Founded in 1943, the Reno Housing Authority (RHA) is one of only 39 housing authorities across the country participating in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Moving to Work (MTW) program.

RHA owns and manages 764 units of public housing (475 for families) in eight different locations in the City of Reno and Sparks under public housing programs. Moreover, RHA owns 165 rental properties targeted explicitly for low-income households and supports more than 2,500 low-income families (including 800 elderly households) through neighborhood stabilization programs and rental assistance programs.

Through its services, RHA aims to provide fair, sustainable, quality housing in diverse neighborhoods throughout Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County that offers a stable foundation for low-income families to pursue economic opportunities, become self-sufficient, and improve the quality of life.

Discovery Phase

Recognizing the urgency for efficiency across operations and technology, RHA has retained Avèro’s digital consulting services to review the current state of their document management system(s) and provide proper and effective advice regarding the planning for and acquisition of a new system.

As part of the engagement, Avèro’s team has worked closely with key stakeholders from the following departments to gather insights related to the existing environment:

  • Admissions
  • Asset Management/Low-Income Public Housing (LIPH)
  • Development
  • Section 8/Rental Assistance
  • Human Resources
  • Moving to Work (MTW)
  • Workforce Development
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Information Technology

Taking an in-depth look into every angle of the current document management platform, Avèro has performed the following project activities for this significant initiative.

Comprehensive Assessment

Avèro conducted a comprehensive assessment of RHA’s current document management protocols and developed a snapshot of the existing operational environment related to the organization’s document management policies, processes, tools, resources, procedures, security, and associated inventory.

The Avèro team conducted interviews with key stakeholders and RHA executives to gather qualitative and quantitative data to paint a picture of the present document management challenges while revealing what tomorrow’s vision is. Each interview involved discussions around existing policies, procedures, workflows, and inefficiencies in the current state as well as any vulnerabilities that affect RHA’s productivity regarding document and content management.

Avèro then commenced future-state visioning sessions with each department to capture critical ideas and “wish list” improvements regarding the optimization of key business processes and policies. During this phase of the project, Avèro and RHA wanted to develop future-state processes that would drastically decrease the amount of hard copy paper kept by RHA. Transitioning to a digital environment would enable RHA staff to access the documentation and tenant information needed to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The primary deliverable of this phase is an “Actionable Plan,” which outlines the current state of the organization’s approach to document and content management, future state aspirations, and the overall needs, including hardware and staffing, to successfully implement an enterprise content management system.

Avèro delivered the initial draft version of the Actionable Plan to RHA in mid-December 2020. RHA staff commented on this draft and provided feedback. Avèro revised the draft based on subsequent feedback from RHA staff and delivered a working deliverable back to the organization. This plan will need to be revisited after RHA selects a vendor to ensure articles in the document are still relevant after vendor selection.

System Requirements

The Avèro project team developed the Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) for the RFP bid document. The RTM lists all RHA’s system requirements in a table format and is placed in the appendix of the RFP for vendors to complete.

This is an essential tool that is analyzed and charted to represent which requirements each vendor can fulfill visually. The RTM is also valuable because it holds vendors accountable during the implementation phase. The RTM comprises numerous general, overarching system requirements for areas such as configurable workflows, metadata, system security, system support and training, integration, and searching and scanning.

Request for Proposal (RFP) Bid Document & Vendor Selection

Avèro developed the bid document for the procurement and implementation of an Electronic Document Management Solution (EDMS) in January 2021. The bid document included a basic scoring matrix, vendor qualifications, standardized reference sheet, and current state analysis along with RHA’s future state vision.

The Avèro team will also coordinate the pre-bid conference, analyze submitted responses, conduct reference calls, and develop a vendor shortlist, as well as manage, schedule, and oversee vendor demonstrations.

As the vendor demonstration period concludes, Avèro will assist RHA leadership with contract negotiation and collaborate with the organization to develop a Best and Final Offer (BAFO) document for vendors to complete. The BAFO is critically important to ensure vendors provide RHA with the right options for their organization at the best possible pricing.

Avèro and RHA will review the first round of BAFOs to select the winning vendor. Another round of concessions will then be coordinated to further ensure RHA receives the best pricing from the selected vendor.

System Implementation

Avèro will collaborate with RHA and the selected vendor to develop an implementation plan. After the plan is developed, Avèro will oversee the implementation to ensure the projected timeline and budget stay on track. Issues will be logged throughout implementation with Avèro acting as a liaison between RHA and the selected vendor to mitigate potential problems as they arise.

Additionally, Avèro will make certain that the vendor’s implementation team has access to the correct RHA staff during the user acceptance testing and training phases. To complete the implementation, the Avèro team will coordinate Go-Live events with the vendor and staff to ensure that the system rolls out smoothly and efficiently throughout the organization. Post-Go-Live, Avèro will continue to support RHA to resolve any tickets or issues with the vendor.

Reno, Nevada

“Our agency is 100% paper-based and no one on staff had the experience procuring an EDMS solution. Moving forward knowing we were not experienced would have been a risk. Avero had the industry knowledge that we were looking for. Not only did they have experience procuring EDMS solutions and implementing them, but they had worked with Public Housing Authorities before.

Working with Avero gives our agency the confidence that we will make the best overall decision when choosing an EDMS solution. Avero has staff readily available to answer questions and address concerns.”

Samantha Arellano

IT Manager

Reno Housing Authority, NV

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