Government IT pros should follow the lead of private industry to improve project management, customer service, and accountability, report says.
The federal government should follow in the footsteps of the private sector in the area of customer service, and CEOs at the forum recommended several ways it can begin to make improvements in this area.
Specifically, they recommended the government develop customer-satisfaction surveys to really drill down on customer opinions about service.
"By better understanding the best practices in customer monitoring, we can modernize the way government agencies measure citizen satisfaction with the services they provide," according to the report.
Further, the government should develop high standards for customer service, post them publicly, and stick by them.
Moreover, it should allow people to see how long they have to wait for government customer service in an online queue, which will give them more faith in how the government is working for them, according to the report.
"As demonstrated by high-performing private sector organizations, allowing citizens to find information about their status online holds the promise of improving accuracy, increasing operational efficiency by highlighting potential bottlenecks, and lessening the burden on strained call centers and walk-in offices," the report concluded.
Improving customer service also shows the government is being more accountable for IT operations, another area in which it can learn from the private sector.
Forum participants praised current government efforts like the Federal IT Dashboard, which allows people to track the status and cost of government IT projects.
"Transparency brings accountability and attention to projects that need to be either modified or shut down," according to the report. "Further, the American people deserve to understand how their tax dollars are spent."
Continuing transparency efforts like the dashboard, as well as regular reviews by agency chief information officers of at-risk IT projects -- meetings that have come to be known as "Techstat" sessions -- will keep the administration moving in the right direction to improve accountability, according to the report.
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