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The delivery of digital information and transactional services that makes a difference in the lives of citizens. Nominations should meet these criteria: a strong focus on the end-user's accessibility and experience, a high level of citizen engagement, incorporation of the technologies used by today's citizens, and timely, informative content.
With very little notice, both teams prepared for this big change, and have had to quickly learn new material for all the additional agencies now being served.
A combined Request Fulfillment Service Desk team results in a higher quality of support and availability for the customers in the many different agencies we serve. The Enterprise Request Fulfillment Service Desk team now supports 13 different agencies across the state, and the shift has required a lot of support from all team members. I am amazed by the entire team's willingness to support and train each other across different services - often multitasking between walk-ins, phone calls, and working tickets - to make sure that our customers receive the absolute best support and service possible.
There is no question that moving houses is stressful, and is no different for moving work locations. Employees stationed out of DHS had to move to a new location, and many were separated from long-term co-workers, locations, and move into a completely new environment with a totally different culture. For Request Fulfillment staff already housed in the Centennial building, they had to make room, coordinate facilities services and adjust their working quarters to welcome the new staff. The most impressive part of all this, however, is that for our customers, the transition was completely seamless.
The process began by securing funding from the Friends of Hennepin County Library. Staff then identified a vendor solution -- Rabble, a company who has launched similar projects successfully with Seattle Public Library & Nashville Public Library, was chosen. Library staff then connected with community organizations to build knowledge of the project in the music community. Staff identified 4 prominent community members to serve as curators in reviewing music submissions. In July, the submission period for musicians opened. Curators are currently reviewing all submissions and will nominate 40 musicians to submit their full albums to be added to the collection. Musicians are compensated $200 per album. The full service will launch to library patrons winter 2017.
The significance of this project is that while Hennepin County Library has always offered local music for checkout, it has been particularly challenging to do so in the past few years as musicians choose to release music solely online. This new service connects community members to active Minnesota artists so that music lovers can explore new music and artists can gain exposure.
So far, the impact has been increased attention to the library and its services. Local press offered lots of free publicity during the open submission period with feature stories on KARE 11, Fox 9 and AM 950. The interest from the music community has been significant -- 325 musicians submitted their music for consideration, exceeding staff expectations. Patrons & musicians have shown great enthusiasm for this service via social media. A July 5 Facebook posting resulted in 520 "likes," 341 "shares," and 73 comments, including, "Lets [sic] light the city up with good music and vibes!!!!!" and lots of tags to local musicians.
It was very apparent with Shakopee's continuing strong residential and industrial growth, the city needed to invest in automation for permit and building plan review processing. The manual process to manage 100's of individual steps required for many permit approvals was becoming next to impossible for staff to maintain. A change to a plan by one staff member did not always works its way to the next approver. When looking for a solution internal accountability, automation, and accuracy were goals Shakopee staff set out to achieve internally. Externally, customers' expectations revolved around ease of use, time reduction, and overall process improvement from our city.
Shakopee's Application IT Specialist Marti Bartels, worked diligently with each city department to gather workflow requirements for the new application. Knowing an out of the box software package would only meet a limited number of the city's goals and requirements we worked diligently to make it do more. The city pushed the vendor hard, many times past their initial answer of NO, to have software features, workflow requirements, and software design modified to increase usability and efficiency for our staff.
In March of 2017, the City of Shakopee went live with its on-line portal allowing customers to electronically enter permit requests, building drawings, and process payments. No longer do customers need to print out the previously required 6 copies of plans, physically visit our city hall location for paper forms, or call to obtain the status of their permits. Each of these tasks are now available from any internet connection 24 hours a day.
Shakopee has many very large industrial buildings in various stages of construction and each set of plans can be up to 100 or more pages. On larger projects, we have already received feedback from our customers stating we have saved them easily $100's of dollars in printing and alleviated their frustration of not knowing what could be holding up their permits. Again, it's now all available any time of the day.
In the short amount of time since our March go-live, we have 721 projects completed or in review, reduced paper by 85%, and eliminated errors by approximately 70% by having only one active set of plans electronically in the system. Amazing results from where Shakopee started a little more than a year earlier. Shakopee IT, particularly Marti Bartels through a city-wide partnership, displayed what could be done through working together as a team. IT played a very significant role in the successful design, implementation, and go-live creating revolutionary change in how the city works.
Shakopee IT and its stakeholders continue to refine workflows, improve internal processes, and work with the vendor on new features to serve every customer faster and more efficiently. Looking back at the internal and external goals set out for this project we feel we met the challenge head-on and delivered a system that we can be proud of.