Modernizing Municipalities: Challenges and Solutions

Case Study

Modernizing Municipalities: Challenges and Solutions


The Company

A city hall in charge of a range of essential citizen services – one of the most prominent in the country. With an annual budget of about €1.3 million and approximately 10,000 employees, the public entity consistently strives for excellence in service provision and meeting community needs. It operates across a broad range of areas and plays a vital role in delivering services to the community in essential sectors.

With diversified operations, the corporation offers services that encompass social action, environment, culture, consumer protection, sports, education, energy, urban equipment, housing, estate, municipal police, development promotion, control of urban actions, civil protection, basic sanitation, health, leisure, and transportation.

This extensive responsibility highlights the organization’s importance in citizens’ lives and the region’s infrastructure. As a central institution to the community, the organization constantly faces the challenge of optimizing its internal processes and ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery.

The Challenge 

The main purpose of the urban planning policy department is to promote de-bureaucratization, efficiency, modernization, and services digitalization, ensuring service excellence. The challenge involves simplifying urban licensing procedures, making the processes more agile, clear, transparent, and closer to the citizens. 

These challenges required an integrated and collaborative approach involving all stakeholders and a commitment to continuous improvement and innovation to meet the community’s needs efficiently and effectively.

The Approach

The project was designed to improve the outcomes of urban licensing and drive its digital transformation. The approach involved a series of innovative initiatives, including:

Diagnosis and Documentation:

  • Conducting a comprehensive diagnosis of existing urban licensing procedures.
  • Detailed documentation of workflow processes and potential improvement opportunities.

Process Reengineering:

  • Optimizing procedural flows.
  • Task automation.
  • Introducing draft reviews and notifications.

Planning and Implementation:

  • Setting clear goals and performance indicators to monitor progress.
  • Gradually implementing changes, with particular attention given to minimizing disruptions to existing services.

Technology Implementation:

  • Using appropriate technology to support the new processes.
  • Developing or adopting information and communication systems that facilitate process handling.

The adopted approach aimed to simplify existing procedures and promote a cultural shift toward a more efficient, transparent, and results-oriented administration.


The project sparked a paradigm shift in public service delivery. Standardization and digital optimization contributed greatly to the evolution of organizational culture, providing greater effectiveness and responsiveness.

The new monitoring culture allowed for equitable task distribution, identifying critical tasks, and understanding average decision times. An average reduction of 2 months in licensing times was noted, with a greater reduction in certain phases of the process, such as the architecture phase, where a reduction of 28% occurred. The organizational impact is highlighted by a drop in response times from internal entities, ranging from 50% to 75%, and about a 25% decrease in the average decision time, resulting in greater speed and efficiency in licensing procedures.

Modernizing and digitalizing urban services simplified procedures and significantly improved efficiency, transparency, and closeness to users. This improvement project exemplifies how digital transformation can revolutionize service delivery, benefiting public administration and users. The positive results strengthen the organization’s commitment to service excellence and meeting community needs.

This case study demonstrates how integrating processes that allow for the de-bureaucratization of services and adopting a continuous improvement culture can significantly benefit both citizens and the city hall.

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