Saturday, February 07, 2015

Cross Agency Collaboration

Steve Kelman in FCW on cross-agency collaboration:

"There is a common view among public management experts in academia and government that, as problems government faces become more complex, successful collaboration across agency boundaries grows increasingly important for delivering good results.
That collaboration is not easy. I remember reading in political science courses I took in graduate school decades ago about cross-agency coordinating councils. The view then was that it is extremely difficult for these activities to be effective, because agencies simply used them to advocate for the approach they took to problems, and tried to get other agencies to go along with that, rather than actually adapting their own behavior. Furthermore, these tended to be low-priority activities, to which organizations assigned the people least likely to be missed from their regular jobs."
 That's exactly what happened in Infoshare days--each agency had their pet idea which we tried to sell to the other agencies.  SCS wanted a laptop for field work, for example.  I wanted a new basic producer and farm data setup.  We didn't have the power to commit our agencies, not really, so when the impetus from the top faded, the whole house of cards collapsed. 

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