Too often dependent on unreliable surveys and snapshots of historical data, governments are unable to identify missteps until years after the fact, if at all. It’s like asking a pilot to fly a transcontinental flight with only after-the-fact, unreliable estimates of her airspeed, heading, and altitude instead of the panel of instruments with constantly updated data and tested checklists to reduce accidents and errors that modern pilots rely on.

There has to be a better way.
There is a better way.

In the digital age, we have the ability to give the “pilots” of our government programs the necessary instrumentation to see where they’re headed and course-correct along the way. This is the way modern technology platforms operate: measuring and using information about user satisfaction and achievement of intended results to modify and improve their services on an ongoing basis. Governments that don’t take advantage of these powerful new tools are sacrificing their relationship with the people who must use their services, their ability to achieve the goals of the program, and most importantly, breaking promises by failing to deliver.

The movement to modernize government technology has been focused on the delivery of government services using modern technology and best practices. But that is only half the solution; now we must also learn to drive policy and operations around delivery and users, and complete the feedback circuit. Only then can we effectively achieve the goals government policies intend.

Delivery-Driven Government Principles

  1. Understand and Meet User Needs

  2. Real-Time User Data, Not Years-Old Estimates

  3. Iteration, from Intention Through Implementation

Practical Steps Toward Delivery-Driven Government

  1. Build Multidisciplinary Teams with Tech and Policy at the Table from the Start

  2. Organize for Ownership and Outcomes

  3. Recognize and Elevate the Talent You Have (Even as You Bring in New Skills)

  4. Change Hiring and Human Capital Practices

  5. Change Procurement Practices

  6. Don’t Innovate Where You Can Borrow and Adapt

For more on delivery-driven government, see the full paper on Medium or download it as a PDF.

Keep in touch with us on this critical approach by signing up for our newsletter at c4a.me/deliverydriven or email deliverydrivengovernment@codeforamerica.org.