The Federal Government has shut down and the blame game is in full swing. Both Democrats and Republicans state that each other is responsible for this occurrence. Both sides claim the other will not negotiate, and both sides have claimed that they have already compromised. Both sides claim the other side doesn’t care about the American Public. One news channel has even taken up calling it “Shutdown Ping Pong”. This situation is a prime example of the best and worst in government. The President, Congress, and their respective majority parties, are working inside a government structure that was intentionally designed with checks and balances, and a separation of power to protect our individual liberties.
There are two areas that are pertinent to note from these recent events. The first is how the shutdown reinforces the fact that rapid change is now the new normal for government. The amount of change government agencies need to reflect in their technology systems to accommodate the shutting down, and hopefully re-opening very soon, of government agencies is immense. This cannot be understated. It has become more important than ever for government agencies to implement agile and flexible systems where change can be implemented immediately, and only once. From a technology perspective, the shutting down of the government is the equivalent of dealing with a natural disaster.
The second area of note is how important collaboration is in government. At the end of the day, the more divided two groups of people are, the more important it is for them to learn to work together – and to collaborate – to ensure success. The shutdown demonstrates how vital collaboration is – at all levels of government, regardless of your political affiliation. Collaboration means working together for a common purpose and goal. Without collaboration, technology projects have a high risk of failure and as has become painstakingly clear by now, government shuts down.