This report highlights how government agencies can use innovative methods and tools to transform operations in a way that meets their missions and better serves their stakeholders.

Many of the problems of government can be solved by technology, but the real roadblock is knowing how to fix the problems citizen experience when they interact with government. More than anything, government workers who want to innovate government operations and services need new methods and tools to help make better decisions and deliver more effective results.

Such frameworks provide practical pathways to help agencies transform their operations in a way that makes more effective use of resources. Transformation involves changing how people do their work, how processes are built to support faster and more effective service delivery, and how technologies are brought forward in new ways that leverage commercial best practices—all focused on improving mission results for businesses and citizens. While government leaders understand the need to transform in response to 21st century demands, less is understood about actions they can take to address this imperative.

Professor Whitford describes Agile, Lean Methods, and Design Thinking as frameworks that can help government executives and public manager change the way government does business. The brief case studies presented in this report illustrate how specific agencies have employed these tools and methods to transform how they operate and better serve their citizens. Whitford also identifies some challenges to using these methods and tools as well as certain issues government executives should consider when using innovative ways to enhance how government works.

This report joins a library of IBM Center reports that focus on how to improve government operations. Prior studies on this topic include:

We hope that the insights offered in this report will help government executives more effectively address their most significant management challenges while also transforming how their government agencies operate—becoming agile and effective enterprises that better serve stakeholders.

View our infographic of the report.

Read the article in Federal Computer Week, "Planning for the Challenges of Citizen-Centric Government Innovation."