For government agencies, the Executive Secretariat (“ExecSec”) office is a focal point in tracking all correspondence, documents, and actions flowing between offices within an agency. The ExecSec office supports decision-making processes, ensuring efficient and effective flow of communications, including correspondence with the executive branch of government and other federal, state, and local agencies.
Other offices also bear the burden of managing communications and documents. Offices across government interact with other governments, citizens, non-governmental organizations, and businesses, processing thousands of pieces of correspondence per month through multi-channels including mail, telephone conversations, and email. Despite good intentions, many offices have not been able to keep up with the sheer volume of correspondence, regulatory commitments (e.g., archiving records), and changing people, processes, and technology forces.
There is an opportunity to respond to modernization in a more agile manner.
Agencies have the opportunity to respond to these challenges with solutions that offer extensibility, adaptability, and speed, while reducing the gap between information technology and mission.
We must build on what is great and quickly respond to what can be improved.
People — with their knowledge and passion for helping others — are our greatest resource in government. An agile approach to modernization requires people from both IT and the mission to be involved early and often to transform processes and technology. Applications fail when stakeholders across a process are not engaged. Unfortunately, we’ve all seen this movie over and over.
At Microsoft, we’ve learned, and our approach has evolved. We’re building apps seated next to everyone on the value delivery chain. Professional developers, business analysts, and mission owners are building apps together using a scalable and secure platform.
The key here is how we work together to build solutions in hours, not weeks or months. App co-development leverages what IT does best — systems integration — while getting close to the mission and enabling users to tailor apps to their needs. Through co-development, we can deliver capabilities that include:
● Assignment automation to direct correspondence to the right recipient in a timely manner
● SaaS connectors that enable more efficient collaboration
● Office 365 alerts, notifications, and reminders to keep tasks on schedule
● Compliance with rules for transferring permanent records to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
In my next post, I will dive into technical approaches for modernizing enterprise correspondence and tasking systems.