Breaking Down Silos via Technology and Culture
At the GSA, the Office of Governmentwide Policy has been directly involved in supporting the CIO Council to create interagency collaboration standards, Pomeroy said.
The office has also worked with some foreign governments and has been able to leverage solutions that have become much more common in government since the onset of the pandemic, such as videoconferencing. For example, the office is working with the Australian government on Technology Business Management. “That openness allows us to move in new ways,” he said.
The pandemic “amped up everyone’s capabilities to leverage video chat in a way we never leveraged it before,” he said, adding that interagency and intergovernmental collaboration enables efficiencies and economies of scale.
Roat said the nature of the work and the need to work across government is not changing, but that the “how” of interagency collaboration is shifting away from email and more toward team collaboration platforms, such as Microsoft Teams.
Emailing attachments between agencies is “pretty painful,” Pomeroy acknowledged, and he said it is difficult to collaborate and ensure version control. However, he noted, technology platforms such as Teams and Google Workspace solve for those issues. The key is to remove barriers to using them across government agencies, he said. That work is ongoing with the recently established project management office Roat mentioned.