Feds Offer Bigger Playbook for Guiding Government Managers into Digital Era

On August 3, 2014 AssetStewardship.com posted Top 10 Tasks Required For Cities Acquiring Digital Software to help remedy the dearth of guidelines for municipalities investing in IT.  Not to be outdone, the federal government, on August 12, 2014, launched the U.S. Digital Service and presented a Digital Services Playbook.  We like this a lot.  There is a huge need for some information on best practices as governments step into the digital era.  Private sector software developers have been  helpful, even seductive, in encouraging state and municipal governments to acquire software.  That said, it is good to have a government perspective to consider.

Thanks to Stefaan Verhulst in GovLab Digest for summarizing the Digital Service launch and Playbook.  His summary is below.

Delivering a Customer-Focused Government Through Smarter IT

Last year, a group of digital and technology experts from the private sector helped us fix HealthCare.gov – a turnaround that enabled millions of Americans to sign up for quality health insurance. This effort also reminded us why the President’s commitment to bringing more of the nation’s top information technology (IT) talent into government is so critical to delivering the best possible results for our customers – the American people.

A core part of the President’s Management Agenda is improving the value we deliver to citizens through Federal IT. That’s why, today, the Administration is formally launching the U.S. Digital Service. The Digital Service will be a small team made up of our country’s brightest digital talent that will work with agencies to remove barriers to exceptional service delivery and help remake the digital experience that people and businesses have with their government…

The Digital Service will also collaborate closely with 18F, an exciting new unit of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). GSA’s 18F houses a growing group of talented developers and digital professionals who are designing and building the actual digital platforms and providing services across the government….

Leveraging Best Practices with the Digital Services Playbook

To help the Digital Service achieve its mission, today the Administration is releasing the initial version of a Digital Services Playbook that lays out best practices for building effective digital services like web and mobile applications and will serve as a guide for agencies across government. To increase the success of government digital service projects, this playbook outlines 13 key “plays” drawn from private and public-sector best practices that, if followed together, will help federal agencies deliver services that work well for users and require less time and money to develop and operate.

The technologies used to create digital services are changing rapidly. The Playbook is designed to encourage the government to adopt the best of these advances into our own work. To further strengthen this important tool, we encourage folks across the public and private sectors to provide feedback on the Playbook, so we can strengthen this important tool.

Using Agile Processes to Procure Digital Services with the TechFAR Handbook

To ensure government has the right tech tools to do its job, the Administration is also today launching theTechFAR Handbook, a guide that explains how agencies can execute key plays in the Playbook in ways consistent with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which governs how the government must buy services from the private sector….

Stay informed — sign up here to monitor the latest news from the U.S. Digital Service.

Follow Barbara Thornton @assetstewards


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