Technology saves money, and allows for collaboration to bring forth good ideas. That’s been the message I’ve been driving home as GSA continues to upgrade and expand our technology offerings. And here’s another good example:
The Great Ideas Hunt, the brainchild of GSA’s Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini, was launched May 31 to solicit ideas from GSA staffers on ways to save money. By July 6, 632 ideas were received from throughout the agency. GSA staff voted on their favorite submissions, and five terrific ideas were selected for implementation – ideas that will save GSA $5.5 million annually.
The Washington Post describes in more detail the specific ideas and the GSA employees who suggested them. But here’s the background on how this program came together:
With just a short timeframe to get the Great Ideas Hunt up and running, we utilized our internal collaboration platform, Salesforce, to create the web presence for the Hunt through GSA’s employee portal. During the voting process, users could see the full list of submissions and sort through tabs for Popularity, Most Recent, or Top All-Time. Voters could also promote or demote specific concepts, and were encouraged to not only look at the submissions, but to assess and comment on them. And the status of ideas was always available: Submitted, Under Review, Finalist, or Key Idea. Questions about the process or the contest could be posted to the Great Ideas Hunt Chatter Group. By the end of the contest, nearly 20,000 votes had been logged.
The Great Ideas Hunt will return, and may even open up to the general public through a web page. But what I keep coming back to is that our ability to be agile and nimble through the technological advances we’ve implemented at GSA is having a real impact on the bottom line. The Great Ideas Hunt is just the latest illustration.