Click here to skip navigation
Sticky notes on a board

Creating change

About us

Our mission

Enable and engage public sector employees to transform their programs, processes, and people through human-centered design. 

Our vision

To create the conditions that enable a dynamic public sector to deliver effective programs, services, and products.

Our approach

Design methods can reveal new perspectives and help individuals better understand the challenges they face in their work. The Lab helps build the capacity for civil servants and federal programs to leverage the discipline of design to help uncover opportunities to improve programs and services that they are entrusted to deliver. Through collaboration, we build partnerships focused on creating cultural, intellectual and organizational shifts that will improve the way government works to support a more capable democracy.

Our history

In 2011, OPM leadership was encouraged to identify actionable ways to foster greater creativity and innovation within the federal workforce and improve the products of our work and the services we provide the United States and its people.

Founded in 2013, we were first known as the OPM Innovation Lab. Renamed the Lab at OPM in 2015, we have expanded our professional and administrative staff and extended our reach across public and private sectors. Today, we collaborate with a broad network of partners, including a wide array of federal programs, as well as state and local government agencies, academic institutions, non-profits and international partners.

The Lab’s team and portfolio of projects have grown in size and scope over the last several years. Starting with a small but mighty mix of full-time and adjunct staff in 2012, the Lab expanded to a team of more than 20 full-time employees by late 2016. More than 4,000 government employees have attended our classes and our network of alumni continues to expand.

About human-centered design

Human-centered design (HCD) is a creative and strategic approach to solving complex problems. HCD methods allow us to rapidly generate and test new ideas while prioritizing people’s needs, behaviors, and ways of thinking. Through HCD, we can improve products, services, and systems from the perspectives of the people who use them.