Everybody Improve Already

I like technology. I like using technology. Technology makes my life, well, different. It simplifies some things and complicates others. I consult with clients who are interested in how technology will help them to simplify processes, be more competitive, etc. However, technology tends to be a multiplier, rather than a panacea. If you have a poor process and you apply technology to it, your process may be faster–but no better.

The President does not seem to understand this:

President Obama issued an executive order on Wednesday instructing federal agencies to come up with ways they can use technology to improve customer service within six months.

“Government managers must learn from what is working in the private sector and apply these best practices to deliver services better, faster, and at lower cost,” Obama said in a statement.

With respect, Mr. President, what works in the private sector is competition. Competition is the single best practice which would do more to improve customer service within government agencies than anything else. Oh, you can’t have competition? Well, then. How about getting rid of all government agencies whose work would be better served by states, businesses, churches, and families?