Weekly Roundup: June 22-26, 2015

Chief Data Officers Want a Seat at the Table. Federal Times reports: “The Chief Data Officer is a new role for the few agencies that have one in place and many are still figuring out exactly what their purview should be. . . . Rather than report directly to the CIO, CDOs should be under the chief operating officer or agency head, CIOs Want to Focus on Mission. According to FedScoop, a panel of CIOs at a recent conference asked: "How can we get ourselves out of the IT business?". . . .

GovConnect: Connecting the Talent Dots

GovConnect is an initiative sponsored by the Office of Personnel Management that reflects broader trends in the workplace toward the use of project-based work.  It allows federal employees to share knowledge, collaborate, and apply their skills to address challenges that may be beyond their traditional job classification or organizational or geographic location.  Announced a year ago, it is currently being piloted within several agencies and is poised to be spread across the government in coming months.

Weekly Roundup: June 29 - July 2, 2015

DOD Nears Launch of Shared IT Services. According to Federal News Radio: “Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work signed a memo May 1 establishing the Joint IT Single Service Provider-Pentagon,” and that “the first phase of consolidation will affect about 63 organizations” in the next few weeks. Disaggregate Data to Make It Useful. Governing reporters, Richard Greene and Katherine Barrett, write: “An emphasis on disaggregating information has been growing in importance as states and cities tap into huge quantities of information for more sophisticated analyses.

Innovation Entrepreneurs Unite!

Using “lightening round” presentations, nearly a dozen presenters shared their stories. Andy Feldman from the Department of Education, who coordinated the event, noted that the goal wasn’t innovation for innovation’s sake, but rather to use innovation as a tool to tackle mission-related performance challenges: “We’re here to focus innovation on our agencies’ biggest challenges and opportunities.” Delegated Deputy Secretary of Education John King also welcomed attendees, urging them to put ideas into action.

Weekly Roundup: August 3 - 7, 2015

Customer Service. Federal News Radio interviewed GSA’s Martha Dorris about progress on the Administration’s goal to improve customer experience with government services. She says GSA is developing a digital “Voice of the Customer” toolkit for agencies that include a range of electronic approaches, such as the pilot “Feedback USA” button for instant feedback, and digital analytics to assess 4,000 federal websites. The Shrinking Millennials. According to Federal News Radio, :Federal agencies are finding it increasingly more difficult to recruit and retain younger employees. . .

Weekly Roundup: August 10-21, 2015

Developing Common Success Metrics for VA-DOD Health Records. According to FedScoop: “The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Pentagon need to better track their efforts to share health information, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.” GAO says the two departments have developed guidance to move toward standardization, but have yet to develop metrics to track whether progress is being made. Useful: FCC RoboCall App. According to FedScoop, the Federal Trade Commission sponsored a contest to find the best way of blocking robocalls.

Budgeteers MAXimize Their Line of Business

Former federal budget officer Doug Criscitello participated on a panel on budget reform recently, in a room packed with concerned finance professionals. He noted: “It is clear the key practitioners in the field are desperate for improvements in a process that has not only failed taxpayers in recent years but has also hindered the ability of government finance professionals to plan and execute the financial management programs of their agencies in a responsible way.” It may take years before such reforms are possible, but what happens in the meanwhile?

Weekly Roundup: August 24-28, 2015

John Kamensky IT Acquisition Gets “Killer Apps.” According to Federal News Radio, GSA has posted several “killer apps” that acquisition officers can use to speed IT-related purchases “An automated contract finder and cost calculator are just two of the tools GSA leadership touted as reasons why the government acquisition community should explore the online portal and provide feedback, said Laura Stanton, acting assistant commissioner for GSA’s Office of Strategy Management.” Predicting the Unpredictable.

Replacing the Use of Cubits

A cross-agency initiative to Benchmark and Improve Mission-Support Operations has been underway since early 2013 when it was announced by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Today, the preliminary results of the effort are being used to inform discussions between agencies and OMB in their first-ever “FedStat” meetings on how well are agencies managing their administrative functions and ultimately delivering on strategic objectives.

Bringing Design Thinking into Government Bringing Design Thinking into Government

But design thinking is so much more than a physical product. It is a way of thinking. For example, if you were asked to design a new vase, you might come up with myriad product designs. But if instead you were asked to design a new way to display flowers in your home, you would likely focus instead on creating an experience, not a product. Background. Jon Kolko, the director of the Austin Design Center, shares his insights about design thinking in the September issue of Harvard Business Review.

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Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government
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Mr. Kamensky is a Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government and an Associate Partner with IBM's Global Business Services.

During 24 years of public service, he had a significant role in helping pioneer the federal government's performance and results orientation. Mr. Kamensky is passionate about helping transform government to be more results-oriented, performance-based, customer-driven, and collaborative in nature.

Prior to joining the IBM Center, he served for eight years as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Before that, he worked at the Government Accountability Office where he played a key role in the development and passage of the Government Performance and Results Act.

Since joining the IBM Center, he has co-edited six books and writes and speaks extensively on performance management and government reform.  Current areas of emphasis include transparency, collaboration, and citizen engagement.  He also blogs about management challenges in government.

Mr. Kamensky is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, in Austin, Texas. He can be reached at: john.kamensky@us.ibm.com