Nick Sinai Photo

Nick Sinai

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy
Office Address
79 John F. Kennedy St. Littauer Bldg 231

DPI-663 is a field course with limited enrollment. Students must apply and be accepted by the instructor before their petition to enroll will be accepted. Accepted students will be notified by email and instructed to submit a Petition to Enroll.  2020 application link and deadline coming shortly.

In the last few years digital services units have emerged as key players in government reform in the U.S. and abroad. The scope and ambition of these efforts vary, but they all leverage methodologies common to private sector entrepreneurship -- an intense focus on understanding user needs, rapid prototyping and iteration, and the use of modern technologies.

Drawing on approaches pioneered by these units, this course seeks to equip students with a methodology and a mindset for driving change in 21st century government. Students will use lean startup principles and user-centered design methods to solve real problems for local and federal government clients.

These methods are best learned through practice. As such, this field class offers lectures on core concepts concurrently with client work. Students will be placed in teams of five and assigned a government client. Each team will scope their project; conduct user research in the field; rapidly design, build, and test lightweight prototypes; and, if relevant, create a plan to scale their product. Teams also offer policy, operations, and strategy recommendations at a final Demo Day, as well as in presentations at the client site.

For more information on the course, including past presentations, prototypes, and blog posts from student teams, please see

2019 Clients will be the City of Boston, U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Permission of the instructor required. Application and link coming shortly.