Idea management software developer Spigit announced the launch of CitizenSpigit, ‘a platform that enables government agencies to engage citizens and employees to improve efficiency and operations, as well as to generate actionable ideas.’ The City of Manor, Texas, is the first municipality to deploy the platform, which it uses to power Manor Labs.

The open government movement has spurred lots of interest in agencies becoming more transparent to citizens. As a result, most federal agencies have launched “open” pages that allow anyone to submit ideas for their agencies.

While we laud these efforts as a good first step, there is more that needs to be done in order for these initiatives to reach their full potential.

A few months ago, I came up with a plan to understand our city operations and processes on a much more detailed level. After watching Undercover Boss last night on CBS, I thought I would share it with others, so that it might inspire you to do the same (no, I’m not going undercover).

Beth Noveck (Executive Office of the President/OSTP) and Tim O’Reilly mention Manor and Manor Labs at Web 2.0 Expo NY 09 (36:20).

The City of Manor’s open innovation platform, Manor Labs, is featured on the White House’s Open Government Initiative blog (Open Government Laboratories of Democracy).

Innovation is possible even in small cities with very small budgets. I hope that we can work with more cities to innovate new solutions for the public-sector.

Excerpt:

Just as the federal government is using online brainstorming with government employees and the public to generate ideas for saving money or going green, state and local governments are also using new technology to tap people’s intelligence and expertise. The City of Manor, Texas (pop. 5800) has launched “Manor Labs,” an innovation marketplace for improving city services. A participant can sign up to suggest “ideas and solutions” for the police department, the municipal court, and everything in between. Each participant’s suggestion is ranked and rewarded with “innobucks.” These points can be redeemed for prizes: a million points wins “mayor for the day” while 400,000 points can be traded for a ride-along with the Chief of Police.

We’re excited to announce Manor 2.0: Live Government Innovation From Small-Town Texas, a City of Manor, TX, and GovFresh collaboration.

Manor 2.0 will document our Gov 2.0 efforts, including our innovation initiative, Manor Labs. Our goal is to share, collaborate and connect with local governments like ours who want to leverage innovative technologies to better serve its citizens.

Tune in to http://manor.govfresh.com and join us on our Gov 2.0 journey.

On October 27, 2009, the City of Manor, Texas launched a new effort to crowdsource innovation in an effort called Manor Labs.

Manor Labs is a platform that allows individuals the mechanism to contribute new ideas and solutions for existing problems. Instead of constricting the innovation process to just agency employees, the City of Manor allows anyone to participate regardless of where they live. The benefit to the end-user is that they are rewarded with “Innobucks” for their participation in the innovation process. These “Innobucks” can be traded in for real products donated by local companies and partners, which provides users a tangible benefit for their participation.