Solving the Shared-First Challenge in Government


Creating interoperability and open data exchange between systems is a critical priority for the entire government sector. Often, day-to-day project management tasks can become insurmountable challenges when agencies lack the right solutions to manage business processes and standardize baseline operations such as reporting and projections. In the areas of finance, HR, and acquisition, the lack of consistent reporting and analysis can significantly harm the governance process and even possibly lead to failure to meet directives and mandates.

As a result, agencies may find themselves struggling to follow the Shared-First directive and failing to meet other critical initiatives such as the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), and more.

Here are some tips to avoid that situation.

Go Agile

Agile software development emphasizes quick development cycles, iterative learning and modular improvements.

The agile methodology has been mainstream in commercial industries for years, but it’s still an emerging priority in government. Agile brings tools and systems closer to the end-user which has the potential to significantly increase adoption rates for business management tools and reporting software.

Additionally, agile helps government leaders manage risk more effectively by balancing innovative approaches with traditional IT models. Most importantly, leveraging agile methodologies allows government tech teams to be more nimble, responsive, and more easily share best practices and lessons learned with their peers.

Treat Analytics as a Service

Data and the ability to rapidly extract meaning from it is the means by which team leaders and government department heads gain decisive advantage and business acumen. Moreover, business intelligence carries the potential to create massive efficiencies and propel a real opportunity for government agencies to modernize systems and drive innovation.

However, these advantages can only be realized if agencies can rely on consistent reports and throughput.

Many agencies like GSA are making headway with the Shared-First initiative and have demonstrated cost savings and improved operational efficiencies.

To fully understand and embrace the end-user’s perspective, agency leaders should apply agile methodologies and analytics to create an echo chamber of success stories and lessons learned transcending the borders of each agency.

Laurel Fielding is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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