Government innovations and the hype cycle

Danny Buerkli at the Centre for Public Impact: “The Gartner hype cycle tracks how technologies develop from initial conception to productive use. There is much excitement around different methodologies and technologies in the “government innovation” space, but which of these is hyped and which of these is truly productive?

Last year we made some educated guesses and placed ten government innovations along the hype cycle. This year, however, we went for something bigger and better. We created an entirely non-scientific poll and asked respondents to tell us where they thought these same ten government innovations sat on the hype cycle.

The innovations we included were artificial intelligence, blockchain, design thinking, policy labs, behavioural insights, open data, e-government, agile, lean and New Public Management.

Here is what we learned.

  1. For the most part, we’re still in the early days

On average, our respondents don’t think that any of the methods have made it into truly productive use. In fact, for seven out of the ten innovations, the majority of respondents believed that these were indeed still in the “technology trigger” phase.

Assuming that these innovations will steadily make their way along the hype cycle, we should expect a lot more hype (as they enter the “peak of inflated expectations”) and a lot more disappointment (as they descend into the “trough of disillusionment)” going forward. Government innovation advocates should take heed.

  1. Policy Labs are believed to be in “peak of inflated expectations”

This innovation attracted the highest level of disagreement from respondents. While almost two out of five people believe that policy labs are in the “technology trigger” phase, one out of five see them as having already reached the “slope of enlightenment”. On average, however, respondents believe policy labs to be in the “peak of inflated expectations”….

  1. Blockchain is seen as the most nascent government innovation

Our survey respondents rather unanimously believe that blockchain is at the very early stage of the “technology trigger” phase. Given that blockchain is often characterized as a solution in search of a problem, this view may not be surprising. The survey results also indicates that blockchain will have a long way to go before it will be used productively in government, but there are several ways this can be done.

  1. Artificial intelligence inspires a lot of confidence (in some)
  1. New Public Management is – still – overhyped?… (More).