The DSP program focuses heavily on embracing new technology. "We are putting a strong emphasis on providing many of our services online as quickly as we can," said Rick Virmani, DSP program manager. "This will allow customers to go through the process of submitting their plans, getting back our reviews, submitting their revisions and receiving complete documentation -- all via email."
Conference rooms are now equipped with audio/visual equipment, and officials plan to offer teleconferencing options for customers to save them a trip to the DSP office. And going electronic saves customers money in a number of ways -- one digital copy of project plans replaces up to 24 physical copies customers had to produce under the previous system.
Virmani said that customers will be pleased by the time saved by using the new technology. "We've shaved weeks off the review process by switching from sequential to parallel reviews," he said, explaining that using layered files, reviewers can add to project documents simultaneously.
"This overhaul is actually saving the department quite a bit of money," Dues said. "The electronic plans checking, the software upgrades and other advancements are all improving our long-term efficiency. This is not something that was done overnight. It's taken us years to get as far as we have and it's going to take a few more years to get things where we want them. It's a whole paradigm shift."
One of the most daunting challenges to the DSP program was overcoming the entrenched culture of the government. "When making sweeping changes across an organization, you have to deal with that organization's culture and bring it along," Virmani said. "There are so many moving parts. We've had to make changes to several codes that have been in place for many years."
Cornier predicts that Las Vegas' innovative approach to business development will catch on in other cities across the U.S. "I am starting to see other places adopting this more holistic approach to implementation," she said. "Our DSP program will probably be duplicated by medium-sized cities before it catches on in larger cities, because larger cities usually have more politics involved."