Well, our team sent a bunch of recommendations yesterday to the Mayor-elect. I learned an enormous amount, and am still reflecting. The team delivered some really good work, and I just wanted to emphasize a few points from my own personal perspective. This is very brief, somewhat abbreviated, but I can expand on anything as useful.
I sense that most San Franciscans, city workers and citizens, feel some optimism about the new administration, including the Board of Supervisors. In particulary, I get a strong impression that city workers feel that the message from the very top used to be that getting stuff done, and doing a good job, weren't important. We need to deliver, and start that really soon. (If I'm not being clear… I want to give line workers more influence and power than they currently have, as discussed in prior entries. Tell me if you want to hear more about this.)
A 311 system allows people to report problems to the City, and to get them fixed. It can be both Web and phone based. Basically, you'd report a problem, and get a tracking number… and eventually, an estimated time for a fix. You'd be able to track the situation, maybe even see your place in problem queues, and hear when it gets fixed. That's similar to what you can do on the Web to track your fedex or UPS packages.
Over time, such a system will make problems with city procedures visible, offering opportunities to fix those procedures.
Recommendation: start planning 311 now, and figure out what can be operational soon, without implementing a system that haunts us later. This means working with 911, 28-clean, and DTIS. Remember that we have to work with current systems and build incrementally. (I suspect I'll be volunteering when we fix some customer service staffing issues.)
Recommendation: 311 should be implemented for Muni with some priority. Muni now works as well as when promised that Muni would be "fixed within 100 days", and that leaves room for significant growth.
Recommendation: the new Mayor and all Supervisors need to get engaged with city workers and let them know things are changing. Specifically, they need to encourage line workers to improve the way stuff gets done, and they need to encourage Department heads to do the same. They need to make heroes of people who improve the way city processes operate.
Does this make sense to you?