- Focus on improving core Housing Authority processes, including Admissions, Asset Management, Development, Executive, Finance, Human Resources, IPS, Office Operations, Procurement, Property Management, Risk Management, and Safety. Identify programs that are “similar” but use different forms and processes. Determine if critical processes are fully documented and followed, so work will be completed consistently. Measure if re-work occurs 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.
- Replace older Housing Authority computer systems that are not working the way they should. Discuss if your computer vendor is not providing proper support, charging too many fees, and/or if the software is not providing what is needed. Tip: Identity what in the current system is not working, what is being used, and what needs to be improved. Identify the overall goals for the new computer system (efficiency, time to enter/use, quality, service, etc.). Turn the requirements identified into an RFP to test new vendor abilities and costs.
- Get rid of the paper, better organize electronic documents in shared network drives, create electronic workflows; or expand/replace current ECM systems as necessary. Identify if employees have difficulty finding documents stored in email, shared drives, collaboration sites, and on paper. Explore how paperless technologies (ECM) capture, recognition, electronic forms, electronic signature, content management, digital workflow (routing), advanced search, portals, and electronic records management can help. Tip 1: To ensure you understand technology cost/benefit, and select the right vendor – develop use case studies (how different groups will need to use ECM), workflow maps (how documents and content will need to be routed), a vendor RFP, and a vendor evaluation score sheet (RFP response and demonstration). Tip 2: For existing ECM solutions (M365, OpenText, Laserfiche, Box, Google, Hyland Onbase, etc) identify how these systems can be expanded or re-configured to better meet your needs and to expand efficiencies.
- 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 record retention/disposition schedules will 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, we do not represent vendors but work directly for our end-user 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.