Federal Manager's Daily Report

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A report has said that federal agencies lag both other governments and the private sector in “digital maturity” — that is, using technology and data to in decision making and service delivery — with IT workforce challenges contributing to the problem.

The report from the Partnership for Public Service with the Boston Consulting firm says that in an index based on survey results and other work, federal agencies scored a 36 overall, compared with a 47 for global public entities and a 54 for the private sector. Further, agencies scored lower on each of the eight measures used and were farthest behind in the one measuring “how innovative and open to experimentation” they are in using data and digital technologies to improve their outcomes.

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Agencies meanwhile earned a score of just 28 regarding recruiting, hiring, developing, rewarding and retaining employees specializing in the data and digital fields. While scores differed little overall, they were highest for developing leadership acumen of those employees, promoting diversity and inclusion among them, and ensuring that “everyone in the organization has at least a basic level of data and digital fluency.”

Scores were lowest regarding “how thoroughly employees with data and digital expertise are involved in an agency’s projects.”

The report listed the four most important steps toward digital maturity as: “invest ample time in the design phase; boost participation by fostering buy-in; pilot the assessment before rolling it out widely; and demonstrate value by acting on the results.”

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