Introducing the Ad Hoc Product Field Guide

Transforming how government agencies approach digital services will take more than new technologies. It will take a working model shift that prioritizes feedback, change, and the outcomes that services enable for people.

At Ad Hoc, we believe this shift to a product-based approach is a critical step towards creating modern government agencies. Without it, agencies are destined to repeat the risks and failures that have become common in government technology.

That’s why we’re releasing the Ad Hoc Product Field Guide to emphasize the power of product thinking to government digital services. With this guide, agencies can start moving from a project management mindset to a product-based approach to delivering services that enable them to better serve the public.

This guide includes:

  • An overview of product thinking
  • How a product-based approach can reduce risk in government digital services
  • A comparison case study between project and product management
  • Actionable steps for introducing a product-based approach on your teams today

Read the guide to learn more about how product thinking can transform the way teams deliver digital service and the positive impacts this mindset can have on agencies and the public.

Product thinking 101

Briefly, product thinking is a mindset for helping organizations think about technology in terms of how it can deliver value to people and enable an organization’s goals. When teams adopt a product-based approach, it changes everything from how they set priorities to how the team plans work and incorporates new information about their product.

Government digital services are meant to drive outcomes for agencies and deliver on end-user needs. Right now, many government technology programs are managed with a project management approach, which assumes a fixed schedule, budget, and scope. In reality, that’s not how successful and sustainable technology products are developed in government or the private sector.

By moving to a product-based approach, agencies can mitigate many of the risks associated with using project management to build digital services and help ensure they build services that are useful to people and adaptable to change.

Product management is the dominant approach to building consumer and enterprise technology, and it’s gaining traction in the federal government. A recent Government Accountability Office report on principles for successful technology projects found agencies that adopted product development principles that are shared with product management had a higher chance of successful products.

Use our knowledge to guide your transformation

At Ad Hoc, we bring product management practices to our work with our government partners. We believe that all digital products and services should center on users’ needs and behaviors while enabling the desired outcomes for agencies. Using this approach to digital product development can help government agencies create services that meet the public’s expectations while reducing the risk of failure.

This Product Field Guide is for those government leaders and technologists who are looking to transform not just how they build digital services and products but how they operationalize a culture of continuous improvement centered on insights and grounded in outcomes.

Product thinking is baked into the approach of Ad Hoc’s cross-functional teams, and we’re ready to coach, train, and work alongside government leaders on product best practices as part of our work together. If you have questions or want to talk about how Ad Hoc can help you in your journey to product thinking, please reach out to us at