fbpx Digital Transformation in Government: Curriculum | Harvard Kennedy School

Digital Transformation in Government is a one-week program that helps executives like you gain a greater understanding of the multiple ways in which digital platforms, communications and design have an impact on policy and programs — and how they can be leveraged for greater success.

The program uses a unique combination of lectures, case studies, exercises, small group projects and robust class discussions to deliver the curriculum.

The Digital Transformation in Government curriculum focuses on:

  • How the Internet works and scoping the problem of “What is Digital?”
  • Agile versus waterfall project management and why it matters for public managers in a digital age
  • Leveraging data and how big data intersects with public policy
  • Digital security and what you need to know
  • Adaptive leadership thinking and skills, and applying them to digital projects
  • How social media has an impact on your organization — both internally and externally
  • Ethics in a digital age

Issues Drawn From the Real World

Throughout the program, you and your classmates will examine case studies that illustrate the increasing relevance of digital government, for better or for worse. For example:

  • In the United States, the implementation failure of healthcare.gov significantly harmed public perception of the Affordable Care Act.
  • In New York, following an analysis of data previously collected by the city, fire inspectors were redeployed to inspect buildings with the greatest likelihood of endangering first responders’ lives during fires.
  • In Canada, problems with the Phoenix payroll system left some government employees unpaid for months—and others overpaid.
  • In California, a $300 million RFP for a large IT implementation at high risk of failure was replaced with a new approach that saw a 20-fold increase in the number of responders at 15 percent of the cost.
More Information
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