Technology leaders Steve VanRoekel and Todd Park have left the White House, but an important structure they helped devise and set in place remains.
The U.S. Digital Service headed by Mikey Dickerson, leader of the well-documented HealthCare.gov turnaround, is the latest attempt to tackle perennial problems of over-budget, late, and under-functioning government IT projects. A sister effort, the Defense Department’s Better Buying Power 3.0, shares those aims, but with an acquisition process oriented approach.
VanRoekel’s Digital Government Strategy called for a group like Digital Service a couple of years ago, but HealthCare.gov has given USDS the strategic purpose of helping other government agencies get up to speed on how to develop and deploy digital services the way Silicon Valley does. Its advent should be no surprise; besides, the idea is not even original to the United States.
My advice to vendors regarding the U.S. Digital Services office is to understand it and make sure its couple dozen members understand the domains where your technology offers the best value.