General Advice

The Future of Digital Government

The Future of Digital Government Going Digital means more than just using new technology to deliver services to people. It involves solving problems in new and different ways. It means changing how people work and enhancing operations in a myriad of ways. NASA has done this by deploying Virtual Reality as a data visualization tool, and the Department of Veterans Affairs has used it to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It will no longer be business as usual when the government fully embraces new technology. The changes will impact every federal agency and every federal employee. Businessman pressing button on touch screen interface and select Government. Business, internet, technology concept.; Shutterstock ID 334796147; PO: digital government The Emerging Landscape of the Digital...

Are You Afraid of Accountability?

If you want to be an effective leader, there is one word that will make or break your leadership: Accountability. An accountable style of leadership doesn’t come easily. Many people in leadership are afraid of it. How about you? Accountability means you have to be willing to hear the truth and give it. This takes courage and a willingness to be transparent. Leaders may talk about accountable leadership but fall short of implementing it. You have the opportunity to make it work. If you are willing to build your leadership around accountability, you will be amazed at the transformation all around you. Here are four basic keys to accountable leadership.   1. Be Fully Engaged  Maybe there was a time when leaders could separate...

From innovation to Innovation – 10 rules to go beyond the buzz

To innovate can be defined as “The action or process of innovating. Creating a new method, product, or idea.” It is certainly the buzzword of the moment in business, governance bodies, and institutions worldwide. But what does it mean in practice, really; beyond just the next incarnation of tired terms like value, intelligence, design, or dare I say, ‘digital’? Organizations are now trying to turn innovation into Innovation, a special-noun function of their business, as much as say Accounts Payable or Online Sales. This doesn’t feel altogether right. It is what the definition states, but also it implies a new way of thinking and working – a step-change aside from the norm to create something bigger, better, more effective in an order...

The Role of the Product Owner in Scrum

Shot of colleagues having a brainstorming session with sticky notes at work The concept of a Product Owner in Scrum evolved from the Chief Engineer role pioneered by Toyota in the car manufacturing industry. By crossing from manufacturing into software delivery, it is now a formative component of Scrum and one of three defined roles in the framework. Considering the importance of this role, a frequently asked question in Agile 101 sessions is what does a Product Owner do and what challenges exist when establishing the role? This article sets out to answer these questions. We can begin by listing some of the key responsibilities for a Product Owner: Set the product vision, and with support from the entire scrum...

Our Agile Values

At Viderity, we are big fans of Agile ways of working. There are various methods branded “Agile,” with Scrum™ being the most well-known, although people sometimes incorrectly conflate Agile and Scrum. However, Agile is not a method. Rather, it is a set of principles stated in the Agile Manifesto, and a resultant way of thinking about how best to develop software. A given method can be more or less adherent to these principles, and so be more or less “agile”.   The awkward truths of software development At its heart, Agile is about acknowledging and addressing some awkward truths about most, if not all, software development activity: Requirements change We often assume that with enough up-front analysis, solution requirements can be fully described and...

2018 Digital Trends Impacting Government

Technology is constantly changing as new tools are developed and old tools are modified or repurposed, and these commercial innovations are having a growing impact on how we govern. What citizens come to expect from the government is evolving as these new advanced tools mesh with their daily lives. This is requiring government organizations to not only understand these new tools, but to know when and how best to implement them to further their mission. Going forward, let’s explore four technology trends that are currently impacting citizen engagement and digital communications, including live video, immersive tools, bots, and wearables.   Trend 1: Live video Live video is a teenager in Internet years, but with Facebook launching their live video product in 2016, there...

Digital Marketing Tools to Reach and Retain Clients

Diverse People Connecting With Social Media Who doesn’t want to create and nurture new customer relationships? In welcoming these critical connections, digital marketing tools can help your team with focus and organization, division of labor, scheduling, and task automation. Below, you will find a list of great tools. Happily, many of them are either free or very inexpensive. Just one more plus on the path to customer integration. Tools to Help Publish Content To be successfully “found” by customers, great relationship development and a stellar reputation are critical. In addition, there’s no denying that written content can help, especially when published in the form of a blog. There are many tools to help you do just that. Here are some that we recommend: WordPress:...

Bridging Gaps With Wikis

One great way to connect with the public is by building a Wiki. The word Wiki comes from the Hawaiian, meaning “quick”. And, that’s what a Wiki is: a fast and easy way to engage people. Specifically, it’s an online database that allows anyone to edit or add content. In creating a Wiki, you’re essentially inviting others to help take ownership of an issue. It’s democratic to the core. Everyone is on an equal playing field, and can suggest solutions that  might not have been considered. Surely, you’ve heard of Wikipedia (an online crowd-sourced encyclopedia). The public is free to edit Wikipedia and update its web pages, allowing it to grow and change over time. Many other sites embrace the...

Time For Spring Cleaning – Refresh Your Website For Higher Google Ranking

If you’ve put off developing your website in either responsive design or a separate mobile site, then your site will have difficulty ranking in Google's mobile search results. If traffic to your website is predominantly mobile and your website is not mobile-friendly, then your traffic will most likely be decreased due to low ranking.

Women Approach Tipping Point in Tech

“Women at a Tipping Point in Tech” reviews recent research on gender parity in the tech industry and looks for practical solutions to (and ultimately, transcendence of) women’s issues in the IT workplace.