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Increasing Information Sharing Effectiveness: A Capability Assessment Model for the Justice Enterprise

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Publications & Results
Issue Briefs (1)
Capability Image
The obvious difficulty and high failure rate of information technology (IT) innovations in government and elsewhere have been central concerns in much of CTG’s work over the past 15 years. Our first-hand experiences, coupled with reviews of the current research, highlight the importance of organizational capability as a critical success factor in IT innovation. It is clear that successful IT innovations, and the transformation they seek to support, depend at least as much on how well the organizations and individuals perform as on the chips, networks, and software. This finding led us, in turn, to further explore the concept of organizational capability and to work with government agencies to develop tools to enhance capability for IT innovation.

Practical Guides (3)
Sharing Information book cover
Government enterprises face many performance challenges that can be addressed more successfully through better information-sharing initiatives. Regardless of the size and complexity of these initiatives, they are all made less challenging when participating organizations have a joint action plan that outlines what information sharing is necessary to be successful and what investments in capability must be made to close the gaps between capability required and capability available. Decisions to invest in information-sharing initiatives must be grounded in such an action plan. This toolkit is designed for government professionals tasked with planning and implementing initiatives that rely on effective information-sharing. It provides a process for assessing where capabilities for information-sharing exist and where they must be developed to achieve targeted goals. Assessment results provide a basis for action planning to fill capability gaps.

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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.

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 informationsharing 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 informationsharing 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.

Reports (1)
Effective Strategies Cover
This current practices study contributes to a community-wide knowledge building effort by examining the factors that influenced the success of selected justice information integration initiatives.