Digital Playbook

Everything we build must be people-centric, useful, and as intuitive as possible. We aim to release services early, test them with actual users, and make refinements based on their experience and feedback.


In collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, DTI is developing a Digital Services Playbook to promote a more consistent citywide approach for delivering high quality digital services to Chicagoans and beyond.

Our goal is to build a reference guide that city departments and solution providers can use in defining, designing, and implementing digital services that can help make Chicago a more equitable and productive city. The playbook is a “living document” that we will continually enhance as we build more digital services and improve our processes over time.


The Digital Services Playbook provides City of Chicago teams, departments, and solution providers guidance on how to design and deploy human-centered, intuitive, and useful digital services. It is organized into 5 “plays” composed of key questions for reflection and to prepare for action, a checklist for guidance as next steps, and links to available resources. The playbook is a starting point as well as an ongoing reference guide for anyone seeking to clarify the need for digital services, design or refine a service, and/or implement a service for the public or use internally within the city.



Service Manager:

Who: The program lead responsible for the new or existing government service.

How: Use this playbook to anticipate and define the technological and data needs of the service. Pay particular attention to Plays 1 (“Understand what people need”) and 5 (“Use and protect data to drive decisions”). Chicago is committing to digital services that meet residents’ needs in an equitable, accessible, and secure way.


Product Owner:

Who: The person who will take on responsibility for the design, development, and maintenance of the new digital service.

How: Use this playbook to connect the resident experience to the program delivery. Pay particular attention to Plays 1 (“Understand what people need”) and 3 (“Be human-centered”). Chicago is committing to digital services; they must be so simple and intuitive that people prefer them over other service delivery methods. ​


Project Manager:

Who: The person shepherding the development of the digital service, either internally or externally.

How: Use this playbook to help bridge the gap between department and vendor. Pay particular attention to Plays 2 (“Communicate early & effectively”) and 4 (“Embrace iterative learning”). Chicago is committing to a collaborative development process that is agile and works citywide.


Partner of the City:

Who: All those supporting the city externally as well as advocating on behalf of stakeholders.

How: Use this playbook to work with the city to reimagine government service delivery. Pay particular attention to Plays 2 (“Communicate early and effectively”), 3 (“Be human-centered”), 4 (“Embrace iterative learning”), and 5 (“Use and protect data to drive decisions”). Chicago is committed to collaborating with end users throughout the design and development process in order to achieve seamless digital experiences for residents, improve data-sharing and streamline processes.​

Our team includes members of DTI and the Office of the Mayor who are re-thinking how public services are designed and implemented.