4. Involve your stakeholders. In a diverse organization, leaders can generate momentum by creating communities that support an innovation. The General Services Administration (GSA) built its winning Data.gov site to give the public a consistent experience when accessing government information. The project brought together hundreds of employees from across the executive branch who are involved with data stewardship, publishing, open government and related activities.
These officials "are driving a cultural change at their agencies to make open government data a key aspect of what they do," said David McClure, associate administrator with the GSA Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, in an email interview. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published tools for accessing real-time data about the aftermath of the March 11 Japan disaster. "Having the EPA as a partner brought those tools to the forefront for the public in a way that wouldn't have been possible before," McClure said.
5. Find quick wins. Whether your work benefits taxpayers or shareholders, you need to show results. The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority set out to equip its infrastructure (such as water mains) with instruments to collect data for advanced analysis. This CIO 100-winning project is helping the agency save money and water, in part by identifying equipment that needs repair.
CIO Omer Siddiqui and his team broke the project down into smaller parts that could be easily understood and that would generate value prior to the full integration. "Successfully building complex analytic solutions is an iterative process of feedback and review," says Siddiqui.
Rick Swanborg is president of ICEX and a professor at Boston University. Read more about innovative IT practices at www.icex.com.