Bringing technology to vital services
Federal labor laws provide many important protections for workers, such
as minimum wage and restrictions on child labor. The U.S. Department of
Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is responsible for enforcing them.
The Wage and Hour Division wanted to start using more modern software
development methods, but they wanted proof that these new methods would
address the division’s particular challenges before seeking buy-in from
their leadership. They approached 18F to see how we could help.
Starting with small projects to demonstrate quick wins
The first thing we did was share how 18F implements user-centered
design. We chose a small project to work on, observed how people in the
Wage and Hour Division do their work, then quickly created a lightweight
demo of how to address the barriers they encountered.
After they saw the benefits of iterative and user-centered design, we
helped them develop a plan to transform the Wage and Hour Division into
a digital-first agency. These efforts included training and mentoring to
develop the agile skills of their in-house team, recruiting first-class
digital talent, developing a user-centric culture and making
We’ve worked closely the Wage and Hour Division for two years now, and
while we’re still supporting their efforts in some areas, there are
teams within the agency that are now successfully using agile techniques
to approach their work.