As government agencies look to respond to modernization calls from the executive branch as well as citizens at large, agile and DevOps practices are being employed to help speed time to "market" with new applications. A report issued in early 2019 found that sixty-nine percent of respondents said that their organizations are piloting agile, if not partially or fully adopting it. But, the same report also saw a significant percentage of respondents say that agile met their expectations "less than expected" and "much less than expected." So, if agile is seeing an uptick in use, why is it not meeting expectations?
The issue may lie heavily in training and understanding. Agile is not just a new process; it's a new mindset. It requires a new organizational structure that is a departure from the traditional command and control hierarchy of government. Agile teams are relatively flat with everyone holding interconnected and equally important roles. There's not only a logistical change that needs to happen in terms of org charts and structures, but also a cultural shift to a collaboration-driven rather than command-driven environment.
To begin really seeing the benefits of adaptability, speed, and cost efficiencies agile promises, people need to be trained not only on the process but on the softer skills of communication and collaboration that power the process. We've pulled together a collection of upcoming events that may help. Continue reading
The operating challenges around budgets, resources, and legacy technology we see at the Federal level are amplified at the state and local level. Just because these groups are responsible for a smaller population does not mean their problems are smaller. On the contrary, historically low staffing levels and a geographically-limited pool of talent feed into the core challenges that all government teams face.
Security - Securing systems and the data that lives on those networks is now seen as a focus beyond IT. Everyone plays a role in cybersecurity, and there is a real need to update systems and processes as well as educate users.
Innovation - Since teams are so busy with day-to-day operations, stepping back to foster innovation can be difficult. Many are finding ways to make the transformation work. In fact, some of the most innovative public sector programs are happening on the local level.
Managing change - Communication is key in implementing change within small, tight-knit teams. Participation in decision making ensures that new solutions meet the needs of the workforce as well as the citizens.
Finding time for training - All of the challenges above feed into an inability to make time for training and education to keep up with the rapidly evolving technology field. Continue reading
It's the beginning of 2018, and with it brings reflection on goals and actions of the past year. Today we take a look back at our predictions for government events in 2017 to see how we did.[Tweet "Did We Get it Right? 2017 Government Events Year in Review. #GovEventsBlog"]
- Focus on Change - Going into 2017, we knew that we were no longer looking at business as usual with the new administration coming in. While we could not have predicted the numerous changes and events of the past year, we did know that everyone involved in government was going to need a refresher in change management. We predicted a larger number of events focused on the formal practice of change management as well as change being a theme in a number of events. This year we had 22 events specifically focused on change management versus 14 in 2016, so there was a slight uptick.
- Changes in Speaker Line-Ups - In anticipation of agency directors being replaced, we expected to see some new faces in the speaking line-ups for government events. We also thought some of the newly appointed agency heads would be speaking, leading to a fresh crop of speakers across the government event landscape. While this prediction did not necessarily come to pass, we did notice that more events were using big name speakers to draw attendees and to differentiate their shows. We saw speakers associated with interesting, high profile cases and news events. We also saw more government events using leaders from the commercial side of business to share the latest details on technologies and best practices that can be applied in government.[Tweet "GovEvents takes a look back at our predictions for government events in 2017. #GovEventsBlog"]
- Increased Use of Data - Working with our event partners, we are seeing this trend come to fruition. Organizations are interested in feedback from us on their GovEvents' campaigns. Specifically, they want to know where leads are coming from (email vs. ads), and want to track those leads once they get to their site. They are using this information to better tailor their marketing and outreach to grow their audience.
- More Video - The ubiquity of video on social media is making video a must-have as part of event promotion and marketing. In our recent survey we found that 31% of respondents have added streaming video to their events in the last two years. It's a trend that we're excited to see continue and evolve, as it livens up the content presented at events.
[Tweet "In a year of change, the event market for government has been a steadying force. #GovEventsBlog"]In a year of so much change and uncertainty, the event market for government has been a steadying force. Attendance at and availability of events has remained stable, proving that events provide a place for colleagues to come together and have meaningful discussions about challenges, successes, and concerns. Now more than ever, these venues are proving their worth in bringing the government community together to discuss the issues that impact their mission.
Each year we look ahead and take our best (educated) guesses on what the federal market can expect from events in the coming year. With so many unknowns around the incoming administration, 2017 may be a difficult year for predictions. While the administration does not affect events directly, it does affect those who attend them.
We've dusted off our crystal ball once again. Here is our look at Government Events in 2017:[Tweet "Here is our look at Government Events in 2017. #GovEventsBlog"]