Thank you for your interest in the FUSE Fellowship. We are excited to share 2017-18 fellowship projects.
Click on each project to learn more and apply for the project of greatest interest to you. You only need to submit one application, as within the on-line form you will have the opportunity to indicate other topics of interest, enabling us to consider you for multiple positions.
Before you apply, please note:
|Modernizing Customer Service Systems in our Nation’s Capital|
|Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs|
“Modernizing Customer Service Systems in our Nation’s Capital”
Washington DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
Washington DC is currently experiencing the largest construction expansion since the early 1990s, driven by a growing population, an expanding workforce, and an increasing demand for urban living. Building permit data confirms this trend with the number of building permits issued for new building and addition projects reaching a five-year high at 3,364 in 2016. Pressure from economic growth has catalyzed the market for major real estate development as well as increased the demand for business services.
In the District of Columbia, all real estate development and new business growth necessarily requires interaction with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). DCRA protects the health, safety, economic interests and quality of life of residents, businesses and visitors in the District of Columbia by ensuring code compliance and regulating construction and business activity. The agency operates a consolidated permit intake center and reviews construction documents to ensure compliance with building codes and zoning regulations as well as issues business licenses, professional licenses, registers corporations, and issues special events permits.
For many District residents and developers, DCRA represents the entirety of their personal interaction with the government. Unfortunately given increasingly high demand, outdated paper-based filing systems and antiquated processes, the user experience is frustrating for many. In an age when high quality retail customer service and online user experiences are the norm, local government can often find itself playing catch up in implementing customer service best practices modeled in the private sector. Having a negative interaction at the permit counter or fighting a frustrating bureaucratic process can significantly impact the public’s perception of government efficiency, waste endless hours of residents’ time, and stagnate millions of dollars in economic activity.
Mayor Bowser has stated she wants to make Washington, DC work better for all residents and businesses and has tasked DCRA with reforming its processes to ensure more predictability and shorter wait times. The department has established two cross-departmental action teams to tackle this issue. As a pilot, the teams are starting with improving customer service in the small business division focused on business licensing and housing inspection.
With this mayoral mandate, DCRA will partner with FUSE Corps to host an executive-level Fellow for one year to help implement process and technology improvements to its operations in order to provide a customer service experience that is more in line with the modern retail sector. This fellow will identify high-impact customer service areas for improvements and develop and implement a plan to streamline operations. These efforts have the potential to dramatically change the overall DCRA customer experience and demonstrate to the District’s constituents, fellow departments and similar agencies nationwide the benefits of strategic improvements to customer-facing departments.
The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables that follow will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first month of the project, after which a revised scope of work will be developed and agreed upon by the fellow and the host agency.
Starting in October 2017, it is proposed that the fellow will conduct a review of how customer service is currently supported by examining the IT structure and operations for each of the agency’s divisions and reviewing the agency’s performance plans. The fellow will also conduct national best practice research of similar efforts that have occurred in comparable cities as well as in the private retail sector more generally.
The fellow will then convene various stakeholders from DCRA divisions to develop an approach for obtaining and integrating feedback from customers such as property development and construction firms. After evaluating opportunities for strengthening customer service systems, the fellow will facilitate discussions with District staff from various departments, including the Department of Building Inspection, to design more efficient workflow processes between the divisions that directly improve the customer experience. The reformed processes should incorporate ideal service standards and identify and address root causes of suboptimal operations.
In order to develop the capacity for solutions-setting, the fellow will be asked to work with partner agencies to develop and deploy a strategy for elevating and containing the most pressing issues faced by the agency. He or she will simultaneously develop a more comprehensive and data-driven process improvement strategy that would be implemented in partnership with other agencies.
Click the link below to upload a resume and complete the online application questions in lieu of a cover letter. The application process will allow you to indicate interest in more than one fellowship opportunity. You only need to submit one application. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as selections will be made on a rolling basis and specific opportunities may close quickly.
This role offers the opportunity to work full time for 12 months as an independent contractor of FUSE Corps with an annual stipend of $90,000 paid through monthly installments.
The FUSE Fellowship is an equal opportunity program with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives. We strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.