After a month of building prototypes and soliciting feedback from our city partners in Pittsburgh, we’ve started to narrow the scope of what we want to build to help change the outdated ways the city buys everything from software to paperclips. Explicitly choosing not just what to work on, but what to stop actively developing is a difficult part of the user-centered design process. It’s also one of the reasons Code for America encourages fellowship teams to start building early, to get testable prototypes in front of users as soon as possible so that the hard work of scoping can happen sooner rather than later.
We're officially into the final week of our residency month in Pittsburgh! Over the past 3+ weeks we've had the pleasure of meeting a ton of people who deal with purchasing in city government, as well as members of the business community, and have learned a lot about what works well, as well as how the process could be improved. In these conversations, a few common themes have come up that we wanted to pass along.