Page 12 - FCW, September 15, 2016
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DAN CHENOK is executive director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government. HAYNES COONEY is a managing consultant at IBM Global Business Services.
Seeding innovation for the next administration
Building on previous administrations’ significant progress toward modernizing government and empowering workers should be at the top of the next president’s agenda
How the next administration can effectively accelerate and integrate innovation throughout the federal government is the subject of a new joint report from the IBM Center for the Business of Government and the Partnership for Public Ser- vice. Authors Beth Simone Noveck and Stefaan Verhulst propose a series of actionable recommenda- tions to create and sustain models for technology-driven innovation that improve customer services and program outcomes.
Those recommendations emerged from a roundtable discussion held in January with current and former government leaders, and experts from academia and the private
and nonprofit sectors. From that discussion, the authors developed a number of recommendations for the next administration:
1. Scale data-driven governance and collaborative experiments. Given the proliferation of open-data and data-driven governance initia- tives in the past few years, the chal- lenge facing the next administration lies in effectively analyzing that data to find meaningful operational insights and improvements. The next generation of innovation will come from the development of plat- forms, policies and personnel who scale the capacity of the govern- ment to use available data mean- ingfully and efficiently to improve processes and services.
A commitment to scaling innova- tion includes not just analyzing data but enabling greater use of available
human intelligence. Improving effec- tive citizen engagement — from aligning thoughtful user experiences with agency missions to addressing regulatory barriers and inflexibilities that limit engagement opportuni- ties — is the key to enabling diverse participation. Enterprise platforms have the potential to improve ser- vice delivery and expand opportuni-
Incorporating technology and innovation early in transition planning will position the next administration for an effective first 100 days and beyond.
ties while automating basic capabili- ties such as enrollment or eligibility calculations.
2. Promote a governmentwide culture of innovation, experi- mentation and customer ser- vice. The next administration can embrace experimentation while embedding and institutionalizing innovation and technology skills across the federal government. Those capabilities can be used to apply agencies’ own data to help them realize operational improve- ment and then measure those improvements. Federal institutions
can become more transparent and use standard infrastructure and language to facilitate engagement and interaction, while creating more flexible hiring and training process- es to accelerate the development of necessary skills in the government. 3. Become more evidence-based in using technology to solve problems. Although the govern- ment has an array of advanced research programs, those capa- bilities could be directed more frequently to address government performance challenges. The next administration can establish and support a structured approach to applying those innovative research programs to the functioning of gov- ernment. Additionally, federal over- sight organizations can transform their focus to enable innovation.
4. Incorporate innovation into the transition. The transition period, which lasts through Jan. 20, 2017, presents a powerful oppor- tunity to drive innovation into substantive policy agendas and the delivery of services. At both the gov- ernmentwide and agency-specific levels, technology-enabled capa- bilities can be initiated during the transition to support the goals and priorities established by the new administration.
Incorporating technology and innovation early in transition plan- ning will position the next adminis- tration to define meaningful, achiev- able and scalable policy priorities and prepare for an effective first 100 days and beyond. n
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