News from City Hall
City Communications Office
City of Kansas City, Mo.
CONTACT: Dennis Gagnon, City Communications Office, 816-513-2659
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 6, 2012
City improving service through performance data
Tablet technology facilitates efficiencies
Since the inception of its 3-1-1 Call Center, the City of Kansas City, Mo. has been collecting and analyzing data. The data provides a greater understanding of City operations and points the way toward improvements that can make a measurable difference. One of the more notable data driven success stories concerns recent changes in the City’s Code Enforcement operation.
Frustrated with a severe backlog of cases that left more than 14,000 cases open at any given time, Code Enforcement began working with the City’s Performance Management staff, to better understand operational realities and identify changes in process, tools and staffing that would yield improvements.A little more than a year later, the backlog has been reduced by 50 percent.
“Much work remains and the task is complicated as the number of incoming cases remains constant,” said City Manager Troy Schulte. “However, we are pleased with the progress, which is the result of targeted changes in technology, operational practices and an ordinance.”
By adopting changes that target a reduction in the number of days required to complete an initial code inspection and stimulate those who are out of compliance to take corrective action, Code Enforcement is realizing the benefits of data analysis.
Data has also made it clear that there are seasonal fluctuations in the number of cases open, closed and the median days it takes to complete a case. Realizing this, there is a focus on identifying solutions that keep such variations from compromising the quality of service provided.
Today, after deploying tablet technology in the field, 95 percent of all Code Enforcement cases see an initial inspection within 10 days.This is down from 184 days. The median number of days for closing out a case completely is around 100 – and this would include all steps in the process of holding property owners accountable for City code violations.As analysis indicates that a reduction in the number of days to initial inspection as well as limiting the time between follow up inspections contribute to a disproportional reduction in the median days that a case remains open, it appears Code Enforcement is headed in the right direction.
Data as a catalyst for change is an important element in the City’s new KCStat program. Described as a public-facing initiative focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of City services, KCStat has started by focusing on the areas the City receives the most public complaints about: Street Maintenance, Water Line Maintenance, Water Billing/Customer Service, Code Enforcement and Animal Control.
KCStat seeks to improve City services and government accountability by publicly outlining and discussing goals and objectives that will be measured against indicators for outcomes, output and efficiency.
The public is invited to attend the KCStat internal review sessions scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m. on the first Tuesday of each month or can watch rebroadcasts of KCStat on cable Channel 2.
Media inquiries about this issue should be directed to Dennis Gagnon, City Communications Office, 816-513-2659.