As an independent consultant, I help Public Housing Authorities improve their processes and evaluate computer vendors. With COVID-19 causing HA unforeseen expenses, a needed to work remotely (electronically) and improve automation; here is my HA improvement idea checklist for 2021.
- Get rid of the paper, better organize electronic documents, and create electronic workflows. Do employees need to access paper files to conduct their work? Are documents stored, all over the office, in shared network drives, email, paper, and outside storage areas? Do applicants fill out and sign paper documents? If so, explore how paperless technologies (ECM) capture, recognition, electronic forms (integrated to your website), electronic signature, content management, digital workflow (routing), and electronic records management can help. Tip: To ensure you understand the cost of the technology, benefit, and select the right vendor – develop use case studies (how different groups need to use ECM), workflow maps (how documents will need to be routed), vendor RFP, and a vendor evaluation score sheet (RFP response and demonstration).
- Improve core Housing Authority processes, including Admissions, Asset Management, Development, Executive, Finance, Human Resources, IPS, Office Operations, Procurement, Property Management, Risk Management, and Safety. Do programs that are “similar” use different forms and processes? Are processes fully documented and followed, so work is completed consistently day-to-day, or if senior staff leave? Does re-work happen when mistakes are made? Tip: Blueprint current processes and identify ways the process can be changed (the way people work) to reduce waiting time, unnecessary steps, mistakes, and communication issues. Develop a change action plan to ensure changes rollout quickly.
- Replace Housing Authority computer systems that are not working the way they should. Is your computer vendor not providing proper support, charging fees for everything, or not providing what is needed? Tip: Identity what in the current system is not working, being used, and needs to be improved. Identify the overall goals for the new system (efficiency, service, etc.). Turn the requirements identfied into a detailed RFP to test vendor abilities and costs.
- Update email, records management, and public disclosure policies, procedures, and schedules. Perform an Information Governance / Records Information Management assessment. Tip: During the assessment, identity what policies, procedures, and records schedules need to be updated and documented to meet, HUD and state requirements.
To learn more about how to improve your Housing Authority processes, people, and computer systems, contact CRE8 Independent Consultants for a free consolation> As independent consultants, CRE8 does not represent vendors but work directly for our end-user HA clients. This allows CRE8 to provide an objective voice regarding process improvement options and vendor assessment.
About the Author. George Dunn, the president of CRE8 Independent Consultants, is a worldwide recognized consultant, speaker, instructor, and author on business process improvement, advanced technologies (including paperless), governance, and computer system replacement. He has extensive experience assisting Housing Authorities with process improvement and technology planning. George can be reached as follows.