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Advice from Local E-Government Pioneers

Pioneers share words of wisdom for those starting their own e-government projects.

Get buy in from the people who can stop you

In every local government a handful of influential people have the power to stop and start a project. It's important to get support from these people right from the start. If you can't get them at the planning table, find a way to capture and respond to their feedback and ideas. Once they are on board, keep them in the loop through regular status reports. Failure to do so could derail the project at the first sign of trouble. In one town, the clerk wanted to put the town's codebook online. The trouble was the IT director was initially against it because he thought it would be too much work for his department. Rather than giving up on the idea, the clerk successfully took the IT director's concerns into consideration and researched the workload involved in such a project. She then presented the potential benefits and an estimation of workload to both the town supervisor and IT director. Through this discussion both the IT director and the town supervisor saw the advantages of being able to update and provide access to the codebook electronically.