On building a local Government 2.0 Community of Practice

It was an idea spawned from a conversation between Amelia (@Emotivate) and I (@DavidJEade) lamenting the lack of community for people in our State keen to share ideas, experiences and tools relating to this emerging trend known as government 2.0. A month later, 12 changes makers from agencies and service providers within the Queensland government ecosystem came together, and so the ‘Government 2.0 in Queensland‘ (@gov2qld) community of practice was born.

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On Managing Consultations Efficiently

Stressed by number of responsesI’ve heard the same question a couple of times this week in a couple of different contexts, so I thought I’d offer some thoughts here.

“How do we effectively manage large volumes of responses to consultations with limited resources, especially when these volumes are likely to increase as a result of more accessible online engagements”?

It’s a great question. The growth of the internet as a means for spreading our ‘engagement net’ ever wider brings with it the potential for a much greater degree of community participation.

Unfortunately, this is a double edged sword.

Greater engagement leads (theoretically) to better outcomes (be they policy, planning or community outcomes). However, increased consultation responses has traditionally led to more work for already over stretched engagement staff.

So how do we manage large volumes of responses to consultations with limited resources? Continue reading

On Reducing the cost of Freedom of Information requests

image: Department of Justice, Government of Victoria.

Those of you in State Government in Australia will be well familiar with recent changes in legislation around Freedom of Information legislation, specifically the Right to Information reforms in Queensland and the Government Information (Public Access) Act in New South Wales (affectionately referred to as ‘GIPA‘).

I talk about them a little in the related post ‘On the Current State of Government 2.0‘ if you’d like to learn more.

Myself and a number of my collegues have been doing a lot of thinking as to how technology and process can enable already stretched agencies to meet and even exceed the new ‘pro-active disclosure’ requirements of the legislation – the push model whereby information is provided to the public in advance of it being asked for in order to promote greater openness in Government – a key tenant of the Government 2.0 initiatives underway around the world.

More on the outcome of that thinking soon.

However, I saw last week a great example of using web based technology and the ‘push’ model to save resources and thus money in State government in one specific, yet common, scenario.

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On the Leadership Spill – As Predicted ;)

I’m watching as history is being made in Australia – a leadership spill will this morning install Australia’s first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

Nice timing for me as I used the following slide in a presentation earlier this week – before any talk of a spill.

Interesting to see the uproar about a ‘Prime Minister we didn’t elect’. Of course, no Prime Minister is ever directly elected in Australia, however, it is true that the personality and policies of the party leader have a massive influence over how people choose to vote in an election.

I wonder what the outcome of an election tomorrow might be?

(original image owners unknown)

On Beginning to Engage

It was a surprise yesterday to see the response of the Australian Federal Government to the report produced by the Government 2.0 Taskforce (released in December 2009). A surprise not because it wasn’t expected but because of the delay in producing it and, for me, the brevity of it’s response.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. As Minister Tanner said on the new AGIMO blog,

Whilst today is the completion of one phase, it is also very much the beginning of a new one. The task now is to implement these changes, beginning with assisting agencies to make the most of the opportunities offered by Web 2.0.

The response provides signposts to the future of government in Australia, it does not, and is not meant to, be the government’s all encompassing policy in this area. This will be worked out over time (through experimentation and identification of best practice across agencies) and through different legislation (for example the Freedom of Information (Reform) Bill and the Office of the Information Commissioners Bill).

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On Idea Platforms – Now What?

There’s a marvelous scene at the end of the movie Finding Nemo. The fishes in the fishtank at P.Sherman’s dental surgery have, for the whole film, been devising a way to escape into Sydney Harbour and to freedom.

In the final scene, and as a result of the tank filter failing, the fish have been removed from the tank and placed into individual plastic bags, part filled with water. Through some clever movie magic (which we don’t see) the fish manage to maneuver themselves out of the window of the dental surgery (still in their bags), across a couple of lanes of traffic and into the harbour (although quite where along the harbour is anyone’s guess!). Free at last! After many ‘yelps’ and ‘yahoo’s’ the group realise their new predicament. Free in the harbour but still captive in their plastic bags. Bloat, the puffer fish, utters the immortal line (which closes the movie),

“now what?”.

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On Product Managing Government 2.0 Initiatives

I recently wrote a guest post for the Brainmates Product Management blog looking at the lessons that we as product managers can draw from what has been happening in the world of Government 2.0.

I highlighted in my last post here that I believe we are now entering the trough of disillusionment for Government 2.0, and the more I have thought about these two subject areas, the more I have come to realise that it is during this phase in the lifecycle of any technology initiative that Product Managers become key. Be they established Product Managers in established companies or Entrepreneurs acting as Product Managers for their Big Idea, the principles taught to us at Product Management school are key to emerging from the trough onto the slope, or crossing Geoffry Moore’s Chasm, or surviving the cynic-generated chaos of this critical technology life stage. Continue reading

On the current state of Government 2.0

Since I’ve just stated a brand new blog I thought it would be good to provide a quick recap on Government 2.0, primarily from an Australian perspective, but also, such is the world we live in, with examples and policy from overseas.

For those who are familiar with all things Government 2.0 there will be little new here, it’s more a composite of information available elsewhere – but hey, isn’t that one of the benefits of Government 2.0? Being able to reconstitute and re-interpret information from a variety of sources to provide a unique perspective? Continue reading