Case Study: Elk River, MN – Rapid Implementation


Nestled within the scenic landscapes of Minnesota, Elk River stands as a beacon of community growth and environmental beauty. This burgeoning city, with its rich history and commitment to sustainability, sought to reflect its progressive spirit within the operations of its Planning and Zoning Department. The municipality recognized the urgent need to move beyond the confines of static fillable PDFs to a dynamic, data-driven permit management system that matched its forward-thinking ethos.


Facing the intricate task of processing diverse application types across complex workflow routes, Elk River’s Planning and Zoning Department was under pressure to modernize its system within a stringent 90-day timeline. The transition to Citizenserve was critical, not only to accommodate the specific workflows required for the various monthly PC and CC meetings but also to provide a platform for real-time data analytics and reporting, ensuring a seamless and efficient operation that could scale with the city’s growth.


The solution lay in the agile implementation of the Citizenserve platform, an adaptable and customizable cloud-based software. It included weekly collaborative sessions that facilitated an iterative development process, tailored to the unique challenges of Elk River’s municipal operations. With extensive hands-on training and a responsive support center, the department staff were well-equipped to harness the benefits of the new system, underpinned by a commitment to rapid resolution of support tickets and continuous system optimization.


The result was a paradigm shift for Elk River's Planning and Zoning Department, where the implementation of Citizenserve delivered a substantial improvement in permit and licensing operations. The city now boasts a modern, efficient, and data-smart system, demonstrating an exemplary model of how small departments can effectively manage complex workflows and improve municipal service delivery through strategic technological investments.

"Elk River came to us with several unique departments, all of which had a diverse set of requirements and needs, while at the same time they all needed to work together to complete their reviews in a timely fashion. We were able to accommodate the needs of all parties involved, while maintaining a cohesive structure for their entire set-up, which has allowed the Elk River team to go fast and far."

– Lucas Garvey, Implementation Manager