Philadelphia is rethinking its approach to design, tech, and data in city government. Philadelphia was an early mover on implementing human-centered design as part of its effort to improve digital service delivery. Now, the city has announced that it is moving out of its “alpha” phase.
The Office of Innovation and Technology, Office of Open Data and Digital Transformation is folding and will become part of the Office of Information Technology.
According to a blog post from the city, some groups have already made the jump. ODDT’s Open Data team has already joined OIT’s more centralized data team under Chief Geographic Information/Data Officer Henry Garie. Content strategists, user experience designers, and visual designers who compose ODDT’s Digital Transformation team are transitioning to OIT at the end of the year. ODDT developers will also join OIT’s reimagined software engineering team led by the Director of Software Engineering, Dan Lopez. ODDT service designers and design researchers will spin off into the Service Design Studio led by Liana Dragoman, Director of Strategic Design.
These new teams are more closely integrated and will be tasked with maintaining current projects as well as finding ways to continue to improve Philadelphia’s approach to digital government. The move comes on the heels of the city’s relaunch of the phila.gov digital government platform.
According to city officials, the next phase of digital services will be bigger. “As we’ve reached a state of fluency, it’s time to scale,” the blog post said. “Under the leadership of Stephanie Tipton, Interim Chief Administrative Officer, and Mark Wheeler, Chief Information Officer, design, development, and data now have permanent homes, growing teams, and expanding portfolios in OIT and the CAO. Designers, developers, and data experts are working on high impact enterprise-wide service improvement projects, which is an exciting place to be in 2019.”
Philadelphia is also making some new hires – the city will be bringing on a UX designer, UX strategist, and content strategist that will join the reconstituted tech team.