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Enhanced Web Service Offers New Functionality for Active Incidents Web App

BY Frank Bracco

This summer, I had the opportunity to meet local developer and .Net extraordinaire David M. Wilson at a Civic Hack Night. David showed several of us a civic innovation project he developed after the first City of Houston Hackathon in 2013. The project is a real-time web app that shows active City of Houston fire incidents based on a test web service available on the Interim Open Data Portal.

Filed Under
open data, web services, web service, HPD, HFD, active incidents

Departments
Houston Fire Department, Houston Police Department

HCD - Data Collection and Input Process Redesign for Federal Housing Grants

BY Frank Bracco

Project Summary: The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has strict requirements on accuracy and completeness for project records associated with federal grant dollars dollars. The City of Houston’s Housing and Community Development Department worked to develop a standardized workflow process for project submissions, created an electronic workflow process to automate error checking, and implemented an internal controls process.

Filed Under
LSS, Lean Six Sigma, Green Belts, HCD, housing

Departments
Housing & Community Development

HR - Learning Development Center Billing Process

BY Frank Bracco

Project Summary: Human Resources’ Learning Development Center offers occupational training to internal and external resources at the City but experienced some chargeback delays in FY2015. A team of green belts documented the process, created standard work, and developed internal controls to ensure chargebacks occurred timely and accurately.

Filed Under
LSS, Lean Six Sigma, LDC, Learning Development Center, Green Belts, Human Resources, billing

Departments
Human Resources

An Easy Way to Find Your Council Member

BY Frank Bracco

Want an easy way to find your Council Members that doesn’t involve a bunch of clicks, is mobile friendly, and provides the information in an efficient manner? If so, look no further than the City’s newly redesigned Who Is My Council Member webpage. This new web app replaces a SilverLight web app that used to be linked on the page. Let us know what you think about the improved functionality by commenting on this blog post.

Filed Under
Council, council member, open data, open source, civic innovation

Departments
City Council

Rice, City Of Houston To Join National MetroLab Network

BY Jesse Bounds

Network to focus on solutions to infrastructure, city services, civic engagement challenges

September 14, 2015 -- Rice University and the City of Houston will join forces with 20 other cities and 25 other universities from across the country to create MetroLab Network, a network of universities and city governments charged with collaborating on solutions to the challenges confronting urban infrastructure, city services and civic engagement. The partnership was announced today at a Smart Cities event held at the White House.

Filed Under
civic innovation, Rice University, White House, B-cycle, streetlights, crime, housing

Departments
Citywide

HPD - CJIS Vetting Process

BY Frank Bracco

Project Summary: A Houston Police Department green belt team reduced the CJIS vetting process by ~50% while also reallocating classified personnel to other areas in the organization to avoid over $200,000 in additional classified personnel costs annually.

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

Filed Under
LSS, Lean Six Sigma, green belt, HPD, Houston Police Department

Departments
Houston Police Department

Experimenting with Google Heatmaps for 311 Data

BY Frank Bracco

As promoters of both open data and performance indicators, the Performance Improvement Division loves being able to highlight interesting uses of 311 data. As the City of Houston’s non-emergency help line, 311 is a great way to measure what’s important to citizens and the community. We’re able to see citizens’ concerns and sentiments by reviewing 311 service request tickets. Recently, 311 System Analyst Jim Cole wanted to better visualize the impact of the Memorial Day flooding using service requests as part of a research and development project:

Filed Under
311 Service Requests, heat map, heatmap, Jim Cole

Departments
Administration and Regulatory Affairs, Houston Information Technology Services

DON - Inspection Process Improvement - Phase 1

BY Frank Bracco

Project Summary: In phase 1 of a comprehensive re-visioning of the Department of Neighborhoods' service processes, the Inspections and Public Service team increased employee morale by offering flexible teleworking opportunities, increased inspections by placing more management out in the field, and decreased the cycle time from initial receipt of a complaint to the time of inspection by one-third. As an added benefit, the division also saw an ~27% reduction in fuel usage due to the teleworking program.

Filed Under
LSS, Lean Six Sigma, green belt, DON, Department of Neighborhoods, inspections

Departments
Department of Neighborhoods

Four More Open Datasets Put on Automatic Refresh

BY Frank Bracco

Good news from the Open Data front: we’ve automated the refresh cycle on four more open datasets on the City of Houston interim Open Data Portal. The four datasets are related to Administrative and Regulatory Affairs’ Commercial Permitting operations and include data about alcohol permits, game rooms and coin-operated machines, and various other occupational permits.

Filed Under
ARA, permitting, open data

Departments
Administration and Regulatory Affairs

Performance Insight: FY15-Q3

BY Paul Fagin

I recently unveiled a balanced $5.1 billion proposed total city budget for the coming fiscal year. This wasn’t easy to do with revenue limitations, growing pension and debt obligations, and an ever-increasing demand for City services. We were able to submit this balanced budget in large part due to a tremendous effort to become a leaner and more efficient government. The City has honed its focus on performance improvement and data-driven management.

Filed Under
Performance Insight, performance measures, 311 Service Requests, personnel, sick time, FMLA, OT

Departments
Citywide

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