Federal agencies and academics have long discussed the importance of cross-agency collaboration. But recent changes in law and advances in technology have led to a new environment that makes cross-agency management far more achievable.

This report provides useful insights into how the government can proceed in creating effective cross-agency collaborations that can improve outcomes significantly.

Dr. Fountain offers practical advice and a way forward by summarizing the collaboration literature that has evolved in recent years. She notes that effective collaboration consists of two dimensions—people skills and organizational processes—and that successful leaders must make strategic use of both elements to manage in a networked government. People skills are key to developing the trust, norms, and connections essential to effective multi-agency initiatives. But leaders must also create in parallel the institutional and organizational processes that allow cross-agency actions to be sustained over time, such as formal agreements, defined roles and responsibilities, pooled resources, and shared performance goals.

Dr. Fountain concludes with a series of recommendations for action by leaders of cross-agency initiatives as well as recommending that OMB develop cross-government guidance so agencies can move forward quickly.

Read the blog on this report.

Listen to her interview on Federal News Radio.

Watch a video overview of the report: