Web Management at HUD - Why It Works
HUD posted its first Internet website in April 1995. HUD's Intranet followed
in November 1996. In 1998, HUD Answer Machines (computer workstations) were
located in every HUD office, providing free access to HUD's website to all citizens.
And later in 1998, HUD introduced its HUD Kiosks, providing 24-hour access to
basic HUD information in convenient locations throughout the country.
All of these web-based information products are managed by HUD's Departmental
Web Team, a group of professional Management Analysts who are part of the Deputy
Secretary's staff. Web Team members serve as consultants to managers - helping
them identify ways to use the web to accomplish their goals, editors-in-chief
of the web products, and promoters of HUD's web efforts.
Why It Works
HUD's web-based information products have received numerous awards and recognition
both within and outside the Federal community. The reasons for that success
are simple - but very important:
- Organizational Placement: HUD's Web Team is tied to the chief operating
officer in the Department - the Deputy Secretary; thus, the web is an
integral part of the way HUD does business.
- Neutrality: Since they are attached to the Deputy Secretary, the Web Team
has no program ties and no real or perceived agenda to favor one program area
over another. This is critical to maintaining the trust and cooperation of
the various program areas.
- Access to Top Management: The websites - both Internet and intranet -
are in synch with the Secretary's and Deputy Secretary's direction because
the Web Managers have access to top Department executives.
- Centralized Content: HUD has one Internet website for the entire Department.
While all offices in HUD contribute to the website, their sections do not
stand-alone. Citizens and partners only have to come to one place to find
what they need.
- Audience Focused: HUD's Internet website has been conceived - from
the beginning - from the point of view of the audience. It is organized
and written in ways that make sense to the various audiences HUD targets:
citizens and business partners.
- Mission Focused: Further, HUD's Internet website is designed around HUD's
mission - to help people find homes and to improve our Nation's communities
around HUD's organization. So the website serves as a clearinghouse or portal
to useful information and services about homes and communities, no matter
where they're located.
- Content-Driven: People come to HUD's website for the content - not
for the technology. So content needs drive the design and use of technology,
not vice versa.
- Skilled Staff: It's like that old adage: you get what you pay for. HUD
has hired skilled analysts to craft web based information products that truly
do what they're intended to do: serve the public, inform employees, and carry
out HUD's mission. In addition to the Departmental Web Team, Web Managers
in the program and Regional Offices consult, write, edit, and promote the
web within their own organizations.
- Clear Roles: Web Managers at HUD develop and manage the content of the
websites; and the organization of the Chief Information Officer handles the
technical aspects. Lines of responsibility are clear: the Web Managers define
the requirements and the CIO provides the service. But they work in partnership,
trading ideas and exploring new opportunities to seize the power of coming
technologies. Everyone understands the model, and - therefore -
it works efficiently.
- Commitment from the Top: You can't say enough about the importance of commitment
from the top; and HUD's Secretary and Deputy Secretary traditionally have
been supportive of the development and improvement of HUD's web-based efforts.
It's not one thing - but the combination of many factors - that has
made HUD's web products a success.
Last Modified: 02/07/03