New Digital Service Teams

Start Date: January 2020

Portfolio: Data + Digital

Stage: Exploratory

Summary + Problem Statement

Across the United States and around the world, a number of governments are embarking on digital transformation efforts by launching innovation and digital service teams and incorporating roles such as user researchers, human-centered designers, software developers, and data scientists within their teams. As these new efforts take shape, government teams are pioneering new approaches and learning from their experiences and we have much to learn from those implementing innovative methods.

While the government digital service teams are focused on building their services and methodologies, there is an opportunity to document their work in order to learn from these experiences, to share it more widely, and eventually scale approaches that work.

Project Elements


The Beeck Center’s Digital Service Collaborative, in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation, is pairing local researchers with government teams in state and local governments in the U.S. to capture work as it happens, document learnings, and work with the teams to determine the best ways to disseminate this information to benefit both the people in these state and local communities and  collaborators in other governments. These researchers will work closely with government teams to learn about their goals, priorities, activities, and decision-making, and to document their work. 

Current project participants include the newly created Colorado Digital Service and the State of New Jersey’s Office of Innovation.


The research outputs and documentation through this project will focus on ways to support the learning and strategic design of similar initiatives in other governments. As a result, the analysis will emphasize identifying the challenges, opportunities, and processes that are likely to resonate in other contexts and identify contextual factors that are most important to address in modernizing and digitizing state government services, for example:

  1. Specific strategies being followed by the government team in the digitization effort, including how teams engage the private sector on government projects (and the ways they manifest in different stages of digitization and for different stakeholders). 
  2. Actual and perceived barriers and challenges faced by public servants, policymakers, external partners, and recipients. These include technical, political, and legal barriers. 
  3. Technical processes through which digitization is implemented, including technical documentation of software development, procurement, and user design.
  4. The most important successes and failures encountered in the process, and an analysis of what led to those outcomes. 
  5. Most immediate opportunities for successful replication and scaling of activities. 
  6. Key indicators used to measure success internally, and an analysis of their utility, limits, and relevance in other contexts. 

Related Reports

NYC[x] Innovation Fellows: Catalyzing Digital-Era Transformation Using a 10-Week Sprint

Read More
Black woman in mask, scrubs, gloves holding a tablet

Procuring Differently: How Colorado Used User Research and Active Vendor Management for COVID-19 Technology

Read More

Breaking Through the Noise: Building a Trusted Source of Information for COVID-19

Learn how New Jersey quickly spun up and launched, a one-stop resource for residents’ pressing questions about the virus.

Read More

People on this project

Kevin Parker headshot

Kevin Parker

Fellow, Data + Digital
View Profile
Conor Carroll headshot

Conor Carroll

View Profile
Yeri Kim headshot

Yeri Kim

View Profile

Vandhana Ravi

Program Associate, Data + Digital
View Profile
cori zarek headshot

Cori Zarek

Executive Director
View Profile

Related Insights

macbook with surgical mask hanging off of edge

Four Ways State Government Digital Service Teams Can Support the COVID-19 Response

Read More
logos of colorado and new jersey digital service teams over screen of computer code

Beeck Center Launches Project to Support New Digital Service Teams

Read More

Related Events

No items found

Connect with Us

Join us! Keep up on the latest news, events, and career opportunities.