If I were a government employee (which I was at one point), I’d be asking myself, “Do I really care about digital government? Is it just another buzzword of the day? Remember e-government? Is this more talk at the top? How many more fads will I live through just to see business as usual with more work piled on and no real change? Call me a cynic, but this isn’t in my job description. Even if it was, what the H can I do about it?”
To be honest, I don’t blame any government employee who thinks this. I don’t encourage it, but I also can empathize. To be fair, so many things have come and gone and it’s hard to see what has changed from year to year. The reason for that is twofold. First, there hasn’t really been a revolution, it’s been more of an evolution. And slow evolution at that. Second, the power to change hasn’t typically been in the hands of those who are doing the work. It’s been in the hands of grand planners and big initiatives. But I believe those days are coming to a close.
Why? Because big changes happen in small steps. And while small steps used to mean big changes over years and perhaps decades, the tools are becoming available that are rapidly accelerating their effect. In the last five years alone, Software as a Service and Cloud have dramatically changed the way program managers and IT departments are implementing solutions. The next natural step, then, is those tools that meet immediate needs and bring with them natural capability for re-use in the enterprise and create a digitally connected organization that maximizes information with one target in mind: the constituent.
We can talk all day about citizen expectations of how governments need to become digital, just like successful commercial enterprises have done. But the real challenge is to give them the power to do so. We’ve done a great deal of thinking on that and have just released an e-book: The Roadmap to Digital Government.
It’s not pie in the sky. It’s not buzzwords. It IS straightforward advice about how to think big and start small, how to follow the constituent, and the tools and every government employees’ disposal to really impact change. Give it a read. You’ll care about digital government.
To be successful, government organizations can (and should) move beyond traditional development methodologies by adopting an agile development approach. Read The Roadmap to Digital Government to learn how.