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Page 1

TRANSFORM
YOUR CITY
THROUGH
INNOVATION
THE INNOVATION DELIVERY MODEL
FOR MAKING IT HAPPEN

JANUARY 2014

Page 2

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
THE IMPERATIVE FOR INNOVATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

WHAT IS THE INNOVATION DELIVERY MODEL? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

HOW TO READ THIS PLAYBOOK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

GETTING STARTED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
A . UNDERSTAND KEY ROLES IN THE INNOVATION DELIVERY MODEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

B . CHOOSE AND COMMUNICATE PRIORITY AREAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

C . HIRE AND STRUCTURE THE TEAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

D . PLAN TO MOVE QUICKLY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

E . BUILD SUPPORT FOR THE TEAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

INVESTIGATE THE PROBLEM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
A . BUILD RELATIONSHIPS AND COLLABORATE FROM THE START . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

B . CREATE A PRELIMINARY LIST OF CHALLENGES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

C . WORK TO UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

D . FINALIZE CHALLENGES AND CONTRIBUTING ISSUES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

E . SELECT METRICS FOR EACH CHALLENGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

GENERATE NEW IDEAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
A . LOOK ELSEWHERE FIRST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

B . GENERATE IDEAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

C . END-USER-FOCUSED DESIGN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

D . ADDITIONAL RESOURCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

PREPARE TO DELIVER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
A . SELECT INITIATIVES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

B . SET PRELIMINARY INITIATIVE TARGETS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

C . GET AGREEMENT ON THE CORE COMPONENTS OF INITIATIVES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

D . DEVELOP INITIATIVE WORK PLANS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

E . FINALIZE ALL TARGETS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

F . DEVELOP A COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

DELIVER AND ADAPT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
A . DELIVERY ROUTINES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

B . DEALING WITH RELUCTANCE DURING DELIVERY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

C . CREATING CONDITIONS FOR LONG-TERM SUCCESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

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STEP 2: GENERATE NEW IDEAS | INNOVATION DELIVERY TEAM PLAYBOOK | 39

This section offers techniques for engaging end users and benefitting from their insights.

End users can be engaged at many points along the idea generation path and can fully participate
during the research work described in Step 1. While not a hard-and-fast rule, citizens are generally
more helpful in clarifying the problems they face or evaluating potential initiatives than they are at
advancing blue-sky idea generation, because they are less familiar with government’s capabilities.
Teams have learned that it is not as helpful to ask end users “what do you want” as it is to ask
questions that shine light on the issue of “what do you actually need?”

C.1 INFORMAL ENGAGEMENT
Learning from end users need not be a formal process. Teams recommend “getting out there
and talking to people” as a highly valuable, often overlooked first step. For example, if you are
working on mitigating food deserts (urban areas in which access to fresh produce is scarce), you
might visit corner stores in affected neighborhoods and speak with shoppers to understand their
decision-making processes or level of satisfaction with their choices. If you are working on reducing
the number of shootings among young people, you might visit a prison and talk to those convicted
of a shooting crime to better understand disputes that escalate to violence.

As with all research and idea generation activities, it is strongly recommended that the Team
include departmental partners. A small team of one Project Manager and one partner is ideal
for this type of informal research.

C.2 OBSERVATION
When behavioral change is the ultimate goal, structured observation can be a valuable source of
insight into the nature of the problem as experienced by end users. For example, when the Chicago
Team sought to understand how well the city supported small business owners, they spent hours
as “flies on the wall” at City Hall’s Small Business Center. They observed how the line was organized,
how fast it moved, and the kinds of issues that appeared to most frustrate Center patrons. They took
stock at busy times and at slow times; they asked questions of the staff and the visitors along the
way. Following these observations, a handful of ideas—new signage, an express lane—rose to the
top as quick, implementable solutions. This type of observational or ethnographic research may
be effectively carried out in partnership with an academic partner, or with the support of other
sources of professional expertise.

A. LOOK ELSEWHERE FIRST | B. GENERATE IDEAS | C. END-USER-FOCUSED DESIGN | D. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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40 | INNOVATION DELIVERY TEAM PLAYBOOK | STEP 2: GENERATE NEW IDEAS

C.3 FOCUS GROUPS
Focus groups are small group discussions that are centered on a specific topic. Focus groups are excellent
vehicles for obtaining early feedback on potential changes to a city service. Predeveloped, “canned” questions
structure the focus group discussion and allow for comparison of responses across multiple focus groups.
Focus group participants need not be end users.

While focus groups are not typically appropriate settings for idea generation, they can help you test the
rationale behind an initiative, or the method of implementation. Successful focus groups often share the
following elements:

■ Six to twelve participants

■ One to two hours in length

■ Four to eight scripted questions

■ Capability to record the session

In addition to their utility in Step 2: Generate New Ideas, focus groups with end users can also be productively
applied during the research phase of the work (Step 1: Investigate the Problem)—most often by asking end
users about their experience with the problem at hand. For example, the New Orleans Innovation Delivery
Team used focus groups with both police officers and young men at risk of violence to learn about the drivers
of shootings and the impediments to reducing them. Similarly, the techniques of informal engagement and
observation can be applied to scoping the problem, particularly to elucidating contributing issues.

C.4 RAPID PROTOTYPING
Rapid prototyping is a term borrowed from industrial engineering. The goal of rapid prototyping is to get the
idea “off paper” as quickly as possible and into a setting in which it can be tested and refined in collaboration
with end users. Rapid prototyping is therefore not used to generate a new idea; the goal is to create a
live scenario to test the idea.

Prototyping is different from launching a pilot. While pilots can be extremely valuable in their own right, a
prototype happens before the pilot stage, in rough (often mock) form. Rapid prototyping is a way to “live test”
an idea. It generally involves end users (or, alternatively, partners role-playing as end users for the purposes
of the exercise), and the goal is to create a living scenario in which the kernel of the idea can be tested.

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