Can Government ever be agile?

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Paul Canning writes about the changing and shifting priorities of central government in relation to ‘eDemocracy’, and specifically the possible demise of the International Centre of Excellence for Local eDemocracy (ICELE), which  is – or was – a government funded ‘National Project‘.  I believe Paul’s point is that this is not so much a case of government being particularly capricious in this instance as being devoid of any real understanding of what is happening in the egov world.  I’d agree with all this, and the execellent summary of why IT projects fail that Paul writes about in a separate blog.But while government blunders about in ever-decreasing circles, with huge monolithic ‘e-projects’ that will take years to deliver any benefits, (and more likely be canned when costs get out of hand), there are surely some opportunities for the small/entrepenurial consultancies and individuals in the Web 2.0 space to fill the gaps with what may start out as tactical solutions but could ultimatley be part of core strategy.  I admire MySociety for taking this approach, and maybe this is an example for other practitioners in this space.I just wish that Government would realise they don’t need to create enormously complex governance structures for what should be agile e-gov projects. But perhaps ‘agility’ and ‘government’ is after all an oxymoron!See also comments on this debate from Dave Briggs .

About Post Author

Stephen Dale

I’m a life-long learner with an insatiable curiosity about life. I love travel, good food, and good company. I’m happy to share what I know with others….even the interesting stuff! My outlook on life is pretty well captured in this quote from a book about the legend of King Arthur: “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” ― T.H. White, The Once and Future King So much to learn, so little time!
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