Tech-Enable Your Ground Game - Avoid Tech-Driven Approaches

Tech should not drive your project off a cliff

At NDITech, we use the term "tech-enabling" our democracy programs in contrast to what we sometimes see as “tech-driven” approaches.

A tech-enabled program uses technology as an enabler by combining with effective traditional program strategies to create a multiplier effect on program impact.  The technology tool is introduced into a specific environment designed to improve outcomes; in the absence of the technology the approach still works - but to lesser effect.

A “tech-driven” approach refers to identifying a promising technology tool that you then try and work into programs - thereby either changing the program to accommodate the technology or applying a technology that doesn't fit the need well. This might work but is usually suboptimal.

We're reminded of the old adage, "if you've got a hammer, everything looks like a nail". Tech driven approaches need to be mindful of this risk.

Updated 1/5/11, grammatical improvements.