The Challenge

The City of North Vancouver’s (‘The City’) vision is to be a vibrant, diverse, and highly livable community that strives to balance the social, economic, and environmental needs of its residents. To support this vision and foster economic development within the community, the City sought to improve processes within Business Licensing Services. Propel Solutions was engaged to review key end-to-end processes, systems, roles, and responsibilities.  The purpose of the engagement was to identify opportunities improve the integration of the business units as well as leverage technology to support the process.  The scope of the engagement included key stakeholders from all areas that provide cross-functional support to the business license process including Planning, Building Inspections, Fire Department, and Vancouver Coastal Health. The City processes more than 5,800 business licences each year and expecting this growth to continue and therefore wanted the process to be effective and in support of it’s over all mission.


The Objective

The project was conducted over six weeks.  The following objectives were included:

  • Conduct Comprehensive Process Review: Propel conducted a comprehensive review of the current processes within Business Licensing Services through base data analysis, staff interviews, and an activity analysis. Working with key stakeholders, 3 end-to-end processes were mapped.  Propel facilitated process critique sessions with staff to identify over 50 opportunities for improvement.
  • Perform Technology and Systems Analysis: A system architecture map was developed to outline the flows of data between the current systems and users. From there, system requirements were developed to support the automation of the Business Licensing Process levering the City’s technology IPS/Infor. For prioritization of system configurations, requirements were ranked based on their necessity and impact on the business licensing process.
  • Develop Method Changes to Improve the Process: Through a comprehensive analysis of the current-state operations, 25 method changes were developed that would increase productivity, improve service and processing times, streamline communication channels, and leverage systems for improved user experience.
  • Deliver Road Map Presentation: Propel developed an installation plan to support the City with implementing quick wins and longer-term method changes, ensuring timely completion of tasks, accountability, and enabling the area to plan for resources to successfully implement the changes. This included a Change Management Plan to ensure that the results were achieved.

The Result

Propel Solutions provided the City with a clearly outlined plan to leverage existing City Technology, clarify responsibilities, and simplify the business licensing process to achieve measurable results.  Additionally Propel provided the City with tailored Key Performance Measures (KPIs) and a Score Card to measure the results of the installed process improvements.  Staff engagement was high throughout the project leading to a strong desire to install the process improvements at the conclusion of the engagement which will serve to allow the City to achieve it’s mission of economic growth.