Washington, DC is an exciting and busy place this time of year. The Washington Nationals will make the first post-season appearance by a Washington baseball team in almost 75 years. The federal government’s fiscal year ends in a matter of days and agencies are rushing to finalize last-minutes contracts. The Redskins have a new quarterback starting this year and hopes are high for a great season. The Presidential election is only weeks away and electioneering slogans and commercials are impossible to avoid on the radio, television, and billboards.
But I want to write about something that isn’t making the headlines in the Washington Post – the recent development regarding the federal government’s Digital Strategy.
- Enable the American people and an increasingly mobile workforce to access high-quality digital government information and services anywhere, anytime, on any device.
- Ensure that as the government adjusts to this new digital world, we seize the opportunity to procure and manage devices, applications, and data in smart, secure and affordable ways.
- Unlock the power of government data to spur innovation across our Nation and improve the quality of services for the American people.
To achieve these results, the Strategy is built on four overarching principles:
- An Information-Centric Approach
- A Shared-Platform Approach
- A Customer-Centric Approach
- A platform of Security and Privacy.
Now, what I found exciting about the Digital Strategy was the way it was to be implemented. There were very tight task deadlines for General Services Administration (GSA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Advisory Groups, and the agencies. Because my passion is all about customer satisfaction, I’ve focused my attention on the third principle that directs that agencies should be allowed to shape the way agencies provide information through websites, mobile applications, etc.
Last week, I viewed a copy of OMB’s “Implementation Instructions for Digital Government Strategy” as it relates to one of the three milestones that OMB established under the Customer-Centric principle – Measure Performance and Customer Satisfaction to Improve Service Delivery – and found it much to my liking. I think that anyone who agrees with the concept that “You Can’t Manage what you Don’t Measure,” would agree with their approach, and would suggest that even those managers who haven’t embraced the use of analytics as a tool for decision-making would agree that objective performance measures should guide their development of effective delivery of services.
Section 8.1 of the Digital Strategy directed GSA to “Identify tools and guidance for measuring performance and customer satisfaction on digital services,” and I was pleased that GSA accomplished this task by the August 23rd target date.
Section 8.2 of the Digital Strategy directs agencies to “Implement performance and customer satisfaction measuring tools on all dot gov websites” by November 23, 2012. I’m afraid this is going to be a more difficult task as many agencies have yet to begin collecting the required customer satisfaction data. IMHO, the customer satisfaction metrics that agencies are required to collect on their dot gov web sites, and report to GSA beginning November 23 are reasonable and realistic. But first, they have to begin measuring.