Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Becoming an Agile Content Team - By Jessica Milcetich

In March, the team of writers and editors at USAGov adopted some agile principles in an attempt to streamline our content development process.
We hoped operating in a more agile manner would help us address some of the challenges we were facing as a team:

  • Being asked to support many new projects
  • Competing priorities
  • Bottlenecks and silos
It was a big change in the way we work. Our previous model had been based on a newsroom-style operation where people were clustered together around specific areas of content or “beats” to use the journalism terminology. The newsroom model works really well for media outlets with bigger teams of people, but for a small government content team, it wasn’t the best fit because it didn’t easily allow people to support projects or user needs not on their “beat.”

Operating in a more agile manner lets us shift resources to whatever user need is most pressing at the moment. If it’s tax season and we need to make major updates to our tax content, we can now more easily pull anyone from the team to support that effort. We’re able to balance resources to match priorities and work in a more proactive, rather than reactive, manner.

We’re not following any specific agile methodology by the book, but the way we operate now more closely resembles Scrum than Kanban. We spend time grooming our backlog of requests, we hold bi-weekly sprint planning meetings and retrospectives and we use a board to track our work in progress.
We don’t hold official daily stand-ups, but we regularly communicate about the status of work and roadblocks to keep things moving.

While our process isn’t perfect, and we’re certainly still learning as we go, operating in a more agile manner has helped us focus our priorities and deliver content that will help our users accomplish their tasks.

Jessica Milcetich is the product owner of the websites and managed by GSA.

This blog was re-published by the permission of Victoria B. Wales, Digital Innovation Specialist, USAGov |

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Government Communicators: Know Who's Who In a Field Video Crew - By Ann Ramsey

Award-winning video producer Ann Ramsey contributed today's post. She is a senior producer at the US Department of Health & Human Services in Washington, DC.
You probably deal with field video crews often in your role as a government communicator. For example, you host press conferences and other media events that broadcasters want to cover. From the broadcasters’ point of view, any shooting done out of the studio (i.e. covering your event) is considered “field” or “remote” shooting; they will send specialized crews who are equipped to do that. However, it may not be clear to you the taxonomy and makeup of these crews.

Read more

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Building Trust With New Leadership

On behalf of the Partnership for Public Service and the Federal Communicators Network, thank you for attending yesterday's event on building trust with new leadership. We'd appreciate it if you took a few moments to complete this survey. Your feedback helps us continue to improve this event series.

Please see below for resources from the event, including a recording of the session, handouts from the event and attendee contact information:
Questions? Contact Katie Koziara at or (202) 464-3094.
Save the date for our next event with the Federal Communicators Network on Tuesday, May 16.
Federal Communicators Network

Friday, February 3, 2017

10 Tips For Federal Employees On The Personal Use Of Social Media

This “cheat sheet” is meant to help clarify some issues that federal employees may not be aware of, or that may be confusing. It is not meant to replace a thorough review of law, policy, and official guidance or to restrict or alter your rights and responsibilities in any way. When in doubt, please do not use this as a substitute for obtaining reliable direction from an official source. This document, like all FCN documents, is unofficial in nature.

Locate this document under the Presentations tab.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Recording, Slide Deck posted for "What Do You Mean? Communicate Using Plain Language"

A big thank you to the Partnership for Public Service for helping organize "What Do You Mean? Communicate Using Plain Language" on 10/6/16.

Resources from the event have been posted and can be found at the following links:

Save the date for the Partnership for Public Service's next event on February 7, 2017. Questions? Contact Katie Koziara at or (202) 464-3094.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Slides Posted for "Best Practices in Digital Communications from Canadian, UK, and US Governments"

Many thanks to the participants on the webinar "Best Practices in Digital Communications from Canadian, UK, and US Governments" - Laura Wesley, Cormac Smith, Fran Cavanagh, Adam Thorndike, and David Kaufman.

In addition, thank you to all the sponsors for this webinar. Thank you to the Communications Community Office in Canada, Government Communication Service within the United Kingdom, and the Department of Health and Human Services in the United States.


Government of Canada
Government of the United Kingdom
Government of the United States
**Note: The slides can also be found on Google Drive **


A recording for the webinar can be found here

Description of the Webinar

A previous post describing the webinar

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Slides posted for webinar "Picture This: Telling Your Agency's Story Through Visual Content"

Note: for more information on this webinar, here is another post on our blog

Many thanks to the Partnership for Public Service, the participating presenters, and the many attendees of this exciting presentation.

Questions? Please contact Katie Koziara at