Another reminder that Government 2.0 is not just technology

I repeat myself, I know, but it is important to occasionally return to my definition of Government 2.0:

Government 2.0 is a citizen-centric philosophy and strategy that believes the best results are usually driven by partnerships between citizens and government, at all levels. It is focused entirely on achieving goals through increased efficiency, better management, information transparency, and citizen engagement and most often leverages newer technologies to achieve the desired outcomes. Government 2.0 is bringing business approaches, business technologies, to government.

Understanding this fully is important, especially in light of attempts to quantify how well this effort is progressing by researchers. Measuring progress is critical but it must be done with a clear understanding of the goals, goals which are not technology-focused. To fully measure progress we must look at:

  • Have goals been clearly documented and communicated? The goals should primarily focus on internal cost reductions and external job creation and growth.
  • Have management methodologies been adjusted, as needed, to achieve these goals. Are we enabling fearless leadership?
  • Have investments been made in resources (employees and tools) to support the effort.
  • Are employees being judged based upon results or simply by tenure?
  • Are metrics established and are measurement systems in place?
  • Is technology being applied in a strategic manner?

I repeat that Government 2.0 is still in its infancy and much progress has already been made. However, to be truly successful it must mature and 2011 must be the year where this maturation begins.


Originally posted on Government in The Lab.

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Avatar photo Bill Brantley

Can you explain why you chose the specific goals you did? “The goals should primarily focus on internal cost reductions and external job creation and growth.”

John Moore

When I think about government 2.0 I think of internal and external gains. In the public sector internal innovations generally do not focus on profits, they focus on stream-lining processes, reducing costs. There are great arguments for other wins from social media, open data, and others. However, all ultimately lead to cost savings.

From an external perspective we should focus on measurable outcomes, jobs are a clearly measurable goals.
However, Bill, I am likely missing others, do you have others in mind?

Avatar photo Bill Brantley

@ John: I agree with the internal goal and it should be expanded to include improving agency processes and increasing knowledge capture.

As for the external goal: I appreciate that increasing the number of jobs is a measurable goal but how much of job creation is due to government action. Government could start jobs programs but I think that government’s role is to support job creation by the private and nonprofit sectors. A better and more immediate goal for government is to increase citizen satisfaction with the delivery of government services.

John Moore

I hear what you’re saying and agree that there is another component, in addition to job creation, that I left out. Citizen satisfaction is important but a difficult goal to measure accurately and generally a result of other actions (sufficient standard of living via jobs, lack of debt, etc..)… Lots to consider here and I appreciate the feedback.