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CTO to agencies: Be a good customer

Megan Smith. Photo by David Sifry - http://www.flickr.com/photos/dsifry/2486059264/sizes/l/in/set-72157604991312132/. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Megan_Smith.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Megan_Smith.jpg 

Federal CTO Megan Smith.

Not only does government need to worry about providing good customer service, it also needs to be a good customer.

That's what U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith says federal agencies need to worry about when working with vendors.

It's important to remember that the government isn’t the only customer that many of these organizations have, Smith said in her keynote address at the ACT-IAC Igniting Innovation Awards in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 5.

"If we don't take best practices of being a great customer, then those companies aren’t getting best practices from us," Smith said.

She also said the government contracting process itself needs to be more in touch with its customers. By taking a more iterative, agile approach to developing tools, the government will be able to get feedback from users and use that information to aid the development process.

"There's an opportunity to do agile development, not write a huge contract and award that, but do it in a more scaled approach so you can iterate it with the users," Smith said.

About the Author

Colby Hochmuth is a former staff writer for FCW.

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