As a citizen of Philadelphia, I have always thought of the services I receive as being provided by “The City”. Whenever I find something lacking from local government I think of asking “The City” to make things better. By and large, this is the way people tend to view local government. They see one single organization that is responsible for creating and sustaining a safe, clean, and enjoyable environment for those of us who live, work, are educated, or have fun in Philly. The reality is, things are far more complicated.
Several branches of local government partner together to deliver a high quality environment, through the efforts of many subordinate departments and agencies. Each branch of government has its own set of responsibilities and challenges that it deals with through its own staff and technologies. Enterprise architecture provides a methodology that can be used to understand the efforts and relationships across this continuum. However, we will focus this discussion on the executive branch of Philadelphia’s government, which is under the direct leadership of the Mayor.
How Constituents Interact with The City
Many of the City’s constituents interact directly with departments and agencies; the 311 contact center; and 911 to get information, receive services, and submit requests. By and large, operations in place at each of these points of contact execute separate processes and leverage different technology solutions. These operational silos unavoidably lead to an inconsistent customer experience; disconnected service delivery for more complicated (though common) requests; and inconsistent data about the same people, properties, assets, and other City resources.
Key Challenges Created By Silos
Because of the proliferation of operational silos throughout the City we are faced with the following key challenges:
- City staff and partners often have to traverse multiple silos to perform day-to-day work
- City staff cannot work cohesively to deliver services to constituents that cross organizational boundaries
- Duplicative business processes and technology solutions must be sustained, leading to greater than necessary costs to deliver services
- Transforming Government through Enterprise Architecture (phillyinnovates.com)
- What is Enterprise Architecture? (phillyinnovates.com)