Advice from the trenches

Related Links

Evolving doors

As states begin building their own dynamic portals, officials riding the

front wave of the trend have plenty of advice. The toughest challenge: cultural

issues. Some tips include:

* Bring in the private sector early and discuss ideas on approaching infrastructure

development, not products.

* Learn how to develop portal applications internally. Although you'll

need plenty of advice and functional help from the private sector, do not

turn over exclusive ownership to a third party.

* Strike a balance between the enterprise and the agency but develop

applications that involve related processes with all the agencies involved.

Otherwise, all you're doing is perpetuating the stovepipe environment with

a different technology.

* Prepare yourself for potential cultural fallout by engaging agency

personnel early on and letting them maintain a sense of ownership — or at

least a strong say — in how their services and processes will work in an

online portal.

* Start small, with incremental projects and realistic goals. The five-year,

$100 million, "this will fix everything" mentality won't work. Small successes

with momentum will keep customers and agency personnel engaged.

* Use focus groups and a built-in Web-based mechanism to collect customer

feedback. To remain valuable to end users, states need to continually enhance

a site and seek out ways to make it more intuitive and more accessible.

Featured

  • People
    Federal 100 logo

    Announcing the 2021 Federal 100 Award winners

    Meet the women and men being honored for their exceptional contributions to federal IT.

  • Comment
    Diverse Workforce (Image: Shutterstock)

    Who cares if you wear a hoodie or a suit? It’s the mission that matters most

    Responding to Steve Kelman's recent blog post, Alan Thomas shares the inside story on 18F's evolution.

Stay Connected