Building a More Responsive Federal Workforce: Lessons from the SC2 Pilot. 3.3 Interagency Collaboration around Real, Time-Sensitive Local Problems


During the SC2 pilot, team members enhanced their ability to collaborate within and across federal agencies and departments. They learned new ways to share knowledge, how to better align programs across agencies so that cities can pool resources and move projects forward, and how to manage collaborative projects such that everyone remains focused, increasing time and cost efficiency. Federal employees experienced first-hand the challenges of collaboration as well as how much could be accomplished when agencies pooled their energies and worked to find synergies in policies and programs.

These new insights about the value of collaboration and how to collaborate effectively were possible because the SC2 pilots were focused on real problems in specific communities. By tackling real world issues, team members gained a deeper understanding of other federal agencies’ programs - what programs exist, how funds can and cannot be used, and how the programs intersect with their own agencies’ work. Team members also were able to better conceptualize how agencies’ approached their missions by observing implementation in the context of community work. As one team member put it, her experience working on the pilot showed her how much her agency’s mission had in common with the missions of other federal agencies. This in turn gave her a path toward more effective collaboration, as she was able to see how she and her colleagues could coordinate better with colleagues in other agencies

Promising Practice: Foster effective  interagency collaboration by focusing on specific, real-time community problems.

In two of the pilot cities, key members of the SC2 teams decided to build upon their successes during the SC2 pilot by continuing their commitment to the inter-agency collaborative model. These members are actively pursuing new opportunities to work together in other communities. For example, members of the Fresno SC2 team are  looking for other communities where their agencies are already working so they can use existing resources to do work differently as they have done in Fresno. These team members believe that they can use existing resources more effectively by collaborating. Through their efforts, they hope to achieve deeper results, similar to what they achieved in Fresno.

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