Mobilizing Shared Services and Digital Strategies

A Report from the 2015 Federal Leadership Summit

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The complete version of this report is available as a PDF

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Summary


Federal agency leaders are innovating at an unprecedented pace. Strategies such as shared services, advanced analytics, cloud-based computing, and digital services have increased efficiency and effectiveness. And yet, when we considerthe largely untapped potential of shared services, new opportunities for digital transformation, and fulfillment of the President’s Management Agenda—especially per the DATA Act—it becomes clear that agency leaders must mobilize for the future of such capacity-building models and initiatives.

To help federal leaders create a shared vision and plan of action for growing shared services and digital strategies, Leadership for a Networked World and the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, in collaboration with Booz Allen Hamilton, convened senior leaders for The 2015 Federal Leadership Summit: Mobilizing for Shared Services and Digital Strategies. Leaders at the Summit collaborated with their peers in federal government, Harvard faculty, and select industry experts to develop their individual and collective strategies for advancement.

“If you take all the data government has, and allow people to access and organize it, well, it’s going to be earth-shattering.
Paul Bartley
Director, Program Support Center U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
We’re building a team with a healthy disrespect for the impossible.
Amen Ra Mashariki
Chief Analytics Officer, New York City Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics


Perhaps the most persistent, if not surprising, theme to emerge from the Summit is that mobilizing for shared services and digital strategies at the Federal level is dependent on leaders across agencies investing in a shared vision. Indeed, taking a step toward realizing that vision was a core goal of this inaugural Summit.

Leaders who participated in the Summit should take due pride in what they accomplished, but we must also remember that a truly robust vision must evolve over time—incorporating new insights, new lessons learned, and an ever-changing ecosystem.

The Action Plan in this Report represents an important first step towards creating that dynamic vision. As a next step, we look forward to growing this community and supporting their implementation of this plan. This leadership group is poised to address the issues elevated and examined at the Summit. Together we can review, assess, expand and promote the full portfolio of shared services available. We’re ready to lead work in the greater ecosystem to navigate cross-agency cultural differences, develop new partnerships, and advocate for change. And, we are prepared to create new mechanisms to regularly share information and best practices across the community to mobilize shared services and digital strategies.

We eagerly anticipate future collaborations with this group of transformational leaders, and the opportunity to help lift this shared vision to the next level.

We hope this Report and Action Plan will provide guidance, insight and inspiration to all leaders presently involved in planning or implementing digital strategies or shared services.


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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.

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