After more than 20 years of working in water-related IT, Frank Fung is ready to wave goodbye.

Fung retires today as the chief information officer and IT manager for the Marin Municipal Water District, which serves 186,000 people in a 147-square-mile area encompassing 10 cities. He oversees a $3.5 million-a-year IT budget and a department of eight.

Fung is ending on a high note, having garnered an award from the Municipal Information Systems Association of California (MISAC): a Quality Visual Information Award, which was given by the group in September “in recognition of the development of quality visual information which depicts tools, business information and goals.”

Specifically, the award was given for “Technopoly,” a take on the venerable board game, which Fung adapted for a gov tech world.

“I created the infographic using my very limited Adobe Illustrator skills,” Fung told Techwire. “In fact, the first time I used Illustrator was for this.”

Fung’s creation uses the visual cues of Monopoly but puts in a new twist.

“Virus Found. Go to Jail,” reads one corner square. Another admonishes, “Project Scope Creep, 2-Month Delay.” And, “IT Steering Committee Approves Your Project. Collect $200 as You Pass Go.”

Fung says the email reactions to his award-winning creation have been overwhelmingly positive:

  • “Wow!! This is the best I have seen in a while. I am still in the process of enjoying each of the boxes. Whose bright idea was this? Fabulously executed. Nice work, Frank!”
  • “This is awesome. Loved it. Who did the graphics work? Nice work, Frank, this is one of the coolest things I’ve seen for this type of information.”
  • “Thank you for this information and the presentation is super cool!”

“My goal in calling attention to the work IT does on behalf of its customers was to make it easy and fun to read at a glance to the average worker,” Fung said.

“IT receives a bad rap when it comes to employee communication. Through the years, I continue to improve how I personally communicate to the business, focusing on solutions, problems and service, and less on the technology.”

He said the inspiration for Marin Municipal Water District’s Technopoly was borrowed from the original creators on the staff of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, where he previously worked. 

“I brought the concept to Marin,” he said.

The district posts its overall strategic plan online.