Notes from Ottawa GovJam (#OGovjam)

Friday, June 6, 2014
by Nick Charney RSS / cpsrenewalFacebook / cpsrenewalLinkedIn / Nick Charneytwitter / nickcharneygovloop / nickcharneyGoogle+ / nickcharney

I spent some time at Ottawa Govjam this week as a participant, a speaker, a mentor and (oddly enough) a sponsor. I'm sharing my Prezi and (raw, unedited and unchecked against delivery) speaking notes below as well as a couple of my tweets from the the event that include links to some of the older cpsrenewal blog posts that came up in conversation. I'm going to circle back with comments and reflections later. Cheers.

- Nick



Govjam Logo
  • Thanks for the opportunity
  • [joke] buying mic time as a sponsor

IOG Logo
  • Intro self
  • Intro IOG
  • Twitter @'s
  • Hackathons, Dragons Dens and Innovation labs are all the rage right now
  • And while a lot of people are buying into the hype, I’m skeptical

  • I’m skeptical because these approaches are ultimately still vulnerable to the same structural imperatives that created the need for them.
  • I’m skeptical because they tend to be bolted on rather than being baked into their fabric from the get go.
  • I’m skeptical because they tend to be flashy and the sensationalism is as best unnecessary, at worst undermining.

fix (greater than) hack
  • Call me old fashioned but I’d rather fix government than hack it
  • Have a conversation than hold a dragon’s den

steak (greater than) sizzle
  • In short, I’m tired of being sold the sizzle
  • Even a skeptic has to eat
  • So let’s set the table.

  • target the broken, overly complicated and poorly designed or executed
  • These are your best entry points in the system
  • Creative destruction is your friend, kill the bad, grow the good.
  • recognize that scrutiny, scalability and longevity are your achilles’ heel
  • Usability starts in the ideation phase, not the design phase
  • What are the pain points you are addressing?
  • What is your approach vector?
  • What is the appetite for the solution?
  • Validation is the first, last and omnipresent ingredient.
  • Don’t allow your jam to be decontextualized from the challenge
  • Use your mentors, talk to the other teams
  • To paraphrase a friend – none of this exists in a vacuum

value each other
  • value each other because this is neither your first nor your last rodeo
  • You are going to continue to cross paths with everyone here so be kind

  • remember that in the public sector the road one travels is often as important as the destination
  • so act accordingly

  • Help leaders burn their ships
  • Build something so compelling that it cuts off the way backward
  • Give leaders a commitment strategy
  • And finally …

gl hf