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Parks and Tech 2018

Parks and Tech 2018

A two-day collaborative design challenge bringing together technologists, designers, sustainability specialists, entrepreneurs, businesses, outdoors enthusiasts, and park experts to develop creative solutions that leverage technology to address the National Park Service’s (NPS) maintenance challenges.

My team at the Parks and Tech Challenge, formed day-of, consisted of myself, Racheal Larimer, Annie Pennell, and Andrew Bilir-Flock. After competition-wide brainstorming around pain points regarding data collection and analysis, we decided to focus out solution on Work Order Processing. Together, we created a service design solution to streamline the creation, analysis, and distribution of work orders which make up the backbone of NPS's knowledge of their assets and the conditions of those assets. We took home the second-place prize for the weekend, and are actively following up with members of organizations related to NPS to pilot the implementation of our solution.

The crux of our solution was not in creating a new process, but to minimize cultural friction by leverage existing procedures to create a national base of data that was regularly being updated and analyzed. In the beginning of the process, we imagined creating our own system to capture and distribute work orders, but then we realized that we were pitching a holistic solution, and not an app or program that would function as a band-aid. This allowed us to pivot and propose partnerships with platforms such as Salesforce for data collection, MapBox for GIS, and Tableau for data visualization. Imagining our team of four implementing this by ourselves, we would much rather spend the time doing research and contextual inquiry with members of the National Park Service to determine the best ways to analyze and present useful data, rather than waste time building our a parity solution to deal with table stakes such as form creation, cross-platform web applications, and user permissions.

Examples of potential visualizations include:

  • Live update of Facility Condition Index score (Deferred Maintenance Cost/Current Replacement Value)

  • Heatmap of urgency of work (useful for dispatching volunteers to a particular area for unskilled work such as painting or cleanup)

  • Better grouping of skilled labor and contractors for tasks such as sewage maintenance, HVAC repair, etc…

  • Live and historic cycle time analysis of Corrective vs Preventative maintenance (includes Waiting, Costing, Closed, and Canceled states)

The event itself, sponsored by Pew Charitable Trusts, was mentioned in a Mashable article over the weekend, regarding ways besides the to address the $11.3 billion park deficit (article link here).


Work Order Creation & Viewing

screenshot courtesy of Andrew Bilir-Flock

screenshot courtesy of Andrew Bilir-Flock

Functional Demo: Work Order Analysis


Screenshot of Functional Mapping Demo (modified)

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Organizational System Affected by Work Orders


Presentation Deck


Event Photos