Best Practices

‘Cybersecuring’ the Internet of Things

Jun 29, 2017 |

I recently had the chance to talk with the legendary Vint Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the internet. We had a wide-ranging discussion about the past, present and future of the internet, network security and what it would take to successfully, safely and reliably merge the digital and physical worlds, a concept known Read »

Four Challenges of Adopting Team Structures (And How Leaders Can Mitigate Them)

Jun 15, 2017 |

If you’re considering “going agile,” one of the critical components of such a transformation will be adopting team structures. In your current, pre-teaming state, your developers are probably working by themselves, and may be engaging directly with stakeholders. Agile will place your developers into teams. Teaming is important, as it will enable your development staff Read »

The Data Briefing: Design-Driven Enterprise Architecture Creating the New Federal Government Agency

Jun 7, 2017 |

It’s been a while since I’ve checked in on enterprise architecture (EA). My last in-depth work with EA was around 2011 when I was on detail to the Office of Personnel Management’s Open Government Team. The EA model I worked with was the top-down organizational design of information technology assets, data assets, and business processes. Read »

Webinar Recap: Measuring Your Mobile Users

May 15, 2017 |

In November 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued Memorandum M-17-06, “Policies for Federal Agency Public Websites and Digital Services,” which requires federal websites to incorporate the DAP’s JavaScript code for website analytics. Read »

The Data Briefing: How to Best Prepare Federal Government Datasets for Chatbots

May 10, 2017 |

Forbes magazine recently ran an article showcasing six handy mobile apps that were built using federal government open data. The apps range from the Alternative Fueling Station Locator to ZocDoc (a doctor locator). What I especially like about the Forbes article is that the author describes the federal government data sets behind each app. There Read »

Cybersecurity: Protecting Manufacturing Technology and Innovation

May 4, 2017 |

Recently a segment on my favorite morning news program stopped me in my tracks. The young and attractive hosts (why are they always so young and attractive?) were demonstrating new appliances including a smart refrigerator. The fridge was equipped with all kinds of high-tech features including touch screen displays, a camera inside that allows you Read »

Improving Stakeholder Collaboration Can Improve Software Development Performance

Apr 17, 2017 |

It’s important for software development organizations to make it as easy as possible to enable improved stakeholder behavior. Development stakeholders can include business development representatives, product managers, and senior project managers, and they are typically carrying the weight of the organization’s mission. They are concerned about the organization’s goals, and are usually focused on ensuring Read »

The Life-Changing Magic of Writing Release Notes

Jan 19, 2017 |

A key part of agile development is constantly shipping new features. The team behind the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) beta website ships new features at least once every two weeks. Sometimes the features are big, noticeable changes, such as the new home page we recently launched. And other times they’re small (a copy edit, an Read »

Three Small Steps You Can Take to Reboot Agile in Your Organization

Oct 31, 2016 | , ,

This past summer, 18F held an agile workshop for the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. An agency with roots going back to World War II, NTIS is facing a future that requires a strategic realignment towards open data and services. This strategic alignment will also require that NTIS Read »

Laying the Foundation for a More Secure, Modern Government

Oct 28, 2016 |

Summary: Building on efforts to boost Federal cybersecurity & as part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, today we’re releasing a proposed guidance to modernize Federal IT. America’s spirit of ingenuity and entrepreneurship created the world’s most innovative economy and keeps us dominant in today’s digital age. Indeed, in 1985 about 2,000 people used the Internet; Read »

The Data Briefing: Help Predict the Future of Federal Government Data

Oct 26, 2016 |

In December, I plan to write two postings detailing a scenario analysis for the next ten years of the Federal government’s data technologies. Governments are on the cusp of amazing technological advances propelled by artificial intelligence, blockchain technologies, and the Internet of Things. Also, governments will face new challenges such as the recent global cyber Read »

What Is Static Source Analysis?

Oct 14, 2016 |

In software development, we use a variety of techniques to help us understand the software we’ve written, whether it works as expected, and whether it will be easy to maintain over time. One of the techniques we use is called static source analysis, and it can tell us a lot about the maintenance requirements of Read »

Webinar Recap: Snaps and Stripes—Sharing Public Service Stories with Snapchat

Sep 27, 2016 |

What does Snapchat, the disappearing message-and-video platform most used by teenagers, have to do with government outreach and communications programs? Well, Snapchat has quickly become an incredibly effective digital storytelling medium, and content creators across multiple government agencies have adopted it as an important part of their programs. A recent New York Times article described Read »

DATA Act Prototype: Simplicity Is Key

Sep 9, 2016 | ,

Last week we wrote about how we diffuse knowledge through shared interests and sharing best practices on the Micro-purchase Platform. This week, we’ll focus on some of the lessons learned during the (completed) DATA Act prototype. Importantly, though that project has finished, this post is not meant to be a full retrospective or post-mortem; we’ll Read »

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