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Distributed and Open Digital team concept turns obstacles into potential for improvement

29 May 2020 News

First ReSPA webinar assured that WB digital teams could move forward with the working agenda effectively and sustainably even in the period of crisis


World-known expert John O'Duinn introduced the idea and philosophy of Distributed and Open Digital team concept to IT professionals within our eGovernment group on a webinar held May 28 2020.

This webinar was the third consecutive meeting within the Covid-19 Western Balkan Digital Collaboration Platform which aims to support the region in overcoming the pandemic. 

This time, the participants found out why digital "distributed teams" concept is relevant to public administrations (especially during emergencies such as the global pandemic) and what the novelties and tips are for working together while humans are physically apart. O'Duinn recommended all the webinar participants ask themselves what could go wrong if they switch from Government offices to working from home anytime. They should explore how to fix things and manage to work remotely, taking care of security issues. 

Also, O'Duinn exposed that the peoples' mindset has shifted generally, and the situation has changed globally. The reality is that people don't have steady jobs anymore, the expenses for the offices and the IT systems are high. At the same time, offices are continually shrinking and are not for humans anymore. The pandemic just made the situation much worse because of health issues.

Typical "9 to 5" working set vs agile distributed teams in the WB public institutions

The discussion during the webinar revealed that the WB countries share a few striking similarities. It was confirmed that people don't want to change and to shift their minds into the new reality. Changes come with fear even though people don't realise it directly. Also, they like to work from the office within a typical "9 to 5" public administration working set counting on each other in some urgent situations. 

Although most public servants have experienced remote work for the first time, and they consider it as a less-productive replacement for office work, there is still space for turning the obstacles caused by the pandemic into opportunities, i.e, the remote work into improved practice even afer the situation of urgency. It is all about the mindset and flexibility.

Explaining the possibility of setting and sustaining agile distributed teams in public administration, O'Duinn pointed out that WB institutions can move forward with the work schedule effectively and sustainably even in the period of crisis by defining and accepting new communication norms. 

ReSPA will continue to support digitalisation and building of knowledge-based WB governments

We are aware that the quality of digital services and the human capital are of strategic importance for building knowledge-based governments and essential for innovation and economic growth of the region. By organising these kind events, we strive to support innovative ideas and share of best practices.

"In my view, the situation with the pandemic enabled us to see to which extent the WB institutions are flexible and ready for digital transformation. ReSPA will continue to support them, focusing on champions in the domain of digitalisation and public administration reform " said Goran Pastrovic, ReSPA Programme Manager.

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