How Can Agencies Make the Most of Their Data? A New “Chief” on the Block

Last year, The Economist wrote that “data is the new oil.” And in the government, this perspective is increasingly reflected in its priorities. For example, the current Administration has made the development and implementation of a Federal Data Strategy a key element in its management reform efforts in coming years.

Weekly Roundup, September 3-7, 2018

John Kamensky

VA’s Priority: Customer Service.  Federal News Radio writes: “As one of the leading agencies in the Trump administration’s campaign to improve customer service, the Veterans Affairs Department sees potential in using artificial intelligence to get a handle on the hundreds of thousands of calls it receives daily from veterans seeking care.”

Do Data-Driven Meetings Work?

The use of data-driven meetings was popularized in the mid-1990s by the New York City police department, which dubbed them “CompStat” meetings.  These meetings were seen to contribute to a significant drop in crime and was eagerly replicated by other cities (Citi-Stat) and a number of states (State-Stat).  Harvard professor Bob Behn studied this phenomenon and wrote a book about “

Weekly Roundup, August 27-31, 2018

Low Value. Government Executive reports, “Building on the president’s management agenda, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Monday sent agency heads new guidance on the c

Weekly Roundup: August 20-24, 2018

Pentagon’s First CDO. FedScoop reports: “In a move highlighting the importance of data within the federal government’s largest agency, the Department of Defense recently hired its first chief data officer. . . . Michael Conlin, former CTO for U.S. public sector at DXC Technology, has stepped in to fill this role. He started the job July 30.”

Does Conflict Have Its Virtues?

The steady trend towards the increased use of cooperation and collaboration is happening against a backdrop of historically stove-piped programs and built-in institutional conflict, between and within agencies. Coordination is seen as good and conflict as bad. But can interagency conflict be good?

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?


Weekly Roundup: July 23-27, 2018

John Kamensky

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?”

Weekly Roundup: July 9-13, 2018

Getting Good Advice.  In a commentary piece for Government Executive, Janet Weiss writes: “Across the federal government, about a thousand committees governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act and an untold number of additional committees meet each year to offer advice to improve government performance. Federal leaders devote considerable effort to planning, scheduling and staffing these committees.


Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government
600 14th Street, NW Second Floor
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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:

Your cart

Your cart is empty.