How to Implement an Automated Permitting System

A city that could use an automated permitting system.

One fact that the recent global pandemic has made clear is the need for cities to provide services remotely. A digital automated permitting system is a virtual component that cities can implement so that their citizens can create permits with no in person interactions.  

But this isn’t the only reason cities should implement an automated permitting system. They also make it easier for citizens to comply with your municipality’s policies because online services can make it clearer what the requirements are and how to follow them.   

Step 1: Determine Your Automated Permitting System Needs 

Each municipality has its own unique characteristics and challenges. Because of this, it’s important to determine what capabilities your automated permitting system needs. Some capabilities you may need include the following:  

  • Permitting software: Software that creates a database that stores permit information. Examples of permitting information that can be stored in the database include the information generated from CivicWise’s Building PermitBurn Permit, and Sign Permit modules.  
  • Plan review software: Plan review software assigns project numbers with specified information categories. Examples of these categories include information like street name, plan number, and purpose of application, which are included as default categories in CivicWise’s building permit module. Projects generated using plan review software is then placed into a workflow program that is viewable to reviewers.  
  • Transaction software: This type of software calculates fees and/or processes financial transactions. This can be useful if citizens/business owners are required to pay a fee to create certain types of permits. For example, if dog owners need to pay for a dog license, this type of software might determine how much citizens have to pay based on characteristics like whether or not the dog is spayed/neutered and process the citizen’s credit information. Types of transactional software include Stripe and PayPal.  
  • Dashboard and reporting software: This type of software converts information from permits into reports that can be analyzed. It provides a synopsis of business operations and information in visual metrics that are easy to read and understand. 

The easiest way to determine which capabilities your municipality needs is to communicate with citizens. This can take a number of forms depending on what works best for your municipalities but will often involve posting information on the internet whether on your municipality’s websites or social media accounts.  

Step 2: Decide How This System Will be Maintained 

Your automated permitting system will need to be maintained both by people reviewing entries to your software and people updating both the software and any categorical items that a permit’s fields may contain. Some of the maintenance can be reduced by using Software as a Service (SaaS) instead of in-house software. However, a municipality will still need to find a way to keep form information up to date.  

Step 3: Complete Proposal 

Once you have chosen a vendor, learn if they have any existing workflows showing how their software works. For example, CivicWise has existing workflows for each of our modules. With a vendor chosen and a determined workflow, its time to write and present a proposal to members of your municipality through your typical process and revise until it is approved.  

Step 4: Deploy Automated Permitting System 

The implementation of this step will depend a lot on your choice of vendor. CivicWise’s deployment process follows the following steps:  

  • Current Process Review  
  • Design Phase  
  • Design Review  
  • Implementation  
  • Acceptance Test  
  • Training  
  • Pilot  
  • Go-Live  
  • Transition to support  

CivicWise makes its deployment process simple with our web accessible UI and deployment wizard. CivicWise is also able to ease the transition to a digital format using our pre-built modules, ability to enable devices like a kiosk in city hall, and integration with existing systems. For example, CivicWise can be the citizen facing front-end presenting web and mobile forms on top of a service like Amanda. This way there can still be a single, integrated store of city information that enables the possibility of moving away from a legacy system.  

About CivicWise 

CivicWise provides easy to use and configure process automation software that enables municipalities to improve their efficiency and consistency while providing metrics that can help drive process improvement. Through our state-of-the-art cloud based, no updating, no patching, 24/7/365 stable web services we are ready to help you implement. Contact us to reserve a space customized with the name of your municipality today!  

One Comment

  1. Jacob Yang

    Very informative! We will have to take a look at all CivicWise has to offer.

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