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Requesting your input on Process Improvements for Commercial Building Permits for New Construction

Newsletter

The Bureau of Development Services is undertaking a lean continuous improvement project with other city bureaus involved in permitting construction called the Commercial New Construction Permit Business Process Improvement (BPI) project.

Published

The BPI project is focused on the permitting process for new construction and where this process interfaces with early assistance meetings, land use reviews and public works permits.  This project doesn’t include the commercial building permit process for alterations, additions, and other tenant improvements to existing commercial space. This project also does not cover any inspection functions. Delaris LLC, a business process improvement consultant, is leading this effort to ensure we are following best practices for improving business processes. The primary goal of this initiative is to improve the timeliness and consistency of this permit process from intake through issuance of a permit for construction of new commercial projects.

We need customer input

An important part of this initiative is gathering feedback from customers on how to improve this process. Delaris has set up an Online Customer Suggestion Form where you can provide us improvement ideas.  The names of people and businesses associated with suggestions will not be disclosed to the City.

Last fall, the BPI project team held a series of customer workshops with participants familiar with the commercial building permits.  In these workshops, the participants were oriented to the project and helped rank a set of customer values that are being used to guide improvements to the permit process. The BPI project webpagecontains information on the customer suggestion form, a video of the customer workshops and a list of the ranked customer values, as well as information on the types and status of suggestions we receive.

What’s next?

Customer suggestions will be evaluated as part of a series of consultant-led employee workshop meetings taking place over the next five to six months.During these workshops, employees will learn and apply lean business process improvement tools to the permit process to identify and develop improvements, incorporating employee and customer suggestions into the process.

Employees in the workshop will be prioritizing improvement to the new commercial construction permit process. Where feasible, some simple improvements will be implemented as part of the project. The implementation of complex improvements that, for example, impact multiple review groups, or have a technology component, will be coordinated through BDS and IA Bureau management.  he project’s customer advisory committee, who has been helping guide our customer engagement efforts, will also be reviewing the improvements and providing input on prioritization.

If you have questions about the BPI project, please contact Ross Caron, BDS Project Manager, at ross.caron@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-8871.