An OpenCounter project follows 5 phases over approximately 20 weeks. Over the course of these 20 weeks, we will set up a Zoning and Business Portal for your City and conduct multiple acceptance testing sessions with staff to increase familiarity and increase accuracy of the tool.
Phase 1 | Weeks 1-3: Coordination and Kick-Off
After the contract is executed, our project manager will reach out to provide a high-level overview of the project and schedule a kick-off meeting with the City. The kick-off meeting will last about an hour and should include departments and staff who will be involved in the project. This meeting will be followed by a data request for the City as well as a request for a 1-1 meeting with GIS to discuss some of the data requirements for the project.
Phase 2 | Weeks 4-10: Zoning Configuration
During this phase, OpenCounter will set up your zoning portal. As we finish with the setup, we will schedule a call to review the configuration with staff and move into 4 acceptance testing sessions.
Working with staff, your project manager will create a strategy for testing that is unique to your city's rules and regulations. Each session will be led by your project manager and last approximately 30-45 minutes, focusing on a specific aspect of the zoning code. As resources are available, we also encourage staff to test outside these sessions and send us their feedback. For more information about acceptance testing please see this article.
As staff concludes acceptance testing of the Zoning Portal, we will request a meeting to review the list of permits as we prepare for the next phase.
The completion of these testing sessions and resolution of the issues discussed constitutes approval of the zoning configuration for launch.
Phase 3 | Weeks 11-17: Permitting Configuration
This phase will be very similar to the previous. In the first few weeks, OpenCounter will use the finalized list of permits to set up permits and fees in the system. As we conclude this work, we will share highlights of the setup, including number of permits, and how fees are calculated using our expression engine. Again, we will move into 4 acceptance testing sessions.
Like the zoning acceptance testing sessions, your project manager will propose several strategies and revise based on staff input. In these sessions, we are looking to confirm permit and fee accuracy, as well as increase staff familiarity with the site. Completion of these testing sessions will also constitute approval of permit configuration for launch.
Phase 4 | Weeks 18-20: Approval and Next Steps
As staff wraps up acceptance testing of the site, your project manager will work closely with appropriate City staff to discuss strategies for site promotion, set up trainings for staff, and review our post-launch practices. The most important part of this phase is establishing a launch date, which we can work up to, and determining how the City plans to market the tool and drive traffic to the site.
Phase 5 | Ongoing: Maintenance
After your site is launched, we don't go anywhere! We will reach out to you each month via our Office Hours email and you can always find us via the support widget on the admin interface or through firstname.lastname@example.org.