Tuesday, July 01, 2008

In action: Training.gov.au Project Blog

This is a fantastic example of how blogs and other Web 2.0 tools can be used to support government initiatives and help reduce project costs.

First I should note that I know Nathanael Boehm, one of the members of the project team. He's an early adopter of web technologies, with a great deal of experience in social media and user design areas.

What is Training.gov.au?

In the words of the project blog:
Training.gov.au is the name of the new system that the Australian, State and
Territory Governments are developing to ensure people can get the information
they need to make informed decisions about training.

What are they using?

To manage the development of training.gov.au the project team are using an open-source blogging product to provide an online communications and collaboration space for the various stakeholders involved.

The Training.gov.au Project Blog is very clean, simple to use and flexible. It currently contains some information on the project objectives, governance and deliverables and has been set up to also manage the project timetable and provide a central communications platform for the project.

It's very easy - and cheap - to set up this type of system and it has surprised me how little these types of tools have been used by government in Australia to support the management of complex projects with multiple stakeholders.

I'm going to keep a close eye on the development of the project blog - and on the project itself - and, with the agreeance of the project team, may provide a post-mortem of how well the blog worked to facilitate project governance, communication and cost management.


  1. Thanks Craig for the mention of our Training.gov.au Project Blog. We chose to use WordPress as we had the skills and technical infrastructure to set up our own blog.

    However there is GovDex - the AGIMO-run program that provides government departments and agencies the ability to set up wikis for projects, committees and so on.

    At this time GovDex didn't provide the functionality we needed for communicating with our stakeholders; we needed a blog - GovDex is a wiki. However I believe there are plans to expand on the GovDex platform to include forums and blogs etc as part of the Government Consultation Blog project which you can read about on the AGIMO website.

    So once that happens we may end up moving our project blog into the AGIMO/GovDex infrastructure in the interests of centralising Government's stakeholder engagement with external stakeholders and the public.

  2. Tanks Nathanael,

    We are using Govdex at the moment to manage a stakeholder-related site, which provides us with flexibility, timeliness and cost-effectiveness our ICT team cannot currently provide.

    M understanding is that an upgrade is coming later this year and I am looking forward to having a cross-government platform available for blogging and wikis.

    Having individual ICT teams invest in individual licenses for a wide variety of web products (each meeting specific needs, with compatibility issues and requiring extensive maintenance) has never struck me as an effective use of public funds.