The Execution pillar of the Accenture Innovation Framework explores how agencies turn new ideas into real-world government innovation. Through our study of nearly 600 government professionals across 10 countries, we examined how agencies evaluate ideas, test them with proofs of concept (POCs), evaluate the results of POCs and then scale the best ideas.

Our study revealed the following about how agencies are executing government innovation:

  • While governments are moving quickly, they aren’t scaling easily. Forty-seven percent reported implementing innovation in six to 12 months, and 38 percent say they implement in 12 to 18 months. Yet more than three-quarters (77 percent) told us that moving from pilot to broad implementation at scale is a significant challenge.
  • We uncovered a strong focus on “marketing” government innovation—that is, displaying and promoting benefits. Eighty-three percent reported that their agency is “strong” or “very strong” on this front.
  • Governments expect the partners they select in public tender to bring innovation to the table. In fact, 73 percent report that price and innovation have equal weight—or that innovation is more important than price.

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Follow the government innovation leaders for execution

Accenture analysis and experience point to practices that can help improve the way agencies manage the execution process for government innovation:

  • Go talk with your citizens. Set up a structured mechanism for uncovering citizens’ needs. Be disciplined and consistent in asking citizens what’s working—and what’s not—with your existing services.
  • Put a process in place. Be rigorous in managing execution, with a strong tie to the impact and benefits of government innovation. Establish a strong practice for each step of execution—evaluating ideas, executing POCs, assessing POC results, scaling quickly to production and evaluating results once in production.
  • Think like entrepreneurs. Embrace iterative, agile methods, including willingness to rapidly change course. Build the discipline to end at any point in the cycle based on how well or poorly benefits are realised.
  • Assess skills (technical and “soft”). Perform an objective evaluation of your skills gap. Where gaps exist, determine if you truly need those skills. Where you need skills but have gaps, fill them through partners.
What stands in the way of effective execution? Accenture’s findings point to lack of technological capabilities, budgetary constraints, risk-averse cultures and lack of support from leadership and key decision makers.

Wee Wei Ng



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