Insights Articles

Introducing the ATO Field Guide

April 28, 2021

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Ad Hoc is releasing an ATO Field Guide to inform the public, our customers, and our partners about how federal web applications are authorized to operate on behalf of the American people.

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What research can do: A maturity model for government agencies

March 10, 2021

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Maturing a process is not easy, even if there is interest. It’s incumbent on human-centered design practitioners to recognize where an agency is with their practice, so they can identify how to help them grow.

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How to start improving your COVID-19 vaccination digital service

February 12, 2021

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We’ve gathered a short list of ways state and local governments can improve their services now and prepare for the upcoming phases of the vaccination rollout.

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Getting ready for launch

January 08, 2021

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Launches can be unpredictable. Having a plan for launch can help you focus on that which you can control and set you up to recover more quickly should things go wrong.

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Imagining an app to simplify student loan forgiveness

December 18, 2020

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What’s needed is a simple, purpose-built website to help borrowers apply for loan forgiveness, and help them stay enrolled in payment programs.

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The new Ad Hoc Government Digital Services Playbook

August 18, 2020

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The 2020 version is now a standalone playbook that any federal agency can use to replace enterprise software with proven techniques from the world of commercial software.

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How agencies can scale up digital services in the wake of COVID-19

July 21, 2020

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Every agency, from federal to local, needs to envision a way they can serve their constituents with as little in-person contact as possible.

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The problem might not be COBOL

July 10, 2020

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The government's problem isn’t using old code or older programming languages. The problem is often that they’re using code that wasn’t designed to meet the needs of people who use it.

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The 21st Century IDEA Act Playbook Part 5: Scaling design systems

September 10, 2019

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The details of how the Office of Management and Budget will interpret this mandate into regulation are still to be determined, and it’s important that those regulations provide a smart, flexible way for agencies to adopt the USWDS.

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The 21st Century IDEA Act Playbook Part 4: Prioritize modernization with user research

September 04, 2019

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The 21st Century IDEA Act mandates that every agency prioritize public services that need modernization. The best way for agencies to prioritize their services is to thoroughly research how users interact with those services.

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The 21st Century IDEA Act Playbook Part 3: Customized, mobile-friendly experiences

August 26, 2019

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Today, we’ll finish up the first section of the IDEA Act with the final two requirements for public websites and digital services.

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The 21st Century IDEA Act Playbook Part 2: Search, security, and serving users

August 21, 2019

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In this section, I’ll continue looking at the IDEA Act’s new requirements for public websites and digital services, including a deep dive into what it means to design services around the needs of your users.

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The 21st Century IDEA Act Playbook Part 1: Accessibility, appearance, and overlap

August 15, 2019

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Reading the IDEA Act, I saw much of how Ad Hoc works with our customers on government digital services. I thought it would be helpful to share our experience in implementing these kinds of digital services.

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Defining digital services and what they mean for product teams

August 14, 2019

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We don’t have a shared definition for what government digital service means. This post offers one perspective by outlining how we think about digital services and how these ideas relate to our product practice.

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Successful procurements are built on strong relationships

May 30, 2019

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My theory is that a more relationship-based approach would better enable the government to have success on technology procurements than the seemingly distant and transactional relationship that appears to often exist in traditional procurement.

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Greg Gershman at Code for America Summit on reshaping the government technology ecosystem

June 01, 2018

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Yesterday, co-founder and CEO Greg Gershman spoke at the Code for America Summit for a session on Reshaping the Government Technology Ecosystem and what was needed to effect real, sustained change at scale.

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A phased approach to modular contracting

May 30, 2018

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Using multiple, small contracts does not necessarily guarantee this result, but you can build better products and get better at incorporating new information as you go.

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Getting great people on government contracts

March 20, 2018

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Most contracts I’ve seen have a period of performance that starts the day after the award. That doesn’t give the winning vendor much time to assemble an excellent team.

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Staying agile in a shutdown

January 22, 2018

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Today marks the first workday since the federal government shutdown. As a federal contractor helping run several large systems, we seek to be of greatest use to our customers and for the people we all seek to serve.

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This is a test

January 18, 2018

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Details have emerged as to just how bad the bad design was that led to the false ballistic missile alert in Hawaii last weekend.

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Ideas for creating mobile applications for Veterans

October 25, 2017

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Recently, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released a Request for Information looking for ideas in how to create mobile applications for Veterans. Here's a summary of our response.

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Stop your (business rules) engines!

October 10, 2017

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One of the many surprising artifacts of the initial failed HealthCare.gov launch was a “business rules engine.” This was a new concept for most of the team that helped rescue the site.

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