About DCC beta

Dublin City and Dublin City Council needs to be able to easily and regularly freely discuss ideas and to innovate – and to innovate you need to be able to experiment and to then learn from those experiments, and which in turn enables greater discussion.

We’re calling this overall ethos or approach ‘Dublin City Council beta’.

Dublin City Council beta

It’s  structured around these ’6 Ps’:

  1. Permission
    It was initiated from City Architects as a staff member’s 10% Innovation Time project, and was formalised as a City Architects project in Jan 2014. This is a trial and so, naturally, shouldn’t be considered to be Dublin City Council corporate policy.
  2. Purse
    We’re trialling the concept of a fund to allow projects to be run more quickly and independently. Read more…
  3. People
    Staff have been self-selecting themselves and getting involved with various Beta Projects as required. These ‘diagonal slices’ across the organisation form ‘equal teams’ (non-grade based) with different competency staff seeing different parts of  the problem/solution.
  4. Place
    We’ll return to this item in the future.
  5. Process
    The method of trialling (what we’re calling Beta Projects) could be described as “lean startup meets the planning process”. We’re developing a single pre-agreed system for anyone trialling ideas in Dublin – whether Dublin City Council staff or Dublin City citizen. Read more…
  6. Partners
    We’ll return to this item in the future.

“Beta” and “in beta” are labels used (mainly by the IT sector) to convey that something’s imperfect and is being released early so that it can benefit from some real-world testing and feedback. We adopted this phrase as it enables us to build ‘a brand’ (ie a recognisable ethos) with an associated and established method, whereas a generic phrase such as “trial” might mean different things to different people.

The hope is that it will become a clear and easily recognisable signal (to the public, the media, elected members, city council staff, and so on) that discussion is simply discussion and is not corporate policy, that trials (Beta Projects) will be used to further discussion, that those trials will will follow an established method and ethos, such as being temporary and using standard metrics and being highlighted clearly as trials actively looking for feedback and suggestions.

We’d love to hear what you think, and any questions or suggestions that you may have. Please bear in mind that all staff involved are doing so as they want to make this great city even better, and are generally doing so in top of their usual jobs (for example this is being typed at 9:30pm).


5 Responses to About DCC beta

  1. wendy says:

    this is a super initiative…well done…looking forward to seeing more

  2. Pingback: From Dudley to Dublin | Dudley CVS blog

  3. Denis Casey says:

    This seems to me to be a very worthwhile project. I was very taken with the combined gutter flow & planter from an environmental and urban enhancing point of view, and something that could be adopted with relative ease in so many places. I also found the idea of the communal bicycle parking pods very interesting and feel they represent really welcome and sustainable infrastructure that might encourage people in inner city communities to cycle and use public transport rather than drive.

  4. Ian keogh says:


    I run a cafe bar on Francis Street I’d love some more information on what would be necessary for me to apply for one of you Bata Projects. In particular I am looking to apply for one of your Street Parklet Bata. I have plenty of street parking and bays that wrap around my building and I think it would assist my business as well as improve the street scape if we could implement one of these outside our business.

    I would appreciate any help you may have on the subject.

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