Taubman Center for State and Local Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government

This report examines the management challenges of managing e-government projects. In particular, we highlight two extraordinary (but not unique) managerial challenges that e-government poses: novelty and cross-agency cooperation. E-government is novel because it offers some fundamentally new possibilities for how government does business. The management of e-government is, in significant part, the management of ideas, creativity, and knowledge. E-government requires cross-agency cooperation because of functional needs for scale, consistency, and integration. We argue, therefore, that a hierarchical, silo-based model of management would be doomed to failure with respect to managing e-government. In this report, we examine how four governments (two US state and two Swiss cantonal) that have adopted a project based approach have coped with the challenges of novelty and cross-agency collaboration. In each of these four projects, we interviewed all of the members of the core project team, focusing on how these individuals shared knowledge and organized their efforts, how they dealt with the multiple types of expertise engaged in the project, and how they engaged the multitude of agencies affiliated with the project. We extract from these cases seven recommendations as to how manage the two phases of e-government, conception and implementation.

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