Lean/Agile Government at the Lean Startup Conference

On Monday Dec 3rd I attended the Lean Startup Conference.

And get this – the first two speakers at the conference – were from the Government!

Todd Park on Lean/Agile Government

Todd is the CTO of the Federal Government. A lot of what he covered in his talk can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/innovationfellows

Key points:

  • Lean/Agile incubators inside government are encouraged!
  • Think of projects inside government as startups!

Initiatives cited using Lean principles:

  • Open Data Initiatives – liberate government data for entreprenuers
  • RFP-EZ – making RPF reponses easy, especially for tech companies and to save taxpayer money
  • MyGov – Reinventing the relationship between citizens and their governement
  • Better Than Cash (The 20% Initiative) – moving cash to electronic funds for foreign aid or payments oversees for servicemen and women in afghanistan and indonesia
  • Blue Button for America – enabling veterans to download their own medical records and improve health care

Diane Tavenner of Summit Public Schools

I really enjoyed learning about what Diane and Summit are doing with these charter schools!
One of my favorite points was getting the cycle down for learning how to teach better from a year to 2 weeks. By doing this, Diane and her team have been able to reinvent what public school means and are continuing to do so!
I also loved the data-driven approach. In one example, the schools essentially eliminated lectures because the data showed that lectures had no or even a negative impact on the students’ ability to learn!
Check out their blog at http://www.blendmylearning.com for more, I’m a new subscriber!

Encouraging

More than anything I found it encouraging that Government officials and people working with government presented at this conference.
I think we who work in different capacities within government across the US and the world need to sit up and take notice. These are case studies we can point to in order to help sell our own lean/agile initiatives!

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