Great Ideas on Managing Requests and Complaints

September 14, 2009
I just sat in on a Solutions Theater session titled “New-Generation Portal Technology: Worldwide Case Studies,”  which brought in a diverse and interesting panel.  Lorry Hempe, Assistant City Manager of the City of Lynwood, California shared details of the CRM portal that her city has operated since 2001.  It was great to and it was inspirational to see how diligent this team has been with their solution for managing the request and complaint process. Kathryn Bruning, Deputy Assistant Director of the Department of Regulatory Affairs at the City of Houston, Texas actually joined via live video feed from Houston and she shared how the Houston portal for permits and licenses was launched just a few months ago but is already a growing success. And Samir Bustami, Program Manager of the Building Permits Center at the Municipality of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates had a fascinating case study to share of how they launched the world’s first permit portal to manage the entire development process via the web. The three portals showcased were delivered by the e-Government firm GovPartner. And Gabriela Dow, Vice President of GovPartner talked about her experience serving on the ICMA 311/CRM committee.

I’m looking forward to hearing more about the Abu Dhabi case study straight from the officials that traveled from the Municipality at the sepcial session they are holding on Tuesday afternoon — “Managing Growth: How Online Technology Can Streamline the City Development Processes.”


ICMA Signs Agreement with Visible Strategies

September 14, 2009
Yesterday, ICMA staff member Wayne Sommer signed (on behalf of ICMA) an agreement with Visible Strategies, a Vancouver-based software firm that focuses on sustainability.  As part of the agreement, ICMA will receive three-licenses to use their See It software for three years.  The best part? ICMA member communities will receive a 10% discount. 
As for us, ICMA will use the software to report progress on the implementation of the strategic plan, in the Center for Sustainability, and in the Center for Performance Measurement.  In the near future, we will be providing a promo code for communities to use to purchase through ICMA.  Additionally, Visible Strategies will be a founding co-sponsor of the ICMA Center for Sustainability.
Questions? Contact Wayne at  

Solutions for your Community

September 14, 2009

Times are tough, budgets are tight, but the show must go on.  Your constituents still want the services they have come to expect.  So if you have been racking your brain for solutions to your local government challenges look no further.  Along with a variety of topics addressed in the Educational Program conference attendees can find answers in the 2009 Solutions Track.  22 sessions will run in three Theaters in the Exhibit Hall Monday from 9:45am-5:15pm and Tuesday 9:45am-2:00pm.

A full list of the Solutions Track sessions can be found in your final program, some of the subjects covered in the solutions track include: Community Branding, Tackling Economic Challenges, Performance Measurement, Public Safety, Service Delivery, Sustainable Communities, Technology, and Workforce Issues.

Thank you to all our speakers and sponsors for contributing to this year’s program.

Keep Research from 311-CRM Study at Your Fingers

September 13, 2009

Conference participants are encouraged to pick up free mousepads with the web addresses to the latest information from  the ICMA National Study of 311 and Customer Service Technology as well as other available resources on 311-CRM technology.

The study has two new publications available at this conference.  Durham One Call examines the links between the city’s popular CRM system and how it is linking that data to its performance measurement and budgeting processes.  Also new is Philly311 which looks at how the city of Philadelphia used its new 311 system to engage its citizens in recent discussions on budget reductions.

ICMA member Rick Machaud and Spencer Stern with the Government Finance Officers Association discuss how this technology can be used by other communities to improve overall customer service.