Develop Federal Mobility Based on User Needs

Idea#18

Stage: Active

Campaign: Ideas for the Mobility Strategy

Design government mobility products and services based on citizen and employee needs, behaviors, and desires.

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(latest 20 votes)

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Comments

  1. Comment
    joshua.love

    Kim - this is great to hear from outside of some of the circles that I have been apart of. I am working the idea as much as I can in my circles and getting some pretty good feedback.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      kim.taylor ( Idea Submitter )

      Great Joshua~ a good mobility strategy is key to letting our customers and citizens complete tasks from anywhere. Not to mention allowing employees to be more productive. I can't wait to hear from from your circles.

  2. Comment
    joshua.love

    Kim - a suggestion would be to change user needs to use case, ie tactical, first responder, every day user which will be defined by the needs of those users for those use cases.

  3. Comment
    kim.taylor ( Idea Submitter )

    Speaking of user needs/use case - I would be interested in hearing suggestions on determining overall user needs or use cases.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      Gwynne Kostin
      ( Moderator )

      Looks like a suggestion for metrics?

  4. Comment
    Jenny Toigo

    I have found that one of the ways to gather customer needs is to demonstrate the possibilities through useable prototypes and operational pilots. These are only a few of the ways to solicit feedback and inputs. We found it helpful to ask a lot of questions and encourage inputs in as many ways as possible since different customers prefer to interact in different ways.

    Sometimes by touching and seeing the technology in their hands, our customers can better articulate their specific needs or challenges that can translate into use cases.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      Community Member

      Your closing comment is an important one. By having the targeted workforce become active partners in the developing of a mobile app can reap great benefits and in a relatively short period. We have a workforce challenged in performing many technically oriented tasks (e.g., instrumentation, electrical, civil, mechanical, maintenance, etc.). These tasks are performed many times in extreme environmental conditions (such as, temperature extremes, radiological, chemical, biological hazards, within and around deteriorating structures). The makeup of the various disciplines actively involved in field operations represents a large and diverse technically oriented workforce of craft, engineers, and scientists. Seeking out and creating small “user-needs” pilot groups which are then coupled with mobile application developers (either within and/or external to an agency) has the potential of creating applications that will be fielded and employed in a relatively short span and with a feedback loop, will lead to improvements in the applications. More importantly, the potential exists of creating tools that will improve worker safety, efficiencies and productivity.

    2. Comment
      Mark Samblanet

      Jenny... you hit the nail on the head. Determining requirements is not simply a matter of asking the use "what do you want". Most (and, as I get older, I find myself in this category) cannot visualize how a new technology would help them. Demonstrations that they can "touch and feel" are always better. One of my guiding principals is "People react better than they act".

  5. Comment
    Community Member

    It's important for everyone to remember that developing a mobile app is the same as developing any other app.

    It needs to meet a need, it needs to help the user base accomplish something of value to them, and, for a government agency it needs to be mission based and help the agency achieve it's goals.

    A big vote yes for that one. No application, mobile or otherwise, should ever be built without, dare I say the word, requirements that are well deveoped and hopefully validated against a user need. This way we can spend dollars wisely, add to the mission, and help the public.

    And yes, Gwynne, we need to measure the usage and effectiveness of our new apps with metrics that are lightweight and useful!

  6. Comment
    joshua.love

    Kim/all - so here is a question that i think it would be good to start pondering. What are those use cases that would cover 95% of government? I don't think that we could cover all government in a use case with mission sets like the special operations communities.

    The use cases that immediately come to mind are:

    1. Tactical - user like LE agents, Boarder Patrol Agents, Deployed Military members

    2. First Responder - communications equipment that will support natural disasters or when communication infrastructure is saturated

    3. Average user - needs the basic requirements of security but the main want is the same user experience as from their personal device.

    What are some of the other use cases that ya'll can think of?

    Josh

  7. Comment
    Community Member

    2. Josh – I agree. At this time, I do not think we can nor should attempt to try to cover the whole spam of the government. We could start with a list of potential “mobile app group types” that could initially be large but then thinned down to a smaller sampling (relatively speaking) that would be more manageable. I believe, much like your list, any list will have two basic elements: the discipline (types of worker – “the who”) and the task, processes, or activity they perform (“the what”). Adding to your list, other disciplines are engineering, technical, construction, scientific, medical, administrative, emergency (e.g., First Responders mentioned in your list), security, to name a few. Other activities, which can be specialized depending on who is performing the work, might be access to guides and procedures in the field, inventory control, QA/QC, radiological survey data access, work process controls, maintenance procedures and records. The goal is to try to map mobile application types to the type of worker to help identify a user base to approach in helping in the development of the applications.

  8. Comment
    wjhuie

    I think this is a good idea (as other comments obviously do as well) however I'd caution against the belief that we can 'up front' always know which users need mobility.

    For example, it might be easy to say "that budget / finance personal is always sitting at their desk, so they don't need mobility" -- However, we've then completely constrained any future ability to transition then to any kind of mobility (and what happens when they're on the Hill reporting on budgets and need access to a report).

    I'd also be interested in asking the question "who doesn't need mobility", since I'd bet a very strong case could be made that almost every employee whether during their regular job, or COOP, etc, would benefit from the option.

  9. Comment
    kim.taylor ( Idea Submitter )

    metrics, task based and approach. Those are the three things I take from the comments. Maybe we start with a app for federal workers that everyone would have a need to use. As an example only, Web Time sheets. In theory, there is no reason why it couldn't be an app as there is really no reason to have to be on a desktop or laptop to enter time, schedule leave, approve time sheets and other associated duties. Again just an idea, for an app with a broad user base.

  10. Comment
    pierce.crowell

    Mobile platform operating systems and developer tools must support accessibility (Section 508), fully functional and inexpensive assistive technologies need to be available to federal employees, and agency application developers (and their contractors) need to follow best practices to ensure a richer and more inclusive strategy.

  11. Comment
    BJLittle

    Absolutely! Keep the focus on service to the end user.