First of all, the concept of automated government is as old as information technology itself. Application of automation to government has lagged behind automation in business and industry. Why?
In information technology terminology, it is because the “control architecture” in government is not as advanced, is more recalcitrant than that employed by profit-driven free enterprise. What is “control architecture”?
In the Zachman three-schema architecture model, the control architecture includes the business rules, laws and regulations that constrain enterprise activities that are processes required to produce specific outcomes.
In government enterprise in the U.S., the Constitution is the overriding “constraint” that is accompanied by all of the laws and regulations that are passed by Congress. Subsequently, plans, budgets and funding regulate the pace of government enterprise performance in a massively complex system.
Here is a major problem:
Congressional representatives, Senators, the President and members of the executive branch don’t see themselves as government technology masters, or masters of e-government.
Since laws and regulations are implemented and managed in an automated environment, don’t you believe that the people producing them (engineering them) would have technical competence to do that? Unless if by fortunate accident, they don’t.
That is because voters don’t require proper skill, knowledge, and experience on their resumes.
The control architecture for government is the essential element for managing the automated regulatory environment that is the product of laws and regulations and subsequent government processes, systems and enabling technology.
The outcomes that are required of government include those shown on the list in several slides. (See the slideshow).
What outcomes do you believe are missing from the list?
Every government department, agency and organization is an enabler to performing the work of government defined by processes and legislated by Congress and managed by the President. America has a legacy of bureaucracy that was invented at different times. It is the job of President, collaborating with Congress, to keep the entire system current. It is essential to measure effectiveness by focusing on outcomes.
Begin with the top priority outcomes. Suggested here is that we have too many organizations whose outcomes are poorly specified or wrong priorities. Performing a top down audit will determine where government needs to be modernized.
A story today talks about “hacking”. That seems to be a motivator for the DOD to address outcome-driven government. Whatever motivates them to improve is a fine place to begin.
“This overwhelming reaction to rapidly re-equip deployed military personnel for battlefield exigencies in Afghanistan and Iraq has further reinforced the view that an expansive and sustained defense rapid innovation enterprise is an extravagance the nation can ill afford now that active combat operations are drawing to a close. But the real lesson to be learned is that the absence of a consistently applied and commonly construed defense innovation strategy has led to inefficiency, redundancy, and even abuse. The dysfunctional system we have contributes to the mistaken idea that doing things better and faster inevitably costs more and can only be accommodated during periods of budget largesse.”
“HACKING DEFENSE: CHANGING HOW DOD INNOVATES
Adam Jay Harrison and Stephen Rodriguez
June 23, 2014 · in Analysis
Product innovation in the U.S. Department of Defense follows an implicit rule: “Better, cheaper, faster—pick two.”
Today, the military is simultaneously confronted with declining budgets, skyrocketing system development costs, and a diverse spectrum of rapidly evolving, complex military threats. To mitigate this challenge, the Pentagon should place renewed emphasis on its corporate approach to technology innovation in order to identify and exploit opportunities to do more with less. The Better Buying Power initiative focuses on DoD’s innovation problem, but to be successful, such efforts must eschew traditional notions of defense system development. From iterative, design-based product development approaches to open, distributed ecosystems of partners and suppliers, the techniques employed by Silicon Valley and the most innovative sectors of the global high-tech economy should inform a new model of defense innovation that enables better, cheaper, and faster outcomes.