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City of Houston Sees Savings from LED Streetlights

BY Frank Bracco

In June 2014 the City of Houston and CenterPoint agreed to switch traditional streetlights in the City of Houston to LED lights. Two years have passed since the agreement was signed, and Houstonians have begun to notice the new LED streetlights. Taxpayers are also seeing savings in the General Fund thanks to this conversion effort.

Filed Under
LED, streetlights, cost savings

Departments
Finance Department, General Services, Public Works & Engineering

So Meta: Open Data Requests as Open Data

BY Frank Bracco

At this year's City of Houston Hackathon, several of the City's IT professionals proposed an idea so meta that we couldn’t pass up: open data requests should be released as open data.

Filed Under
open data, civic innovation, Hackathon

Departments
Houston Information Technology Services

4th Annual City of Houston Hackathon Roundup

BY Kurt Amend

On the weekend of May 13-15, a crowd of local data nerds, coders, hackers, and generally civic minded residents gathered together at the Houston Technology Center to build cool things, share ideas, and above all, eat free food at the 4th Annual City of Houston Hackathon.

This 4th iteration of what is becoming a must attend event, featured over 200 attendees that worked diligently over the course of 24 hours fueled on coffee, civic responsibility and the aforementioned free food to build 15 very impressive applications.

Filed Under
Hackathon, Houston Hackathon, open data, civic innovation

Departments
Citywide

Budget Bootcamp and Open Data Updated for FY2017 Proposed Budget

BY Frank Bracco

This week marks the release of Mayor Turner’s proposed Annual Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2017. To assist end-users in their analysis of the proposed budget, the City provides detailed budgetary information in our online Budget Bootcamp tool at http://performance.houstontx.gov/budgetbootcamp and also on the interim Open Data Portal at http://data.ohouston.org/dataset/city-of-houston-fiscal-year-adopted-operating-budgets.

Filed Under
budget bootcamp, budget, FY2017, FY17, open data

Departments
Finance Department, Mayor's Office

Talking About Performance (Without Complicating It)

BY Niki Virani

Sports are a world of measurement. Let’s take a sport like basketball. Suppose I tell you a player averages 15 points per game. Is that a good player? A bad player? A great player? A good coach would know that based on this limited information it would be impossible to answer that question with any certainty. Basketball is about more than just scoring. Players can block shots, rebound missed shots, steal the ball and assist others in scoring. So, now what if I told you the player averages 15 points, 9 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 steals per game. Is that a good player? A bad player?

Filed Under
performance management

Departments
Citywide

Lean Six Sigma Black Belts

BY Myja Lark

After the initial successes of the City’s Lean Six Sigma program at the White, Yellow and Green Belt levels as well as the accreditation of the program by the International Association of Six Sigma Certification, the city launched its first Lean Six Sigma Black Belt course.

Filed Under
LSS

Departments

HITS - Cabling Service Optimization

BY Frank Bracco

Project Summary: After fielding complaints from client departments, Houston Information Technology Services assigned a green belt team to take a comprehensive look at their process for installing new network cable outlets. The team was able to identify opportunities to streamline the process using existing vendor resources while also potentially reducing costs by over $300,000 annually.

Filed Under
LSS, Lean Six Sigma, green belt, HITS, cabling, Houston IT Services

Departments
Houston Information Technology Services

Grant Dollars Help Houston Deliver Public Services

BY Paul Fagin

Every year the City of Houston applies for millions of dollars’ worth of grant funding for everything from childhood nutrition programs to affordable housing. In addition to the continuation grants received by the City, in 2016 the City received over $62 million dollars of new grant funding to support public services. Managing grant submissions is a massive effort that involves coordinating with departments to present a comprehensive application to sponsor organizations.

Filed Under
grants, dashboard

Departments
Citywide

Civic Hack Night Helps City Employees Connect and Create Solutions

BY Frank Bracco

Each month our community partner, Sketch City, hosts a Civic Hack Night. These events help the City connect with the local technology community in order to increase cooperation and create innovative solutions to pressing problems. Civic Hack Night works because it allows for City employees to interact with members of the technology community in a friendly, informal environment in order to describe problems, broaden perspectives, and introduce new technology solutions.

Filed Under
Jim Cole, civic hack night, records management

Departments
Administration and Regulatory Affairs, Houston Information Technology Services

FMD - Fuel Delivery Optimization

BY Frank Bracco

Project Summary: A Fleet Management Department green belt team reduced small fuel delivery costs by approximately $270,000 annually by using existing resources to bring small deliveries (

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a customer centric way of thinking and problem solving that seeks to continually identify and eliminate waste.

Filed Under
FMD, fuel, bobtail, LSS, Lean Six Sigma, green belt, Fleet Management Department

Departments
Fleet Management Department

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