Early, clear requirements are necessary for a project’s success. These requirements must show what a system should do, not just how it should look. In addition, legislators and government leaders should play a part in designing the high level requirements just as they provide input into other non-IT government projects.
Both developers and leaders must carefully guard against nonexistent change control and the parallel problem of late requirements changes. Although government politics may dictate problematic timelines, leaders and designers should realize the impossibility of creating a large, interconnected system within budget with late changes to design requirements.
Contractors should be seen as people who work on a project, not as people who manage a project. Even though government may not currently have the talent necessary, internal workers must still play a significant part in planning and designing government projects. Left to contractors who do not understand government needs, a project will probably diverge from the original intent.
Government needs more IT talent. Governments must realize the importance of their IT systems and make their projects inviting for top IT talent. Few of these recommendations will work without experienced IT workers to implement them. Despite the current talent deficit, government IT has the potential to attract the best workers because of its ability to significantly affect people’s lives. If government makes IT a priority, not only government but also the way people fundamentally interact with government can be transformed.
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