Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the internal work of the City of Philadelphia has expanded and evolved. Employees began working from home, processes started to become more electronic, and new ways of working needed to be created. 

The “new normal” had the City thinking: how can we improve internal operations to better serve Philadelphians? 

To support this mission, the Kenney Administration is investing $10 million over the next two fiscal years in an Operations Transformation Fund (OTF). The fund will invest in internal City projects and bring them to life. 

What is the Operations Transformation Fund?

The Operations Transformation Fund will support transformative projects in City government over the next two fiscal years (2022 and 2023). These projects must focus on providing services efficiently and equitably to benefit Philadelphia residents.  

Departments with ideas will apply for funding through the OTF. Then, an advisory board led by the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) will review the projects and award funding to those that meet the purpose and goals of the OTF. 

What exactly is an “operations transformation” project?

Projects for the OTF should be innovative projects that transform (or create) a process or service that benefits Philadelphia residents and improves government efficiency and impact. 

The advisory board will be looking at three key aspects when reviewing projects: 

  • Impact: the project will improve services for residents, support equity, and increase efficiency.  
  • SMART: the project should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. 
  • Collaboration: the project will include engaged and informed partners supporting the project and adequate buy-in from all stakeholders to sustain the project long-term. 

Why does this matter?

People often don’t expect “innovation” and “government” to mix. But, the OTF prioritizes innovating within government and increasing efficiency so the City can better serve Philadelphia. The money in this fund specifically aims bring ideas to life and better government services.  

The Operations Transformation Fund also serves to compliment the work of the Innovation Fund, the City’s longstanding initiative that specifically supports pilot initiatives proposed by employees that have the potential to improve government programs, services and functions. Since its inception in 2015, the Innovation Fund has funded 33 projects, many of which have ultimately been taken to scale by their host department. The OTF has the potential to allow even more worthy proposals to be sustained and we are excited to add another internal funding source to our innovation granting portfolio. 

The City is looking forward—ready to transform and progress toward the future.