Are we _really_ transforming government? Aligning values and measuring impact

Jul 31, 2019 · 2 min read

At DrupalGovCon 2019, CivicActions’ co-founder Aaron Pava led a panel to discuss strategies for evaluating new projects with government partners. Aaron is an advocate of agile procurement practices and cultural change in government agencies, and served at the U.S. Digital Service in the Obama White House.

As founding members of the Digital Services Coalition, the firms represented on this panel are focused on improving lives by building user centered digital services — but not all projects are aligned with the values and practices that make this possible.

In this discussion, four civic tech leaders share frameworks for considering RFPs in terms of values alignment, incorporating team feedback, handling dissenting views within the team, and making the hard decisions when it’s necessary to say no.


Aaron Pava — Co-Founder & CXO, CivicActions
Delali Dzirasa — Founder & President, Fearless
Arden Klemmer — Director of Product Design, &Partners
Dan Levenson — Chief Strategy Officer, Agile Six

Watch the recording of “Are we _really_ transforming government?” from DrupalGovCon, 2019

“I want every one of our projects to be something we’re proud of.” — Aaron


  • 1:37 — Meet the panel: introductions
  • 4:27 — ‘Should we do this?’ Fearless’ process for considering new projects
  • 16:44 — How AgileSix protects their team’s talent density and company culture
  • 20:00 — &Partners’ short list of what kinds of products are unethical
  • 24:37 — Why representation on project teams shouldn’t be optional
  • 27:32 — Using the CivicActions’ IMPACT scorecard to focus questions about RFPs and get team consensus
  • 29:47 — Essential questions to consider when measuring IMPACT
  • 33:18 — How to set up a simple IMPACT scorecard in Google Docs
  • 35:08 — Discerning projects flagged as low value
  • 36:33 — Letting the management team have the final say — while acknowledging the project team’s recommendation ;)
  • 32:21 — Building relationships of transparency with government clients
  • 42:37 — How a dedicated product owner indicates client commitment
  • 44:55 — What to do if a project’s goals change and no longer align with your values


Connect with Aaron


Open and Agile Government Digital Services

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store