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Info Starter Kit
Guides & Tools

Below please find summaries and links to several research-based practical guides and tools prepared by CTG that focus on the critical public management responsibilities associated with information and technology use in the public sector.

Making IT Investments

Advancing Return on Investment Analysis for Government IT:
A Public Value Framework

Anthony M. Cresswell, G. Brian Burke, and Theresa A. Pardo
September 2006

Summary: This white paper provides an analysis process that starts with a high level view of the IT investment and then drills down through successive steps to identify the specific measures and methods that will reveal and document public value. The assessment can be tailored to the size and nature of a particular investment decision. The framework is broad in scope so that it can be applied to virtually any government IT investment – from simple Web sites to government-wide information systems and architectures. Advancing Return on Investiment Analysis for Government IT:  A Public Value Framework

 

In addition to this white paper, CTG developed five case study reports:

1. The Austrian Federal Budgeting and Bookkeeping System – Federal Government of Austria’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation to standardize the federal government’s budgeting and bookkeeping processes.

2. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Integrated Enterprise System – Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s ERP implementation to put in place the technical infrastructure and enterprise standards for core administrative functions.

3. The Government of Israel’s Merkava Project – Government of Israel’s ERP implementation to restructure the financial, logistics, and human resource components of government wide administration.

4. Service New Brunswick – A multi-channel “single window” citizen access to government services in New Brunswick, Canada.

5. The Washington State Digital Archives – The State of Washington’s investment in digital archiving for government records to provide collection, preservation, and access to records of enduring legal and historical significance.

 

Making Smart IT Choices: Understanding Value and Risk in Government IT Investments

Sharon S. Dawes, Theresa A. Pardo, Stephanie Simon, Anthony M. Cresswell,
Mark F. LaVigne, David F. Andersen, and Peter A. Bloniarz
April 2004

Summary
Why evaluate information technology (IT) choices? Because IT innovation is risky business in every organization. The public policy choices and public management processes that are part of government make it an especially difficult environment for IT managers. These layers of complexity present a daunting challenge to public managers who are responsible for choosing, funding, and building IT innovations. Government managers need to evaluate IT choices because they are among the most complex and expensive decisions they are expected to make. There are three ways to mitigate the risks inherent in these complex decisions: thoroughly understand the problem to be solved and its context, identify and test possible solutions to the problem, evaluate the results of those tests against your service and performance goals. This handbook is designed to help any government manager follow a well-tested methodology for evaluating IT innovations before deciding (with greater confidence) to make a significant investment.

Making Smart IT Choices:  Understanding Value and Risk in Government IT Investments
 
Return on Investment In Information Technology: A Guide for Managers

Anthony M. Cresswell
August 2004

Summary
This white paper provides an analysis process that starts with a high level view of the IT investment and then drills down through successive steps to identify the specific measures and methods that will reveal and document public value. The assessment can be tailored to the size and nature of a particular investment decision. The framework is broad in scope so that it can be applied to virtually any government IT investment – from simple Web sites to government-wide information systems and architectures.

Return on Investment in Information Technology:  A Guide for Manager
 
Insider's Guide to Using Information in Government


Peter Bloniarz, Donna Canestraro, Meghan Cook, Tony Cresswell, Sharon Dawes, Mark LaVigne, Theresa Pardo, Hans Scholl, and Stephanie Simon
Noember 2000

Summary
Every day, the people inside government use information to develop policies, make decisions, evaluate programs, and deliver services. The Insider's Guide to Using Information in Government draws from real agency experiences to provide a practical resource for government professionals. It covers six related topics (strategy, policy, data, costs, skills, and technology) and illustrates them with stories of state and local agency projects ranging in focus from internal knowledge sharing to statewide program evaluation.

Insider's Guide to Using Information in Government
 

Interorganizational Collaboration & Integration

 
Sharing Justice Information: A Capability Assessment Toolkit


Anthony M. Cresswell, Theresa A. Pardo, Donna S. Canestraro, Sharon S. Dawes,
and Dubravka Juraga
November 2005

Summary
The justice enterprise faces many performance challenges that can be addressed more successfully through better information-sharing initiatives. These challenges differ widely in their scope and complexity. Regardless of their size, all these initiatives are made less difficult when participating organizations have high levels of information-sharing capability. Therefore, decisions to invest in information-sharing initiatives must be grounded in a full understanding of the ability of those involved to identify and fill the gaps between current and required capability.

This toolkit is designed for justice professionals to use when considering or planning for a justice information-sharing initiative. It provides a process for assessing where capability for information-sharing exists and where it must be developed in order to achieve public safety goals. Assessment results provide a basis for action planning to fill capability gaps both within and across organizations.

This is a self-assessment tool, based on the idea that the persons involved in an information-sharing initiative are best equipped, by their knowledge and experience, to make judgments and supply evidence about these capabilities. The toolkit was designed to facilitate discussion within individual organizations as well as across organizations involved in an information-sharing initiative.

Sharing Justice Information:  A Capability Assessment Toolkit
 
Why Assess Information Sharing Capability?


