|Posted on Dec 17, 2010 11:25:38 AM | Adrian Gardner | 1 Comments ||
Sometimes, the simple act of knowing that you are doing the right thing can be energizing…
The latest announcement from OMB on improving the acquisition of major IT systems by the Federal government gave me a sense of déjà vu linked with a sense of pride in my team here at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. In a recent briefing to ACT/IAC (http://www.actgov.org) Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, communicated the goals of the new effort. They closely resemble the goals and principles that Goddard’s Information Technology community has devised to guide IT investments for the foreseeable future. Our IT Strategic Implementation Plan and IT Capability Roadmaps respond to enterprise goals, encompass Center needs, and mirror the OMB endeavor. I am pleased to see such alignment of effort across the Federal space.
The OMB goals are simple, and address key pain points that federal agencies wrestle with daily.
Provide additional training in the area of acquisition management and create a new career path for program managers in the Federal government.
The responsibility for acquiring and managing services is a weighty one. Those who are responsible must be developing their own skills and responsibilities constantly, keeping up with the technological rate of change itself. Our workforce has to be prepared not only to manage these increasingly complex services, but to use them fully.
Require agencies to establish integrated and co-located project teams before embarking upon major IT acquisitions.
Analysis and communication of requirements sometimes needs a truly human touch and understanding of the customers’ needs. Beyond that, the teams must work as an integrated whole so that the product or service is truly fit for purpose.
Enhance the ability of government and industry to communicate and collaborate more effectively. Sharpen the governance and accountability processes for monitoring major IT acquisitions.
Through ACT/IAC these high level conversations between government and industry regularly take place, but these discussions need to happen at all levels within the IT organization to include contracting officers, COTARs, project managers, task managers, and the boots-on-the-ground technical experts themselves. We have an immense amount of talent and loyalty within our organizations on each side of the public/private divide. We need to make better use of the talent at hand, and establish governance structures that allow us to tap this expertise more effectively.
Ensure that agencies are taking advantage of existing IT solutions wherever possible in lieu of embarking upon major development and acquisition projects.
Replicating services isn’t terribly useful or cost-effective, and it does not expose novel ways of solving a problem. Why not adopt processes and technologies that have many kinks worked out, especially ones that already exist within our own enterprise? The age of open standards is making borrowing much more possible as the barriers of institutional difference are replaced with designs that allow for federation, scalability, and tighter information security.
In the past, it was often too expensive to collaborate in order to make wise decisions; now, it is too expensive not to. I look forward to seeing these recommendations play out nearly as much as I anticipate great change and excitement within the IT community at Goddard. The possibilities are there; even the sky isn’t the limit anymore.
Tags : General