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Lessons from a government blockchain pilot

To help other government agencies tap into blockchain’s potential, the Treasury Department's Bureau of Fiscal Service has published five lessons learned from a proof of concept it completed in February. The pilot used asset tags and a blockchain ledger to  track employees' computers and cell phones.

First, decide whether blockchain is an appropriate solution to the problem.  Agencies should “develop a deep understanding” of a problem before deciding that blockchain is the best solution.

Second, uncover “pain points” by interviewing stakeholders with  different vantage points.  This process also allows agencies to determine what is working well in the process and how blockchain applications should be developed.

Third, map current business practices and friction points. For its blockchain project, the Bureau of Fiscal Service spent half its time documenting processes and uncovering friction points and untapped functionalities in different systems, which will save time and money in the long run.

Fourth, build a diverse project team with representatives across program and IT offices.  By including blockchain skeptics and non-technical employees, the pilot can be thoroughly tested to determine what is most useful for the agency and will result in a more robust blockchain application. 

Lastly,  presenting a blockchain plan to agency leadership requires program managers consider agency governance. Putting the project plan into clear and easily understood terms can help make the process move swiftly and quickly.

Read the full blog post here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at sfriedman@gcn.com or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.


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