Esri-ICMA White Boarding Exercise

 

The Esri-ICMA #LocalGov Technology Alliance held the first in a series of activities on Thursday, April 25, 2013 on the Esri Campus in Redlands, California. Twelve ICMA members from around the country discussed the kinds of apps that would help their organizations better serve their communities as well as those that would help them do their own jobs.  Participants represented local governments ranging in size from Lake Isabella, Michigan (Population - 1,681 in 2010) to Montgomery County, Maryland (Population - 989,794 in 2011).

 

Table 1 – Participating ICMA Members

 

FIRST

LAST

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

STATE

POPULATION

Tanya

Ange

City of Mankato

MN

40,119

Sylvia

Carrillo

City of Aransas Pass

TX

8,282

Beth

Gabor

Yolo County

CA

202,054

Fairba

Kassiri

Montgomery County

MD

989,794

Robert

Kiely

City of Lake Forest

IL

19,349

Alex

McIntyre

City of Menlo Park

CA

32,881

Rick

Otto

City of Orange

CA

139,419

Craig

Owens

City of Clayton

MO

15,910

Gary

Palmer

Town of Farragut

TN

21,126

Andy

Pederson

Village of Bayside

WI

4,411

Lori

Sassoon

City of Rancho Cucamonga

CA

170,746

Tim

Wolff

Village of Lake Isabella

MI

1,681

 

 

The group began by defining what the characteristics of a good app should be.  For example, apps that address a gap in local government services or automate paper processes, thereby increasing efficiency.  The ability to provide two-way communication with citizens was another key characteristic.  The group also indicated they want apps that are easy to maintain and can be administered without taking much staff time.

From there, the group opted to consider the type of apps local governments need by using seven basic categories:

 

  •  Public Reporting 
  • Public Information Sharing
  •  Citizens as Scientists
  •  Citizens as Sensors
  •  Citizens as Volunteers
  •  Public Input/Solicited Input
  •  Unsolicited Comments

 

Small teams of two to three people volunteered to brainstorm on the types of apps that would be desirable under each of seven categories.  The results of this brainstorming exercise were impressive.  Taken together, the small teams developed a list of between 150-200 potential apps that would be useful for local government work. From there, the full group began to narrow down the list down to the top priorities.  The top priorities for local government apps were: 

 

  •  Volunteers/Donations
  • Mining Social Media
  • Citizen Dashboards and Tracking 
  •  Employees/Employer Matching for the Community/Region 
  •  Advertising and Promoting the Community/Region

 

The group then defined the requirements for each of the top five priority apps, specifically looking at the following criteria:

 

  •  App “user”
  • Information to be collected
  • Information to be provided
  • Scenario for use

 

Using the ideas and feedback generated by the group, Esri will be working with their solutions teams, business partners, and start-ups in order to develop these apps for the ability to implement in any community.  And the complete list of app ideas will help drive the first ever hackathon, Hackstock for #LocalGov, at fall’s 2013 ICMA Annual Conference in Boston.  On Sunday, September 22 from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Hynes Convention Center, Esri and ICMA will invite start-ups and developers to work on developing prototypes for new apps that can be picked up and used by local governments for their work.  New apps and prototypes for new apps will be shared with conference participants in Boston.

 

Keywords: 

Advertisement

You may also be interested in