Posts By Dennis McDonald

When Are “Open Data” and “Hiding in Plain Sight” Synonymous?

Alex Howard’s Beware openwashing. Question secrecy. Acknowledge ideology. is a welcome discussion of what “open” can mean when it comes to government services. Terms like “transparency,” “open data,” and “open government” tend to get thrown around a lot without critical discussions of their meanings. Howard discusses how “open” inevitably becomes intertwined with philosophy and politics.Read… Read more »

Is the “open government” movement’s emphasis on technology creating two classes of citizens based on technological literacy?

Originally published on April 1, 2013 as Matching Technological Literacy with Delivery of Government Services. I have a neighbor, let’s call him John. I’ve know him for more than 20 years. He’s been very close to our family all that time. He’s seen our children grow up. He’s helped my wife deal with household disastersRead… Read more »

Learning from the World Bank’s “Big Data” Exploration Weekend

Note: Steve Ressler suggested I post this article here, which I originally published March 21 on my own blog. It describes my firsthand experience with a recent “data dive” weekend, sponsored by the World Bank and others, where teams of analysts gathered to address a series of development related problems fed by data files collectedRead… Read more »

Organization Charts – Threat Or Menace?

One of the first things I do when starting on a new consulting project is to ask to see the client’s internal organization charts. I’m aware of their limitations. Organizations differ greatly in how well they manage and use organization charts. Some provide a recent PowerPoint slide made by one of the senior executives. It’sRead… Read more »

Seeking comments on my white paper “A Framework for Transparency Program Planning and Assessment”

I‘m seeking comments on my updated and expanded white paper “A Framework for Transparency Program Planning and Assessment.” It’s located here: My focus is primarily on understanding how improved transparency and openness can impact the individuals and groups targeted by government programs. I know that much attention on program transparency in recent years hasRead… Read more »

USDA: Another Federal Agency Seeks Input on Digital Strategy

By Dennis D. McDonald The U.S. Department of Agriculture has joined other Federal agencies in seeking input on how to proceed with development of its “digital strategy.” In Seeking Your Input for USDA’s Digital Strategy the USDA’s Amanda Eamich lists for comment 5 “first-move candidates” to make available as web Application Programming Interfaces (APIs): WorldRead… Read more »

Challenges in Turning Federal Digital Strategy into Mobile Reality

By Dennis D. McDonald Directive number 7 in Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel’s May 23, 2012 federal API strategy Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People states the following: 7. Improve Priority Customer-Facing Services for Mobile Use. The general public and our government workforce should be able to access governmentRead… Read more »

Mobile Technologies and Collaborative Project Management

I’m interested in interviewing project managers about their experience using mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablet computers to support their project management work. A particular interest is the impact of such technologies have on the communication and collaboration that occurs during the course of a project. I’m currently writing an article about using mobileRead… Read more »

When the Cold War Was Winding Down, Could the Soviet Defense Establishment Have Maintained Secrecy If Social Media Had Been Available?

By Dennis D. McDonald In Web 2.0 and the Manhattan Project I speculated on the impacts modern communication, collaboration, and information sharing technologies might have had on the atomic bomb’s Manhattan Project during World War II. I thought about these topics again while reading David E. Hoffman’s THE DEAD HAND: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THERead… Read more »


by Dennis D. McDonald, Ph.D. The following is another section from Part 3 of my series “Toward a Definition of Enterprise Mobility.” I’m reposting this here from Google+ at the suggestion of Peter Tuttle, who recently made me aware of how GovLoop has been reorganized. This discusses the second of ten possible requirements forRead… Read more »