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Thoughts from a Former GovTech Implementer

Redefining A Succesful Implementation

Years ago I was working with an agency that was implementing new permitting software. The lead permit tech, Lindsay, was a real trooper. She worked her tail off to learn the new system. She asked a lot of questions, delved into the minutiae, and really took ownership. I was always inspired to work with people like Lindsay. Made my job much easier. Six months went by, and it was time to go live. Naturally, there was some trepidation from staff, even Lindsay, about officially adopting the new system. The go-live week had its hiccups, but the training had paid off and by week’s end the group was off and running.

Friday arrived and it was time to fly home. Something about the group’s energy wasn’t right.  I had Lindsay and other leaders in the last debriefing session of the week. They were happy with the training provided and some of the new features that the software provided, but there was little true excitement.  I inquired why, and the truth came out.  All in all, the new software was just another place to put their data, their “stuff”.  When it came to speeding up the process, the online application portal was resulting in more questions than answers (this would sort itself out eventually, I reminded them) and the online payment engine had some bugs. They spent a ton of time on the phone answering questions about the permit process itself. This, they knew, was not going to be mitigated by the new solution. They asked if I had something that could fix this challenge. Naturally, I shared that the 30 or so permit systems on the market were not designed to answer questions.  They were systems of record and reporting vehicles.  I left that day a bit down, given all our efforts didn’t result in a truly happy staff.  In fact, it inspired me to look elsewhere.

A Case For Implementing a Building Guide

Some research and good fortune led me to the Camino website. I saw the vision they had for educating residents and other applicants before the process began. I emailed Lindsay and suggested she investigate this.  Fortunately, the Building Guide turned out to be a great solution for the organization.  Fewer phone calls and counter visits resulted. Emails to City Council from citizens raving about the easy and efficient experience.  The combination of the Building Guide and the new permitting system has created a much more positive experience for customers and a better work environment for staff. Lindsay is a happy camper!

-Mark Desnoyer, Camino Account Executive (West)