Government projects are a necessary part of any society. They can range from building a new road to implementing a new healthcare system, and everything in between. Every government project goes through several phases, from planning to implementation. In this post, we will discuss the impact public stakeholders can have on a project and why it is so important to properly manage public commentary.

What sorts of projects are we talking about?

There are many different types of government projects, each one serving a different purpose in society. Here are some of the project types that people tend to care about the most:

  • INFRASTRUCTURE: These projects involve building new roads, bridges, airports, etc. They are necessary for transportation and economic development.
  • HEALTHCARE: These projects involve implementing new healthcare systems or upgrading existing ones. They are necessary for ensuring that citizens have access to quality healthcare.
  • EDUCATION: These projects involve building new schools or upgrading existing schools. They are necessary for providing children with a good education.
  • SOCIAL WELFARE: These projects involve implementing programs that help the poor and disadvantaged members of society. They are necessary for helping those who need it most.

Why is public commentary vital for any governmental project?

Public commentary allows citizens to have a voice in how their society is run. It also allows the government to get feedback on the project and make necessary changes. Without public commentary, government projects would be carried out without input from those who will be most affected by them.

Having a robust system in place for communicating what is being done, as well as connecting with future stakeholders in the broader community, can serve as an engine to keep the project on track. When public concerns are addressed at the outset, and then revisited at every stage, it makes the completion many times more effective once it’s launched. SmartComment’s entire approach towards facilitating public discourse online is geared towards the three most basic phases of every governmental project.

What are the three primary phases of a government project and how can public comment software help you manage cost and time?

Planning Phase

The planning phase is where it all begins. In this phase, you are deciding on a scope and budget for your project, as well as how long it will take to complete. Government officials will gather together with experts in their field to come up with ideas that would benefit society most efficiently (and be cost-effective). This phase can last anywhere from six months up until several years depending on the size of the project being planned out. Once everyone agrees upon an idea worth pursuing further then moves onto outlining specifics such as costs associated with each step along the way (including labor hours needed at any given time during development or environment stages before launch happens). Actual blueprints for the project will also be drafted during this time.

During the planning phase transparency in what is being proposed is an absolute necessity. Bringing in key community leaders and opening yourself up to discourse can give you the necessary traction to keep the wheels moving forward as you build micro-solutions in addressing issues raised. Too often we see Governmental Officials (at all levels) try to skirt around public commentary until they’ve already solidified a plan. SmartComment gives you an outlet BEFORE anything is set in stone. Allowing people to have their voices be heard and helping officials address these concerns head-on can help mitigate blowback down the road.

Development Phase

The development phase is where your team starts building the actual product or service that will be delivered to citizens. This can be an intensive process, and it can take years to complete. Your team will need to work closely with experts in order to ensure that everything is up to code and meets all government regulations. QA/QC and testing will need to be done in order to make sure the product works correctly and that there are no glitches or defects. If any problems are found during testing, they must be fixed before the product or service can be launched.

During this phase, the ability to go back and re-address issues raised during the planning phase can accelerate your progress. Having a platform where these issues (and the responses to those issues) are well documented can prevent costly stalls, bad publicity, litigation, etc. In short, well-managed public commentary can literally save your project as the inevitable issues arise. Gaining faith from stakeholders during the development phase is predicated upon providing documentation of issues raised and addressed during the planning phase.

Environment Phase

The environment phase is the final stage of a government project. In this stage, you are making sure that everything is ready for launch. All the bugs have been fixed, the product is up to code, and all the necessary paperwork has been filed. This stage can take a few months or a few years, depending on the size and complexity of the project. Once everything is ready, the product can be launched to the public.

SmartComment handles all aspects of projects with an environmental component like NEPA or an administrative procedure component. This includes taking in public comments from stakeholders, identifying themes and topics the public are talking about, responding to the comments and exporting the comments out for a final document.

A governmental project with an environmental component (such as NEPA) must, by law, be approved before construction can begin. SmartComment makes this much easier by providing a public support vehicle to tackle this last phase during the planning phase. Preparation, documentation, and transparency are essential for success!

Government projects are an important part of our society. They help improve our quality of life by providing us with essential services and products. People care about these projects and public commentary can play a massive role in success or failure. 

SmartComment allows you to collect, analyze, and address the most important public comments—the ones that can have a truly massive impact on the success of the project—during every phase from start to finish. Our platform provides a framework for stakeholder engagement and will help keep your large-scale project on track.