Friday, August 5, 2016
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting, week of August 1- 5, 2016.

John Kamensky

Playbooks Are the Latest Fad.  The Bush Administration was famous for scorecards.  The early Obama Administration created lots of “-Stat” dashboards.  Now it is generating a pile of playbooks as it nears the finish line:

  • Enterprise Risk Management Playbook:  According to Government Executive, the CFO Council and the Performance Improvement Council have jointly issued a playbook on the heels of the release of newly revised OMB Circular guidance on enterprise risk management.  The playbook opens with: ““This Playbook is intended to assist Federal managers by identifying the objectives of a strong ERM process, suggesting questions agencies should consider in establishing or reviewing their approaches to ERM, and offering examples of best practices.”
  • Performance Principles and Practices Playbook:  According to Federal News Radio, the Performance Improvement Council has released a “P3” playbook ‘detailing 10 plays to help agencies deliver on their goals. The playbook is implementing the P3 — performance, principles and practices — framework developed over the last two years to improve the implementation of cross-agency priority goals.”
  • Modernization & Migration Management Playbook:  According to NextGov, GSA has released an “M3” “playbook and investment review process agencies can use in conjunction to “increase the likelihood of success” for modernization or migration efforts to support mission functions.”

Transition Landing Teams in Place.  Pre-election/post-convention transition teams from both political parties have moved into GSA-provided space in DC, near the White House.  According to Federal Times: “Teams for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump both moved into office space in the General Services Administration on Aug. 1 to start planning for the administrative handoff set for Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, 2017.”  Separately, Government Executive interviewedMichael Levitt, director of Mitt Romney’s transition team, for insights.

Transition Guide for Career Managers.  Government Executive has reprised a series of blog posts first published in 2008 into a guide (not a playbook!) to help career managers and executives navigate the upcoming presidential transition.  The guide was developed by Alan Balutis, a former career federal executive. 

Teaming – How to Cut Meetings In Half.  Dylan Walsh, in an op-ed for Government Executive, offers five specific actions you can take to reduce the length of meetings, and keep them productive!

A Bump in DATA Act Implementation.  Federal News Radio reports: “A four-month delay to deliver a process for tagging and transmitting federal spending information under the DATA Act might jeopardize the rule’s final rollout. . . . In a new report from the Government Accountability Office, auditors say the Treasury Department missed its initial release date for its schema version 1.0, thus delaying the development of industry software patches by four months while companies waited for a ‘stable version of the schema.’”

DATA Act Broker in the Works. According to FedScoop – and the same GAO report:“Agencies behind the implementation of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act requirements are piloting a broker program to better validate and aggregate agencies' spending data . . . The algorithm-based broker . . . aims to check that data reported by agencies is standardized, as is required under with the DATA Act, and ensure they are accurate. The system is currently in beta testing, but Treasury plans to release a full production broker this fall.”

It’s Time to Empower Employees.  In a column in Government Executive, Howard Risher writes: “Not surprisingly, there are no books advocating bureaucracy. In today’s rapidly changing world, any practice that impedes an effective response should be eliminated. Employees are unnecessarily restricted by archaic policies in what they can do. That cascades down from the highest levels.”

Michael J. Keegan


Delays in Data Act standards could complicate compliance. In an Aug. 3 report to lawmakers, the Government Accountability Office said the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act holds considerable promise for ensuring that government money is well spent. But GAO warned that the Treasury Department's delay in releasing a critical data schema could complicate agencies' efforts to meet deadlines for complying with the law.

OMB unveils category management policy for mobile. In a continuing effort to improve federal IT commodity management practices, the Office of Management and Budget released a directive on Aug. 4 that gives agencies guidelines for buying mobile devices and services. The policy memo, from U.S. Chief Acquisition Officer Anne Rung and U.S. CIO Tony Scott, follows policy releases on computer workstations in late 2015 and software licensing in June.

CMS looks to get more collaborative. The agency wants to create a web-based collaboration space for its efforts to improve Medicare service delivery.

The secret to handling stress. Steve Kelman explores the research on workplace stress occupations -- and offers some suggestions for dealing with it constructively.

Transparency key to VA IG’s plans to restore trust. Restoring trust to the embattled Office of the Inspector General at the Veterans Affairs Department is a full-time job. The man who accepted that job in April, Michael Missal, has a plan to do just that, and it relies on an increase in transparency. “Transparency can be defined a couple of different ways: One is internal transparency.”

 Haynes Cooney

 “Trump, Clinton transition teams move into GSA” Federal Times, by Carten Cordell, August 1, 2016

 “Behind the chaotic presidential campaign, work begins for smooth transition” Wall Street Journal, by Byron Tau, August 2, 2016

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