Getting Back to Basics

We’re pretty excited about a collaborative effort between the State of California and Public Sector Partners (PSP). The effort will facilitate collaboration between public- and private- sector organizations and individuals, with a true commitment to transforming and improving government. This will help us come together to have a real dialogue about what will help California improve how government operates.

basics

We’ve participated in these types of initiatives before – but this one feels different. This one feels like the state is interested in more than just developing and presenting meaningful content when the Government Transformation Conference takes place Feb. 4, 2015. This one feels like the participants are committed to identifying and implementing innovative ways to attract and retain fantastic talent to state government, to drive up the levels of customer service across the agencies, to improve the operational outcomes and to implement procurement reform that will help government organizations acquire targeted help to address their needs.

We believe that, ironically, it means a return to basics. It means accepting some delayed gratification, sacrificing the quick win for the long-play.

This feels like a tipping point.

As we begin working on this important initiative, we are encouraged by the growing mindshare that change can’t come in drips and drabs in a state as large as California. We can’t eat around the edges; we need to shift paradigms and ask one another to take more risk, to have a bit of faith, and to work toward solutions that benefit all, and not just a few.

At M Corp, we believe that, ironically, it means a return to basics. It means accepting some delayed gratification, sacrificing the “quick win” for the long-play: That play that increases the chance that IT projects will be successful, that play that turns around the appalling statistics regarding project failures not just in the state, but across the nation.

Sure, organizations understand the potential value of technology projects, but their hunger to capture that value exceeds their ability to deliver successfully on the ideas and commitments that are being made. As such, projects fail again and again, costing millions and millions of taxpayer dollars.

New, shiny systems with promises of greatness are easy to fall in love with. Consultants with promises of methodologies and tools are easy to believe.

But as we keep saying, it is the intellectual capital that is resident in an organization – generally housed in the old legacy systems – that will best inform the development of the new. It is a deep understanding of business operations and related processes – not just through anecdotes, but formally documented and validated – that will reduce the impact of a project on the organization’s resources and will reduce the likelihood that critical requirements are missed. It is a deep understanding of the existing data – and how the system uses it to support business operations – that will increase the likelihood that the new system functions as needed.

It is a deep understanding of the existing data – and how the system uses it to support business operations – that will increase the likelihood that the new system functions as needed.

We believe that, at the end of the day, it’s not about the technology, the vendor, the contract or even customer expectations. It’s about an organization’s capacity and capability to deliver on those critical factors required for project success. It’s about the health of the organization BEFORE the project is started, in the context of the demands of the project and, more importantly, in the context of overall business function. Project success is fundamentally about readiness – and readiness is far more than governance structures or project plans or change management methodologies.

We are hopeful about this current initiative to transform government. We are convinced that the people at the table are the right people, and that together we can create solutions and opportunities that may seem disruptive or radical. We know this might be a bit scary. We strive for a true partnerships and authentic collaboration between public- and private- sector, a partnership that is fueled by the necessary belief and trust that we are all committed to the same outcome: Better government.

It is only through this trust and the resultant transparency that we can collectively drive impactful change – and the time is now for California to increase the value of government, not only for its citizens, but for others who look for its leadership. Are we ready for success?

Categories