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How to scale your innovation pilot

What: “Success at Scale: A Guide to Scaling Public Sector Innovation” from the Deloitte Center for Government Insights

Why: Public sector agencies have difficulty scaling innovation because they lack traditional market indicators to help assess whether a new solution will work and whether it warrants the investment.

Findings:  The report offers a three-step process for scaling IT projects that helps agencies successfully move innovation from the pilot stage to actual results in the production environment.

First, pilots must be carefully designed.  Creating an innovation profile helps identify elements of a project that may impact adoption and usage of the new solution. Then agencies should choose a specific site or population for the pilot by determining where the project would have the largest “measurable impact on the identified pain point” and considering infrastructure and processing capabilities.

Measures of success for the pilot should be determined by their impact on the agency’s mission, and a detailed deployment plan should be developed.  Budget, data collection methods and communication materials for relevant stakeholders are also considerations in pilot development.

The second step is executing and evaluating the pilot. Documenting key steps, dependencies and success factors in every component of the pilot will make it easier to show how the innovation can be expanded or modified.

Lastly, scaling the innovation requires a detailed plan that takes into consideration all of the factors that contributed to the pilot’s success.  The report lays out five steps to make the transition from pilot to program run smoothly:

  1. Develop a scaling roadmap to determine the desired rate of expansion and build a timeline for next steps.
  2. Build a scaling checklist to inform, deploy and support the development.
  3. Foster shared infrastructure and common platforms to serve as a foundation for scaling across the organization.
  4. Grow the network by setting up a community of practice, mentors and outside partners.
  5. Allow room for personalization to fit the needs of your agency’s mission.

Verbatim: "As more organization pivot toward data-driven decision making and funding, they would likely need a structured approach for piloting and scaling innovations. While expansion can be daunting, with the right structure and 'secret sauce,' successful public pilot programs can find effective ways to scale."

Read the full report 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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