This Innovation Group is designed to identify and develop tools and strategies for local governments to leverage the power of service patterns to improve public service efficiency and overall experience.


Improving Public
Service Provision

While local governments across the country offer nearly identical services they often work in very different ways to meet their citizens needs. More specifically the digital experiences offered by local governments for their public services are often unintuitive and disjointed, leading to unsatisfied users and a poor service experience. Service patterns allow us to break down these services into component parts and identify common interactions and tasks across different stages of services - things like applying for something, making a payment or checking eligibility.

An Overview

Millions of people use the services provided through their local governments every day. Although many of these services provide a similar function, they are often designed and implemented in different ways. This results in an inconsistent user experience, higher maintenance and upgrading costs, among other things. Standardizing these services is no easy task though. In order to effectively accomplish this goal at scale it's helpful to leverage the concept of Service Patterns. This approach breaks services down into their component parts to identify common interactions and tasks across different stages of these services.
Solutions based in service patterns allow local governments to create more consistent and familiar experiences. This, in turn, makes things quicker, easier and more accessible for users, as well as more efficient and cost-effective for organizations. Some advantages to pattern-based service solutions include; improved user experience, increased operational efficiencies, reduced operational costs, among other things. For any service pattern to be useful though, it must provide a way of documenting or sharing a common user experience and the business processes supporting it so digital interactions can be effectively mapped to the digital world.
Although some local governments do have digital channels, these services have yet to effectively inform organizational design. We believe service level patterns have the potential to not only shape digital user experiences but also inform the design of the underlying organization operating it. Effectively leveraging digital tools to inform business operations requires collaboration, structure and process between business and technology. When this doesn’t happen patterns “stop at the screen” and fail to catalyze deep change through the organization. In applying this thinking to the internal mechanics of a service, organizations can embed the value creating capabilities of technology throughout the service delivery process.

Explore Innovation Group Themes


Identifying, documenting and categorizing service patterns.


Theme Overview:

Identifying, categorizing and documenting services is the first step to any service pattern effort. While some service may vary between counties, many will be nearly identical in purpose and process. Unfortunately, service pattern libraries are nearly non-existent and few, if any, local governments take advantage of the power of service pattern mapping. 
Listing databases are powerful tools that can leverage custom taxonomies and hierarchies to map service patterns onto. Since many of these services will apply in other governments this solution can be copied and configured with little effort, effectively lowering the barriers to starting a service mapping effort. 




Tools for Benchmarking Service Digital Maturity.


Theme Overview:

In the event that foreclosure completes and the borrower leaves, cities must find a way to maintain the vacant property so that it does not become blighted, thereby increasing the cost of rehabilitation and re-integration into the market.

Local government can leverage software for vacant property maintenance to ensure that properties are being attended to which, in turn, serves to deter vandals and preserve property value.


Service Pattern Framework & Digital Building Blocks.


Theme Overview:

Re-integration of deteriorating properties back to productive use before they become blighted is crucial. In some areas this is not possible and the vacant housing stock so large or dilapidated that demolition is the only option.

In either case, foreclosure and vacancy management should be conducted within a long-term strategy for growth. Demolishing vacant properties in such a way that limits redevelopment prospects can lead to just as many problems as rehabilitating properties in an area whose housing stock already exceeds its population.

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