Anthony M. Cresswell, Theresa A. Pardo, Donna S. Canestraro, and Sharon S. Dawes
December 2005

Summary
Government faces many challenges that can be addressed more successfully when information is shared across organizational boundaries. These challenges differ widely in scope and complexity. One may involve linking the different databases and case management processes in a single human services agency where organizational units operate under one executive leader, working toward a common goal. Another challenge may involve enterprise-level initiatives, such as a statewide crime communications network, consisting of many different agencies at several levels of government engaged in diverse but overlapping business processes using similar, if not identical, information. Some challenges, such as emergency response, are so extensive that they require information sharing and work processes that cross the boundaries of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Initiatives that depend on these kinds of information sharing are typically complex, difficult, and prone to failure. They are more likely to succeed when they include a comprehensive and systematic assessment of both organizational and technical information sharing capabilities. Such an assessment identifies the strengths and weaknesses of all participants, points out risks and risk mitigation strategies, and therefore leads to better planning and execution of cross-boundary programs and services.

 
New Models of Collaboration A Guide for Managers


Sharon S. Dawes and Ophelia Eglene
January 2004

Summary
Governments around the world are experimenting with public service delivery systems that rely on cross-boundary collaboration among government agencies or between government and the private and non-profit sectors. This guide focuses on the key elements of these new working arrangements of particular importance to the people who will design and manage them.

 
 

Electronic Records Management

 
Building State Government Digital Preservation Partnerships: A Capability Assessment and Planning Toolkit, Version 1.0


Theresa A. Pardo, Anthony M. Cresswell, Sharon S. Dawes, Brian Burke, Lucy Dadayan, Sudarshan Embar, and Hyuckbin Kwon
August 2005

Summary
State and local governments are creating vast amounts of information solely in digital form, including land data, school records, official publications and court records. Much of this material is of permanent value, yet is at risk because of fragile media, technological obsolescence, or other hazards. State libraries and state archives typically have broad responsibility for preserving and providing public access to state and local government information of enduring value, but many other agencies also play critical roles in managing and preserving digital information.

States vary greatly in the work already undertaken on behalf of digital preservation, as well as in the resources available for the task. The degree and focus of leadership for digital preservation varies from state to state, as do the specific priorities for immediate preservation attention. This variation comes in part because there is currently no consensus view about how states (or other organizations) should go about doing digital preservation. The challenge is both so new and so large that everyone is still trying to determine the best methods.

This toolkit is designed for library, archives, records management, and information technology professionals to use when considering or planning for a digital preservation initiative. It provides a process for assessing where capability for digital preservation exists and where it must be developed in order to achieve the goal of preserving significant and at risk government information. The toolkit is presented in four chapters as well as a comprehensive set of worksheets and related materials. Chapters 1-4 and Appendices 1-8 are available for download in PDF. Note: In order to help users of the toolkit compile multiple capability assessment ratings electronically, Appendix 8. Dimension Worksheets is provided also as a separate Microsoft Word document.

Buildling State Government Digital Preservation Partnerships: A Capability Assessment and Planning Toolkit, Verision 1.0

Opening Gateways: A Practical Guide for Designing
Electronic Records Access Programs

Theresa A. Pardo, Sharon S. Dawes , and Anthony M. Cresswell
January 2002

Summary
Government information is essential to the work and lives of many people, from scientific researchers to land developers to newspaper reporters. Increasingly, that information is being created and stored in electronic records. This CTG guide is designed to help government agencies develop affordable, manageable, and effective electronic records access programs. Opening Gateways details four tools that guide users through the assessment, diagnosis, design, and cost estimation phases of program development. A hypothetical case example demonstrates the practical application of the tools.

Practical Tools for Electronic Records Management and Preservation

Kristine L. Kelly, Alan Kowlowitz, Theresa A. Pardo, and Darryl E. Green
January 1999

Summary
Most organizations are increasingly managing work, and making decisions using electronic information. Organizations need electronic records that are reliable, authentic, usable, and accessible. But with the shift from paper to digital information, many organizations find that their current electronic records are insufficient to support their business needs, or that they are in danger of losing access to those records.

This guide was designed to help information and program managers integrate essential records management requirements into the design of new information systems. It details techniques that seamlessly integrate into the system design process, and result in the identification of technology specifications and opportunities for improving performance through improved access to records. The guide came out of the Models for Action: Practical Approaches to Electronic Records Management and Preservation project that CTG conducted with the New York State Archives and Records Administration, which was funded in part by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

 

 

Enabling E-Government

 
Using XML for Web Site Management: Getting Started Guide

Jim Costello, Donna S. Canestraro, Derek Werthmuller,
J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, and Andrea Baker
September 2006

Summary
As government Web sites grow in size and complexity, it is important for agencies to develop sounder approaches to Web site management and publication processes. Poor public image, prohibitive maintenance costs, lack of consistency, and limited capacity to provide multiple formats are just some of the problems that many government Web sites are already facing or will face in the near future. The future of e-government will depend in part on the ability of governments to manage their Web sites in a more effective and efficient way to deliver value to citizens. The Getting Started with XML guide is based on CTG’s own experience converting its Web site to XML, along with the experiences of five New York State agencies who participated in CTG’s XML Testbed. The research gathered from the Testbed contributed to a greater awareness of how XML can be used for Web site management in government settings.

Using XML for Web Site Management:  Getting Started Guide
The XML Tool Kit
August 2006
 

Summary
The XML Toolkit is a Web site product of CTG's Web Site Management Using XML: A Testbed Project, which served to assist New York State agencies in examining the benefits as well as the challenges of Web site management using the emerging technology of XML. It contains a library of XML resources and is intended to grow over time and benefit from the contributions of the online community.