Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Ready, Set, GO!

Finally, the Presidential election is behind us! We have our new President-elect, and the very good news for government web managers is that President-elect Obama is web-savvy and very ambitious about using technology to make government more open and transparent to its citizens. So…are you ready?

The transition teams are moving into your agencies right now. You’ve been planning for months. But just in case you still need some pointers on strategy, here are three.

Make an appointment to meet with the transition team TODAY! Find out the name of at least one person on your agency’s transition team and call or email that person, asking for no more than 30 minutes to brief him/her on the agency’s web plans. Go to that meeting well-rehearsed.

Plan a 20-minute presentation, leaving 10 minutes to answer questions and to ask how you can help them succeed. Give them just 3 pieces of information:

  • Who are we serving? Describe your web audiences and what they want/use most (top tasks). Use a few stats, and explain why those stats are important to the new administration. Don’t overwhelm them with “what is” because they’re going to be more interested in “what will be.”
  • What are the goals for improving public service via the web? Give them a copy of the Web Managers Council White Paper, and describe how the web manager community is working together to improve all government websites. Again, make sure they understand how this will help them implement their objectives.
  • What help do you need from the new administration? Tell them what policy changes you need to improve service to the public. If your governance structure needs to be fixed, that should be one of the first items on your agenda. Talk in terms of the value of these changes to the new administration. Keep it short; keep it positive.

Make sure your name and contact info is on each piece of paper you leave behind. Offer to meet again to discuss specific goals and strategies.

Tip for success: take a member of the Web Managers Council with you to this briefing. Show that the community stands together.

Meet with your web organization. You must keep your web team informed. Tell them whom you’ve met, what you’ve said, and what’s been said to you. Your team may be getting information, too. Pool your knowledge to get a better picture of the new team and what they want and need. Players and information will be changing quickly, so find a good way to communicate regularly with your web organization.

Stay plugged in to what’s going on across government. Don’t skip over that email from the Listserv or the Web Council leaders – you need to know what other web managers are learning. Listen in to all Forum calls. Check frequently. We serve best when we serve together. So keep alert to information your colleagues may be getting or giving – it could really help you be successful with the new team!

It’s an exciting time! Change is good. You’re prepared. Be steady. Ready, set, GO!

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