Leading A Digital Transformation for Civic Engagement: The City of Olathe
Several years ago, the city of Olathe, Kansas, realized that they had an issue. Their website served less as a portal for citizens, and more as a storage closet of information – and like with any storage closet, much of its contents were going unused. On top of that, the city’s digital offerings had little organization, as resources had been continuously added over time without constructing the necessary framework to easily access them. It was an amalgamation of disparate systems, interwoven into one big, complicated knot.
Luckily for the citizens of Olathe, the city set out to revolutionize its digital status quo. With a vision of creating a system that offers citizens and staff an engaging, transparent, and accessible experience, the City of Olathe adopted a 20-year digital transformation plan titled “Olathe 2040.”
In order to make this plan a reality, the city of Olathe turned to Granicus. The teams worked together to construct a “hub and spoke wheel” strategy for civic engagement, making the forward-thinking city one of the first adopters of Granicus’ Government Experience Cloud platform.
Reimagining The Digital “Front Door”
The City of Olathe first deployed a new city website using Granicus’ website content management system, to reimagine the look, feel, and function of the site. The teams worked together to create a user-friendly, unified website that was intuitive and easy to navigate.
This “virtual city hall” served as the ground floor for a larger, customer-focused information architecture.
As part of its continuous digital evolution, Olathe recently launched its newest iteration of the website. Designed with a self-service mindset, the website goes a step further to offer personalized information to users as quickly and efficiently as possible.
While a well-functioning city website was crucial, Olathe’s efforts to engage with citizens didn’t just end there. The teams also deployed Granicus’ communications and engagement solutions to power the delivery of tailored information from the website to citizens. This allowed Olathe to reach more citizens than before and proactively engage with those who expressed interest in specific topics.
Digitizing Workflows + Government Services
For management of agendas and meetings, Olathe deployed Granicus’ public meetings solutions which allowed for better workflows and quick collaboration. Finally, for the digitization of various government services from permits and registrations to public record requests, the city is utilizing Granicus’ digital services solutions reducing the time and frustrations both citizens and government employees often experience with non-digitized services.
“The beauty of our relationship with Granicus rests on trust established over many years,” said Scott Meyer, Olathe’s Digital Programs Manager. “What drives Olathe’s development forward is a desire to continuously evolve to meet the demands of citizens and staff. As we further elaborate on our digital services to best serve the people of Olathe, we know we can rely on Granicus to support us every step of the way.”
In launching these various services from one central location, Olathe was able to hone their website down from 1,600 different pages of content to 400. In fact, the streamlining was so effective that both citizens and government workers reported that they thought the website offered more services than before. As a result, traffic has doubled to the city’s cleaner, more organized website. Further, subscriptions to government communications grew 27x, growing from 2,167 to more than 60,000.
From better cross-department collaboration for government employees, to more accessible information for citizens, the City of Olathe demonstrates just how impactful digitizing services can be. As Olathe continues to work alongside Granicus towards its 2040 vision, the city will continue to serve as a gold standard for effective civic engagement.
Learn more about how Olathe is achieving digital transformation.