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5 Ways Community Development Departments Can Innovate

Updated: Jan 6, 2022


It's no surprise that the need to innovate has been brought to light in many local governments around the country. Prior to the pandemic caused by Covid-19, municipalities were already addressing the increasing volume of voices asking for public services to be modernized. The pandemic simply accelerated many of the initiatives already underway in many communities and was a catalyst in others.

Municipalities have largely answered the call by streamlining processes, improving web-based engagement with residents, and upgrading their technology resources to facilitate it all. Community Development Departments are among the most publicly visible within most municipalities so it makes sense that innovation often-times starts here.

Of course there are many opportunities for modernization but let's take a look at 5 key areas where Com Dev teams are tackling these challenges.

1. Department Interoperability

Before technology can be implemented, it's best to ensure teams are optimized first. I've seen too many solutions deployed prior to this step and it results in lack of buy-in, inconsistent/variant uses of implemented systems, branching of processes, poor communication, and a disjointed look from external participants.

It's true that many communities have developers and contractors who have learned their unique requirements over the years and can navigate the silo processes. However, for many others the land development process can feel like an endless maze of red tape and confusion.