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Digital Council

The Technology Transformation Service (TTS) Digital Council, formerly the Office of Programs and Products (OPP) Web Council, was formed in August 2019. Then acting Assistant Commissioner for OPP, Jay Huie, established the advisory body to improve the experience of customers and other stakeholders, to better integrate the work of OPP teams, to amplify teams’ work, as well as to streamline administrative processes and overhead.

Purpose

The purpose of the Council is to:

  • Create great experiences for our customers and other stakeholders.
  • Elevate the quality of all TTS digital products.
  • Develop and document TTS’ future digital state.
  • Establish common practices and guidelines for TTS teams to engage with their audiences and stakeholders.
  • Augment and amplify the work of others.
  • Streamline administrative processes and reduce overall operational costs.
  • Share lessons learned and solutions to common challenges.
  • Create a model for digital government that highlights our capabilities and inspires others to action.

Benefits to Council members:

  • Help meeting program goals and resolving challenges.
  • Govern ourselves (self-govern).
  • Identify opportunities to collaborate.
  • Work on areas of shared interest.
  • Share knowledge, expertise, and resources across TTS.
  • Help amplify our work inside and outside TTS.
  • Learn new skills and pursue professional goals.

Benefits to TTS:

  • Improve customer experience and begin to institute an omnichannel experience across teams and products.
  • Improve the strength of the TTS brand.
  • Develop and implement a TTS-wide digital strategy.
  • Improve employee engagement and reporting.
  • Streamline infrastructure support.
  • Reduce costs to programs, enabling reinvestment in mission (savings).
  • Better manage through a clear governance structure, and model digital governance for our colleagues across government.
  • Improve policy compliance.

Benefits to our customers and stakeholders:

  • Experiences using TTS digital products meet or exceed expectations, no matter the device.
    • Content is accessible, current, accurate, authoritative, useful, usable, and presented in plain language.
    • Products are easy to find and easy to use.
    • Processes are transparent.
    • Touchpoints are pleasant, responsive, and productive.
  • Actual needs, rather than perceived needs, are reflected in product and service offerings.
  • Products are similar in look and feel and recognizable as TTS products.
  • Increased confidence and trust in TTS products and services.

Guiding Principles 

Value Customers

  • Advocate for our customers (user-centric focus, data-driven decisions, apply best practices, etc.).
  • Seek opportunities to improve our customers’ experience.
  • Prioritize work by its value to customers, its impact on business operations, and its value to management, in that order.

Support GSA and Other Federal Agencies

  • Support GSA implementation of laws and policies related to digital government and customer experience, including but not limited to:
    • 21st Century IDEA (Public Law 115-336), including the website standards
    • OMB guidance (for example, OMB A-11 Guidance, Section 280 - Managing Customer Experience and Improving Service Delivery)
  • GSA orders and Office of Strategic Communication guidelines
  • Align with GSA initiatives.
  • Coordinate communications products with the GSA Office of Strategic Communication.
  • Encourage agency-wide adoption of best practices championed by digital service teams across industry and government.
  • Help colleagues across GSA and government.

Support TTS

  • Respect the role and authority of colleagues. For example, we:
    • Coordinate with the TTS Technology Portfolio and the TTS Outreach teams when updating domains or creating digital products.
    • Coordinate with the TTS Outreach team for message alignment and approval.
  • Adhere to TTS communication guidelines.
  • Support TTS business goals and objectives.
  • Use and promote the use of TTS products and tools, where appropriate.

Work Ethically

  • Collaborate to improve our productivity and to create artifacts.
  • Build upon best practices and avoid “reinvention.”
  • Respectfully and constructively address guidance or processes that we agree should be clarified or revised.
  • Value ease and simplicity (design, development, strategy), and try to make the right thing the easy thing.
  • Coordinate and organize around projects to avoid superficial barriers and silos.
  • Respect and support other Council members.

Membership

Member list

  • Membership in the TTS Digital Council is voluntary.
  • Ideally, each TTS team that manages or produces a TTS digital product (digital team) is represented on the Council.
  • Teams can choose a teammate to participate. That person should be:
    • Empowered to make content changes to the website/digital product (or see that they get made).
    • Knowledgeable about the workflows of the website/digital product.
    • Prepared to commit time and follow through on those commitments, expecting to be held accountable by Council members.

Roles & Responsibilities

All Council members need to:

  • Be responsive to data calls and other calls to action.
  • Attend regular Council meetings, or have a backup designated to attend when they can’t.
  • Actively participate in Council discussions and projects.
  • Inform their teams of Council activities, and solicit input from their teams as needed.

The Council has a coordinator and deputy coordinator. The coordinator is appointed by TTS leadership. The deputy coordinator is selected by the coordinator from among Council members willing to volunteer for this role. The coordinator and deputy coordinator will:

  • Schedule meetings.
  • Create agendas.
  • Oversee Council plans, projects, policies, reports, and other products.
  • Coordinate with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Represent Council views to TTS, GSA, and others.

The Council’s executive sponsor is appointed by the Director of the Technology Transformation Service (the TTS Director is also a FAS Deputy Commissioner). The Council’s executive sponsor will:

  • Advocate on behalf of the Council to TTS and GSA leadership for resources and commitment.
  • Ensure that the Council’s goals are aligned with the overall TTS strategy.
  • Provide ongoing direction to the Council.
  • Serve as the final arbitrator for Council vote decisions, when needed.

General Procedures

Trello board

Meetings

Meeting agendas/notes

The TTS Digital Council meets weekly for an hour. Council members working on projects and tasks expend additional time.

Decision Making

The TTS Digital Council is an advisory body only. The Council can make decisions about its own activities, while all other decisions still remain the purview of TTS leadership.

Decisions are made by majority rule. Each digital team is allocated one vote. In the event of a tie, the decision will be made by the Council’s coordinator or the executive sponsor.

Working Groups

The Council convenes working groups for specific projects. Working groups are established by decision of Council and disbanded at completion of a project. Working groups will strive to standardize systems and create artifacts that can be used across TTS (and potentially GSA and governmentwide).

Deliverables

  • Reports and action plans (for example, website modernization plans).
  • Artifacts, such as guides, templates, policies, standardized processes.
  • Research.
  • Budget recommendations.

Outcomes

  • A digital-first TTS that sets the highest standard of customer experience for government.
  • A more experienced TTS workforce that has learned by putting theory into practice.
  • Partners who appreciate and recognize the value that TTS provides.
  • Happy customers!

Questions?