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Build a jet while flying: How governments can successfully implement new technology while using legacy processes

By Avolve Software | August 3, 2023

Digital transformation is now an imperative for the public sector. Local government must do more with less, so becoming more innovative is essential to eliminate repetitive, low-value tasks.

In November 2021, Forrester predicted that ten percent of government administrative tasks will be automated in 2022. Yet in such a short timeframe that is a vast number of systems to overhaul and not all public-sector implementations go smoothly – in most organizations two out of three transformational initiatives fail.

Most organizations encounter the same challenges and basic underlying narratives that destroy their transformation efforts. Successful introduction of new technology and systems into the complex public sector, requires an effective blend of technical capabilities, leadership, and good organizational skills.

Transformation is inevitable and even with the right capabilities it takes time, yet citizens services must continue while change occurs. So how can governments achieve this while using legacy processes to carry on with business as usual?

Spread success with champions

Champions are champions not because they do anything extraordinary but because they do the ordinary things better than others. Innovation is a complex, company-wide endeavour, so having the advice of innovation leaders can be hugely beneficial.

When bringing in new technology, interacting with industry peers offers a creative and insightful way to understand the problem, solution, and get impartial advice. By speaking to industry peers who have undertaken then same challenge, local governments can confidently embrace new opportunities, with clarity. There is not a ‘one size fit all’ solution. But utilizing the industry experts you are able to develop coalitions for the best chance of succeeding.

Recently we shared a stage with Jared Gerber, Assistant Community Development Director, Sandy City, UT. He offered government agencies insight into a 12-year digitalization program, and how they updated and standardized their internal processes to enhance department communications and visibility on projects. They moved from their legacy permitting system to a new system that would be utilized by all the different departments, allowing for better planning tracking, permit tracking, and later electronic plan review.

Presenting his perspective on the situation allowed other agencies to understand how to prevent potential problems, such as internal resourcing, so they were able to have the bandwidth to carry on with normal day-to-day activities. They also demonstrated the pros of implementing both Cityworks PLL and DigEplan electronic plan review simultaneously to reduce disruption. Learn more about their journey.

Implementation: Work smarter not harder

Implementing new technology whilst operating business-as-usual can be daunting. There is the added pressure of risk and uncertainty that accompanies testing innovations in real-time with participants, all while being responsible for keeping existing operations alive. The uncertain aspects of this endeavor feel all the more acute under the pressure of deadlines and the eyes of evaluators.

For ease, start thinking about the implementation process during the exploration and research stages. In addition to speaking to champions about their experience, with software, there are different types of integrations and implementation processes that can impact the speed and ease of deployment.

Avolve Software has tight integration with over twenty government platforms and is second-to-none. The seamless integration removes complexities, such as plugins and additional processes, improving on the traditional lift and shift approach. You can find out more about integration types here.

Our network has a broad range of expertise to help with enhancing plan review processes with minimized disruptions.

Training and retaining

Employees are an organization’s most important asset, so implementing the new solution is just the start of the journey. To retain talent and see long-term success, employees need to be able to use the solution effectively, therefore quality training and education for employees is essential.

This should be considered as early as the research phase, understanding the complexity of the software, and matching to the skillset of the users. Ask yourself; does the solution have an intuitive user interface, or will my employees need months of training? Each solution will be different, take some time to weigh it up. Employees must see a clear benefit to both the citizen experience and their workload.

The right solution will add intelligence to processes,  Avolve Software’s electronic plan review solutions provides transparency, efficiency, and ease with its rich functionality. For example, it helps with low-value tasks, such as moving paper plans from office-to-office and multiple versions of plan sets to look through or identifying issues for the applicant to resolve at the point of plan submission.

With an easy-to-use interface, Avolve Software provides planning and building officials full visibility of the planning process, with compare and overlay for any changes and real-time comments.

Jared from Sandy City shares, “Staff were continuously impressed with the ease and intuition. The overall design and ease of use were phenomenal, especially the help menu.”

This ultimately speeds up the permitting process boosting employee morale and citizen experience. Based on a McKinsey report speed, simplicity and efficiency are key elements of the interaction process with government which pays for overall citizen satisfaction.

“Excellent customer service has always been a priority. We consistently achieve our plan review goals of under 10 days for commercial plans and under five days for residential plans.” Nidia Logan Robinson, Deputy Division Director, Division of Planning and Development, Memphis and Shelby County, TN. Read about their five-year road map to digital success.

Over the next few years, forward-looking governments will focus on finding solutions that truly enhance citizen and employee experience.

For a deep dive into Avolve Software’s electronic plan review solutions, contact our team for a live demonstration. To learn more about the new ‘Citizen Era’ read our blog.

Interested in creating efficiency for your plan review processes?

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