City of Whitehorse makes operations more efficient, enhances community experience with SharePoint-based workflow solution to automate and enforce citizen request response processes and policies
The City of Whitehorse was established as the capital of Canada’s Yukon Territory in 1953 and is home to over 26,000 people. “A healthy economy, a small town feel, a perfect environment in which to raise a family, and access to the great outdoors put Whitehorse among the best cities in Canada in which to live, work and play.”
Part of providing a great city to live, work, and play in, for the City of Whitehorse, lies in how it responds to the demands, requests, and issues of their citizens. But with thousands of individuals and a close-knit feeling that encourages citizens to contribute to change and to come forward with any issues, the process of ensuring every voice gets heard is not an easy one. That’s why The City of Whitehorse partnered with MRS to help them tap in to digital technology to assist them with the citizen issue notification and request process.
Once complaints pile up about a specific issue emerging within the community, an employee is tasked with preparing initial notes about the issue and complaints. There is a standard format and the employee is required to provide a general overview from the template provided. This employee will work with the communications department to ensure that messaging is coherent and consistent with other official statements. Once the initial employee and communications department are happy with it, it proceeds to the employee’s manager for approval and edits. Then, it goes to the director for similar approval. Ultimately, once it is completed it ends up with the City Manager, and if the City Manager approves the memo, the document is sent to all city council members so that they can read it and prepare for discussion in council. As it seems, without the use of technology to automate the workflow and to enforce best practices, there are many steps in the process in which it is possible for the issue/complaint to get lost in the shuffle and not make its way to council. The MRS team, working with members of the City of Whitehorse, envisioned, architected, and implemented an innovative custom SharePoint solution that automates the noted required workflow processes and enforces strict compliance to best practices.
The system is designed so that the City of Whitehorse is constantly on top of their citizens’ concerns and that city councilors are given the information that they need, in advance, to come up with solutions to these problems. In the background, the automated workflow means no more emails, no more duplicated documents, better tracking of the process, and ensures that each employee in each role is filling in the information required from them, in the right template. Leveraging the SharePoint and Office 365 platform, the solution drastically cuts down the time it takes for an issue to make its way from citizens to council, and enforces best practices to ensure the right information is logged every time.