In a fast-paced world, what does it take for a state workforce to deliver a higher level of customer-centric services while also reducing cost? This case study examines how this challenge was met head-on by the State of Tennessee as it adopted a new workforce strategy. Tennessee’s program - Alternative Workplace Solutions (AWS) – introduced Work from Home, Mobile Work, and Free Address programs to over half of the state’s agencies. It began with pilot programs in three agencies: the Department of Children’s Services, the Department of Financial Institutions, and the Department of Economic and Community Development. The pilots were designed to (among other things) reduce turnover and introduce a more collaborative, citizen-centric culture and approach. Just a few years after its creation, AWS not only had 17 of 23 state departments implementing a smarter, less expensive workspace but also had spawned new programs focused on digitization and offering more citizen-centric services (i.e., one point of entry for services, rather than visits five different agencies). In addition, AWS helped the state manage the risk of having a workforce in which 50 percent of employees were eligible to retire over the next five years and reduced the 2.6 million Rentable Square Feet (RSF) in downtown Nashville by at least 700,000 RSF (27%), avoiding approximately $14 million annually in just the next few years, all while building new capabilities and agility for employees, aiding recruitment and retention, and enhancing customer service.
Shared services and customer-centric service delivery is a core strategy for every responsive government. But how quickly can these capabilities be developed and activated? This case study examines the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s rapid journey to transition 3,000 information technology (IT) and human resources (HR), full-time employees, into the Office of Administration to create a new delivery center model. This restructuring was designed to improve services for citizens and agencies, while also reducing costs and streamlining collective functions. Their unified model was intended to shift HR and IT from a functional perspective to strategic business service and to allow the Commonwealth to operate as one government, providing consistently effective and efficient services to all agencies. The Commonwealth had already transitioned several transactional HR functions such as payroll, open-enrollment, and off-boarding, and centralized several IT functions like emails, telecom, and data centers. As the Office of Administration works on pacing the implementation, this case examines how they were simultaneously stabilizing structures and systems, and processes (especially as they relate to governance and metrics) to sustain the transformation in the midst of an upcoming election.
In the early 2000s, the State of Ohio had a silo-ed information technology system and a decentralized approach to data. Twenty-six agencies were using approximately 9,000 servers to support more than 32 data centers that were running at less than 10% of their capacity. Moreover, of the close to one billion dollars that were being spent to support IT, approximately 70% of that was dedicated to infrastructures, such as servers and routers, while only 30% was being spent on public facing applications. This case examines how in five years, Ohio made tremendous strides in restructuring and optimizing IT systems, migrating 5,000 servers to the cloud, and re-allocating spending to what’s important. Success required building strong, diverse relationships with different agencies, legislators, the private sector, the University system, local governments, and others. As a result, in just two years, Ohio had seen more than $100 million in direct savings and produced $60 million of cost avoidance for higher education and local government partners.
Colorado is committed to healthy living, and in 2013 the state launched a robust effort to improve the health and wellness of over 30,000 state employees. In collaboration with several private sector partners, they created an online web portal, accessible to all employees regardless of their insurance provider, to establish incentives and support customized programs to improve employee wellness. Within three years they had more than 50% of employees participating in activities such as health screenings, targeted diabetes programs, walking and exercise programs, and new partnerships to offer near-site health clinics. This case study examines their initial efforts focused on redefining the relationship between partners, developing trust, and increasing participation, which necessitated working across diverse agencies with different needs, cultures, and ways of communicating. It also considers how the program evolved, and how the state restructured its partnerships to provide a more innovative, outcome-focused program
In 2011 in response to evolving technological platforms, economic factors, social variables, and political shifts, Missouri launched a new service delivery program - Missouri Health Homes initiative - designed to provide cost-effective, longitudinal, multidisciplinary care to individuals with chronic conditions. Establishing this new model involved extensive cross-boundary collaboration, with the Missouri Medicaid Program (MO HealthNet), the Department of Health and Senior Services, the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Social Services, and the Office of Administration. This initiative resulted in a structural change and a new operating model that was promoted to other states. To launch this effort the team had to develop a new funding model, build strong, diverse relationships with different agencies, legislators, the private sector, vendors, and others, and develop a new set of outcome measures. Along the way, the initiative encountered the challenges of recruiting and training new staff, collecting, organizing, and using new types of data, revising existing processes, and breaking down information silos. This case focuses on Missouri’s efforts to respond to convergence, transform their operating model, manage culture change, capitalize on data and analytics, and establish and maintain diverse partnerships.
Leadership for a Networked World’s applied research, student innovation challenge, and on-campus summit programs are an initiative of Dr. Antonio M. Oftelie, Innovation Fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH), part of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. TECH is a hub for students, faculty, alumni, and government and industry leaders to learn together, collaborate, and innovate. LNW accelerates these efforts by connecting leaders across sectors and developing cutting-edge thought leadership on innovation and organizational transformation.