IdeaHub Drives Collaboration and Innovation within DOT
2,400 Ideas Submitted in Six Months
Launched in August 2010, IdeaHub is an innovative online community for DOT employees that facilitates collaboration throughout the Department. The purpose of IdeaHub is to drive innovation and facilitate change at the DOT.
When the site was launched in August 2010, Next Gov covered the story with the following interviews of key leadership at the DOT:
The Transportation Department on Tuesday launched IdeaHub, an online community where its 55,000 employees across the country can share and collaborate on new ideas. And thus far, employees have been embracing the new online platform with open arms.
Marlise Streitmatter, Transportation's deputy chief of staff, told Wired Workplace on Wednesday that within the first 24 hours of launching IdeaHub, more than 1,500 employees logged in, with one-third coming back more than once. Employees also had submitted 342 ideas, and those ideas had received nearly 2,250 ratings and 426 comments, she added.
The online network was created after the 2008 Federal Human Capital Survey results flagged a need for Transportation to engage employees more, said Brodi Fontenot, the agency's acting deputy assistant secretary for administration. Fontenot said the greatest challenges in standing up the network were reaching out to and educating the agency's 55,000 employees and figuring out how the decisions on the ideas would be reviewed and implemented.
"We needed to figure out a solution for how each of our modes could be involved and how we could create synergies across the department among those modes," Streitmatter said. "Our system is perhaps the first in government that allows employees to do that in such an intermodal and cross-modal way."
For other agencies looking to stand up similar online communities, Streitmatter said that simply involving and communicating with employees is the most powerful first step. "You need to tap the expertise and the creativity of the people you have at hand in order to successfully stand something up," she said. "And I think you also have to be prepared once you stand it up for how you're going to manage it on the back end."
Over six months later, we can say that IdeaHub really works! Since launch more than 2,400 ideas, 33,000 ratings on those ideas, and 7,500 comments have been submitted by DOT employees. To date, the DOT has also sponsored four idea challenges that have focused employee’s collaborative brainstorming efforts on issues ranging from environmental sustainability to emergency preparedness. Many highly rated ideas as determined by DOT employees have been implemented or are moving towards implementation.
The DOT IdeaHub platform is available on the web to all DOT employees via www.dotideahub.gov.
For more information about this program, contact the DOT’s IdeaHub program office at DOTideahub@dot.gov.