Public Kanban for Public Administration

Wednesday June 11, 2014

A public Trello snapshot for the City of Philadelphia (City of Philadelphia)
A public Trello snapshot for the City of Philadelphia (City of Philadelphia)

Public agencies have difficulties communicating with the public. The standard hearing format provides for adversarial proceedings, especially when it is the public against the agency. But there are few ways for agencies to work collaboratively with the public toward shared goals. Some have used social media successfully, but those are one-on-one interactions.

The Trello blog recently listed several cases of public Kanban boards being used to stimulate community discussion.  I like using Kanban boards and have even used one-person Kanban boards for running my classes. The example of the City of Philadelphia stands out amongst those for being a public organization. Philadelphia’s open data initiative is using Kanban board with Trello to connect with constituents. The list shows the progress of different datasets towards public release. Trello also provides a feedback mechanism for constituents to let public administrators know what data they need.

This provides an example for public institutions and the Columbia Association (CA) should adopt this in the interest of transparency.  Projects for which the CA could use this include:

  • Pool maintenance schedules
  • Tot-lot maintenance
  • Lake and pond dredging
  • Haven on the Lake’s development

And other major projects with intense public interest and scrutiny.  Public Kanban boards would provide CA leinpayers with unique insight into how the project is proceeding and also give them an opportunity to have their voices heard through issue voting and resolution.