Todd Park talks innovation in new anthology
Federal CTO Todd Park is among the 30 political leaders and civil servants, economists and policy experts, generalists and specialists featured in a new anthology from the McKinsey Center for Government.
The anthology, entitled “Government Designed for New Times,” features essays, interviews and other short pieces organized around four themes: Transforming Government; Innovating Government Services; New Competencies; and
Understanding Government in New Times.
In a Q-and-A interview, Park talked about the value of datapaloozas, ideas for replicating the Health Data Initiative, and his general disdain for larger-scale, "waterfall" projects.
Park argued in favor of "lean," iterative development efforts, saying: "I actually think what’s even more dangerous than catastrophic failure is mediocrity. At least you can recognize catastrophic failure, whereas a lot of waterfall processes don’t do us the favor of failing—they just produce something mediocre and deeply entrenched. It’s ironic that we use the waterfall approach precisely because we think it’ll help us manage risk, when it’s probably the riskiest approach to making change happen."
Other experts in the anthology include IDEO CEO Tim Brown, former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Lockheed Martin CTO Ray O. Johnson.
Troy K. Schneider is editor-in-chief of FCW and GCN. Connect with him on Twitter: @troyschneider.