Our County is growing fast. That growth creates tremendous demand for services and positive performance in the conduct of County business. But the answer to these demands cannot always simply be: add more resources. We need to ensure that we are utilizing resources as efficiently and effectively as possible. The County is very fortunate to have a talented and dedicated workforce and a population that is interested in establishing a better and brighter community. The Wake Innovates initiative is working with several teams across the County to find better ways to work without adding to our bottom line budget.
To accomplish these goals we are changing how we approach problem solving and the implementation of solutions. We are bringing in tried and tested ideas with a focus on frameworks that encourage diverse collaboration, developing solutions based on actual human experiences, and testing those solutions through iteration and experimentation.
Here are some of the proven models that we are using to improve our service delivery:
Design Thinking is a framework that approaches service delivery in the same vein as a designer working to deliver a product. The focus is to understand your customer, including their goals and their experiences, and to develop service delivery that meets their needs. Even in government, where so many elements of our work are required by statute or regulation, there is still a benefit to considering all of our interactions from the customer perspective. In fact, in some cases, it is even more critical.
We are using this framework to review how we provide our services and, in particular, how to solve specific organizational challenges.
Agile is a mindset and a framework for approaching how we get our work finished. While many are familiar with the Agile Manifesto, and the principles behind it, we have found that this mindset can be used far beyond just the software development solutions that it was initially born out of. These ideas can be very powerful for an organization like ours in both selecting new ideas and in implementing them. Our partners in this work particularly like the ability to learn as they create something and to adapt as they get new information from the work that they are doing. The iterative nature of this framework meets the needs of people who are trying new things and is useful where our ability to predict is limited simply because the work hasn’t ever been done before.
This model often provides business value for the organization more quickly and we are using it to deliver products more effectively so that our customers see a value and a benefit to their hard work as they go.
Take a look at an example of how this approach paid off for us: HR Salary Survey