Managing Programs: More Complex Than It Seems

A 2015 study by the National Academy of Public Administration reinforces GAO’s concerns, concluding that “institutionalizing the discipline of program management across the federal government should be a top priority.”  This included creating an integrated approach to program management, creating a professional community and voice among program managers, and greater clarity in their roles and responsibilities. But what is the best approach for doing this?

 

Beyond "Boxology"

Skeptics call the President’s proposals to reorganize “boxology,” since they see them as merely shuffling around organizational boxes without anything actually being fixed.  Even a respected public management observer such as Donald Moynihan questions the Administration’s commitment: “Is it the nice, sensible documents that OMB puts out, or their actual management practice?”

Jonathan D. Breul

Jonathan D. Breul was the Executive Director of the IBM Center for The Business of Government and a Partner in IBM Global Business Services. The IBM Center for The Business of Government helps public sector executives improve the effectiveness of government with practical ideas and original thinking. The Center sponsors independent research by top minds in academe and the non-profit sector, and creates opportunities for dialogue on a broad range of public management topics.

The New Federal Performance System

The President’s fiscal year 2014 budget was released last week and emphasizes the creation of “a culture of performance improvement.”  This is also the theme of a new  IBM Center report, by University of Wisconsin professor Donald Moynihan who is a close observer of the international performance movement.

April Showers? The Federal Performance Agenda

The big news for many was the announcement last week that Shelley Metzenbaum, who is the Office of Management and Budget official spearheading the Obama Administration’s performance management initiatives on a day-to-day basis, will be leaving to return home to Boston.  “She arrived with a plan and gave us a set of priorities,” notes Jeff Zients, who serves as President Obama’s chief performance officer.

America's Got Talent

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen was superb at handling big, complex challenges that reach across agency boundaries.  He led the evacuation of lower Manhattan during 9/11.  He took over the Katrina rescue operations after they floundered.  He led the U.S. response to the Haiti earthquake, and the Gulf Coast BP Oil Spill.

Before Allen retired, I asked him “Where does the government find the next one hundred Thad Allens?”  He didn’t have a good answer.  But answering that question becomes more critical as the government finds itself increasingly facing cross-agency challenges.

Where Are the Low-Priority Programs?

What ever became of the new statutory provision requiring agencies to “identify low-priority program activities?”

Weekly Round-up: May 31, 2013

Dan Chenok

The Physics of Federal Programs

Defining Federal Programs Isn’t Simple

There is more than one way to define what constitutes a federal “program,” and it is not unlike trying to define molecules, atoms, and sub-atomic particles.

Creating an Evidence-Based Government Creating an Evidence-Based Government

Policymakers are fixated on short-term budget austerity measures such as furloughs, pay freezes, and conference and travel spending. However, there is a small, but growing effort to take a longer, more strategic look at how to manage austerity by finding what works and targeting dollars there instead of to programs that cannot demonstrate effectiveness.

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