Upcoming Department of Energy Playbook Aims to Guide Innovation 'in Big Ways'

ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP via Getty Images

Energy CIO Anne Dunkin discussed the agency’s vision for a broadly-applicable modernization playbook to help federal organizations strategically upgrade outdated technology. 

Scalability is at the heart of the Department of Energy’s modernization playbook, a forthcoming publication that agency leadership hopes will be adopted by other public organizations as they work to overhaul the government’s technological infrastructure. 

“We've got pockets of innovation, but what we don't have is sort of fully digitally transformed organizations, and we haven't figured out how to scale,” Ann Dunkin, the DOE chief information officer, told Nextgov. “We haven't broadly implemented that ability to scale transformation across organizations. So it's still happening in small ways instead of big ways.”

Discussing the ethos of the playbook, Dunkin said her agency’s approach is distinct from other modernization manuals in that it will focus on innovative scaling methodology.

“This follows that model of trying to create a playbook that will help us move from sort of islands of innovation in departments, agencies to modernizing across an entire agency,” Dunkin explained. “We're just starting to build out that playbook. Now, our goal is to use that to scale modernization the government.”

Dunkin is no stranger to large IT initiatives. She is currently serving in her second federal CIO position and worked as a member of the Technology Strategy & Delivery cross-agency team that guided the Biden-Harris presidential transition.

She said that the playbook will largely be composed of advice from interviews with modernization leaders in the private and public sectors. While it focuses on innovative scalability for all organizations, some other topics included in the playbook will be implementing low code platforms available throughout an organization as well as rapid authority to operate, or ATO, processes. 

Energy’s approach to scalability is part of a broader federal initiative to upgrade dated technology within the public sector. Dunkin said that Energy’s focus is on how to innovate scalability efforts, mainly through reducing costs and imagining better blueprints to help other agencies seamlessly integrate modern platforms into their structure. The tips included in the publication will be more modern development approaches to digital transformation. 

Some agencies have had a difficult time deploying new software systems, most notably the electronic health records designed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, which has suffered major delays and cost adjustments in recent years.  

Energy’s playbook would ideally help remedy these kinds of situations. 

She cited examples of other agencies deploying their own modernization products, such as the Air Force’s Software Factory Model, which is a series of pre-made platforms that provide various DevSecOp services to customers. 

Dunkin said Energy’s mission regarding its playbook is to make it a similar product that helps agencies tailor intelligent scaling to their internal structure. 

“We want to figure out how to help other departments…do that same sort of scaling where, you know, we can deliver innovation at a much higher scale more broadly, through the organization,” she said. 

Other topics that will likely appear in the playbook are based on Energy’s current modernization efforts. Also included are potential lessons the agency has learned in working on adopting their own recommendations. 

“We're going to be very challenged as we try and implement what we're suggesting are the ways to operate,” she said. 

Customer experience on the civilian end will also be a topic covered by the playbook, but Dunkin noted that Energy’s services are different from more direct customer engagement like that of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs or the Internal Revenue Service. 

To be broadly applied across departments, however, modernization strategies in Energy’s playbook will have a foundation of user experience needs. 

“There may or may not be a play that's really focused on gathering…user input and engaging users. But that user experience piece is underlying the premise of what we're doing,” she said. “There is no point in delivering government services, if they are not what people need.”

Dunkin noted that the release of the book is unknown, but it should be published sometime within 2022.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.