The state of digital transformation, as seen from Harvard
In June of this year DigitalHKS, a research initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School, played host to public sector digital services workers from around the world “to share stories of success, talk about lessons learned, and discuss the challenges they face in transforming government.” They have recently published a report on the best practices surfaced during the conference, in which:
We dive into one of the big questions that frustrates digital services teams during development and strategy process: an assessment of maturity and effectiveness. […] We then share reflections from participants as well as concrete examples of what teams have learned in leadership development, delivery, governance, and succession. These lessons will reflect the smartest advice we heard from practitioners about their experience and the smart approaches they’ve learned over time. We’ll also share common pitfalls and struggles that teams faced along the way—and hopefully provide digital services groups with a better roadmap for long-term sustainability and success.
We don’t have all the answers, but we are excited to begin a more robust conversation around the world between digital services teams, many of whom have so much to share with one another, but frequently don’t have a chance to engage in frank discussions. We also don’t consider this effort a one-off toolkit or statement, but rather the start of a more productive conversation around the world about how we move digital services teams toward platform enablement, and how we turn the much larger and more complex ship of state toward a more user-centered, tech-smart approach.
The table of contents includes the following reports and reflections:
- Proposing A Maturity Model for Digital Services — David Eaves and Ben McGuire
- Building Better Digital Services Teams — Matt Spector
- Finding the Path to Digital Services at Scale — Ben McGuire
- Sustainability and Political Succession — Emily Middleton
- Power in Convening: Why Bringing Digital Groups Together Creates Effective Conversations– David Eaves and Ben McGuire
- The Future of Governance for Digital Platforms — Ben McGuire
- Winning the Uphill Battle — Tom Loosemore
- Leading from the Front: on Single Domains, Spending Controls and Service Standards — Emma Gawen
- Product Management in Government — Kathy Pham
- Digital Services Collaboration Creates Shared Value — Yolanda Martínez Mancilla
- The End of the Beginning of Digital Service Units — David Eaves
The report can be read as a webpage, or downloaded as a PDF.