Taking full advantage of the potential improvements that IT offers in federal agency operations will require rethinking leadership and management strategies to “lead with a more strategic vision, embrace more open collaboration and faster decision-making, and drive creativity and accountability in their organizations,” according to a report from the Partnership for Public Service in collaboration with the Accenture consulting firm.

It said that IT experts throughout government found success when they:

* “Linked technology initiatives directly to results, based on a deep understanding of the mission. A keen focus on enhancing agencies’ ability to achieve their missions meant these experts did not upgrade technology for its own sake. They sought allies among mission-focused staff to ensure IT reforms would streamline operations and improve customer service, and they avoided IT jargon, speaking instead in the ‘language of the mission.’”

* “Sought to transform culture and how the organization does business. The key accomplishments for our interviewees were not upgrading technologies or developing new systems. Instead, they emphasized efforts to change how their organizations work, how people communicate, how they plan and manage projects, and how they approach problems.”

* “Focused on people and were responsive to and adept at managing many different stakeholders. The experts recognized that technology transformations are far too complex for one person or team to do alone. They said the success of their reforms required establishing a clear vision for that reform, building support among myriad stakeholders, leading coordination and collaborating across organizations, and inspiring and empowering their employees to own IT improvements.”

* “Encouraged their organizations to act more quickly and take risks. Recognizing that technology users expect to have their needs fulfilled on demand, the leaders we interviewed pushed their organizations to adopt a fast, agile approach by responding quickly to users’ needs and incorporating their feedback.”

* “Managed rather than reacted to the dramatic changes brought about by technology. The leaders we interviewed acknowledged that technology transformations bring dramatic change, which is sometimes met with pushback and legitimate concerns. So they established and communicated a clear vision for what the goals were and how they would deal with problems that might arise.”