How CIOs and Other New Roles Help Government Address 'Wicked Problems'

If a problem exists across departments or groups of people, collaboration is key to getting things done.

by / December 21, 2016

There was a time when the hot new thing in government was creating public sewer systems.

These days, the government’s big problems tend to look a little different. They might not rely so much on metal and pavement — though they definitely do, at times. But today, many of government’s problems are more complicated. They involve multiple groups of people with diverse needs and perspectives. Planning for them means data. In short, they require government to think and act differently.

Welcome to the world of “wicked problems.” Peter Pirnejad, director of development services for the city of Palo Alto, Calif., took some time during Government Technology’s State of GovTech event held in San Francisco in October to talk about how government can work better to address the wicked problem, and what it means for vendors working with public-sector customers.

Ben Miller Staff Writer

Ben Miller is the business beat staff writer for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.