18F

How to build a lean startup inside government

Leaders from 18F and the White House Presidential Innovation Fellowship program presented at the 2015 Lean Startup Conference on “Lean Methodologies When the Organization is the Product,” and this is the best video you’ll watch on getting a holistic approach to building a lean startup inside government.

Top 3 trends in modern constituent services

The end of the year is a great time to look back and reflect. All aspects of our digital society change at a faster pace every year and how local governments serve their municipalities is no exception. Let’s take a look at three major trends in modern constituent services.

Photo: White House/Pete Souza

Thank you

Every day I get to engage with entrepreneurs, public sector innovators and journalists on re-imagining and re-energizing how government works, what it means to be “civic,” and this year has been an incredible one for many friends and colleagues.

Govtech Fund Managing Partner Ron Bouganim (Photo: Code for America)

Funding government technology

I’m always inspired talking and working with entrepreneurs trying to solve big civic problems, especially those who realize much of the challenge lies within modernizing and empowering internal government operations, so it was great to finally meet with Govtech Fund Founder and Managing Partner Ron Bouganim this week.

18F

Government and the ’empowered product owner’

The 18F Delivery team released a “Partnership Playbook” that aims to help federal agencies understand what to expect when working with 18F, and the gem within is play number two, “We work with an empowered product owner.”

Source: ClearGov

Benchmarking for better government

Citizens simply glaze over when they are confronted by a sea of large numbers with many zeros. These figures need to be relatable to the person reading the data. Otherwise, open data is just more data that dies on the vine.

Flag of Wales

Why local government must go digital

The Welsh Government released a report of its findings on how local government in Wales can better leverage digital technologies and realize significant savings while still providing quality, scalable citizen services.

"No ugly, old IT."

‘No ugly, old IT.’

“No ugly, old IT” jumped out at me when I first reviewed DataSF’s strategic plan, “Data in San Francisco: Meeting supply, spurring demand,” and it still sticks, mostly because someone inside government was so bold as to make this a priority and openly communicate it and also because this should be a mantra for everyone building civic technology.

Source: Cloud.gov

Why Cloud.gov is a big deal

Enabling internal government tech shops to quickly stand up applications in a secure testing environment is fundamental to quick prototyping, and 18F’s new Cloud.gov is a major step in realizing ultimate IT flexibility.

Source: prototype.fcc.gov

FCC launches beta FCC.gov

Based on “extensive user research,” the Federal Communications Commission has launched a beta version of fcc.gov that aims to make the site “more useful and accessible to FCC stakeholders.”

President Barack Obama, left, Air Force Col. Lee Rosen, Commander, 45th Launch Group, center, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk talk with Dr. John P. Holdren is Assistant to the President for Science and Technology during a tour of the commercial rocket processing facility of Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Thursday, April 15, 2010.

Elon Musk as government innovator

After reading Ashlee Vance’s new Elon Musk biography, I find myself wondering whether we should really worry about bad government websites, and instead chalk them up as inspiration for those who will change the world.

Source: data.nucivic.com/dashboard

Participation and the cult of catalogs

“Anonymous access to the data must be allowed for public data, including access through anonymous proxies. Data should not be hidden behind ‘walled gardens.’” – 8 Principles of Open Government Data In the world of open data, there are few things that carry more weight than the original 8 principles of open data. Drafted by a […]

Jake Brewer speaking at PDF 2014. (Photo: Personal Democracy Media)

Thank you, Jake

There have been countless, beautiful anecdotes on Jake’s compassion, humility and contributions, and there’s nothing I can add that would do justice to honor the influence he’s had on me other than to say, Jake, I miss you so much, and you will be with me always as I try to live up to the standards you set for those of us still here.

Agile Government Leadership

Retrospecting agile government

Last week, I was in New Orleans for the CivicActions corporate retreat, and presented to the team on the work done around Agile Government Leadership, and I wanted to share some of this here because, while there’s still much to do around changing government project management practices, we’ve accomplished a great deal over the past 18 months since its inception.

Source: data.nucivic.com/dashboard

What should governments require for their open data portals?

My fundamental suggestion is that government-run open data platforms be fully open source. There are a number of technical and procurement reasons for this, which I will address in the future, but I believe strongly that if the platform you’re hosting data on doesn’t adhere to the same licensing standards you hold for your data, you’re only doing open data half right.

7 books for better digital government

7 books for better digital government

Continuing on my book cleaning spree, I wanted to highlight a few web product design and development books I’m getting rid of that are helpful for anyone focused on providing government digital services.