and the associated outcomes.

Start small and don't try to change everything at once. Pick the most impactful process to optimize first, especially if it has the possibility to positively affect staff, residents and local businesses.

  • Deploy the ideal process you mapped in step one; set the metrics you want to achieve and the timeline for a short-term evaluation and longer stretch view
  • Determine the tools you need to support the desired process change
  • Create excitement around the change! Let residents know if it affects them and if other staff will be impacted, gain buy-in through a focus on reducing their stress level and saving them time
  • Remember, changes may not always stick. Evaluate and iterate as necessary. Changes should not add more frustration for staff and residents.

Best Practice #3: Invest in technology to support efficient processes and operations

If you have followed the first two best practices above, this one should make perfect sense. Unfortunately, local governments will sometimes choose a technology to support their immediate needs and not where they want to go.

Things to consider when choosing new technology:

  • Take real life data and/or use cases and ask the vendor how they would handle them. Give them bonus points if they can demonstrate how they would help you achieve your goals.
  • Can the software evolve as you grow and need to change? Don't remain stuck with an outdated and ineffective process if the reason it is not being adjusted is due to the limitations of your technology.
  • Build an adoption plan for internal users and residents. Just because you launch a new technology solution does not mean people will use it, or use it well. Promote usage, focus on the benefits, and drive adoption to see your desired results!
  • VITAL - Verify the solution is designed for local government and not for private business use. Your requirements are different than a business so your technology solutions should be designed to fit your needs!

Ready to be an agent of change in your community? Learn more about gWorks Cloud today.