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FCW : June 15, 2014
Although its name does not shout innovation, accelerating the devel- opment and delivery of disruptive products and services at government agencies is precisely the aim of 18F. Launched in March and housed at the General Services Administration, 18F is the most recent experi- ment to plant private-sector seedlings in the public sector. The hope is that agencies will benefit from a more nimble approach to solving key chal- lenges. 18F employs digital technology experts --- including designers, developers and prod- uct specialists --- who serve as a resource for agencies to more rapidly deploy tools. In a statement, GSA Adminis- trator Dan Tangherlini elaborat- ed on the program s mission: "By using lessons from our nation s top technology startups, these public service innovators will be able to provide cutting-edge support for our federal partners that reduces cost and improves service." Why is innovation critical to government? Because threats --- be they related to cyber, battle eld, nancial or infrastructure protection --- are evolving faster than our ability to develop and buy systems to solve them. Several currents whipping through the public sector right now are driving agencies desire for a more structured approach to innovation. Agencies must identify ways to improve their ef ciencies and provide innovative services despite leaner budgets. Gov- ernment programs and projects are also being challenged to prove their value and relevancy to stakeholders and citizens. For innovation to work, it is not enough for a creation or invention to be "cool." Instead, it must be pur- poseful and useful for all target users --- citizens, other agencies, soldiers, executive of ces, etc. --- and deploy- able in a functional and sustainable manner. HealthCare.gov is a textbook example of a highly innovative program that failed at launch because of poor execution, evolving rather than defined requirements and an ill-fated plan to go live during peak customer demand, among other things. Last but not least, HealthCare.gov came up short in what should be a prior- ity metric for any government innovation initiative: making a citizen or end-user process eas- ier and more productive than it was before. For every HealthCare.gov, however, there is an example such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which has developed a repeat- able innovation model for suc- cess through a strong organiza- tional foundation and clear mission. Building that type of sustainable cul- ture of innovation requires develop- ing a methodology and lexicon for GSA s 18F and similar programs promise to jump-start innovation efforts at agencies, and here are ve ways to ensure their success How agencies can accelerate innovation BY JERRY HARRISON June 15, 2014 FCW.COM 31 DrillDown Why is innovation critical to government? Because threats --- be they related to cyber, battle eld, nancial or infrastructure protection --- are evolving faster than our ability to develop and buy systems to solve them.
June 30, 2014
July 15, 2014