Friday, January 24, 2020
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of January 20 - 24, 2020.

John Kamensky

Inventorying Federal Research. Federal Times reports: “The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy . . .  wants to decrease burden on researchers by setting data repository standards for federal agencies to provide “optimization and improved consistency” across the federal government’s repositories.”

AI Playbook.  The non-profit ACT-IAC issued an Artificial Intelligence Playbook that  “proposes a process and a series of phases to support the United States Federal Government in its understanding and application of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to support its mission.”

Does Strategic Planning Matter? Steve Kelman, in a column for FCW, writes: “the single biggest differentiator between the outstanding executives and the average ones was using strategic planning!”

New Grant Regs.  OMB has released proposed revisions for comment to its Uniform Grant Guidance that “reflect the foundational shift outlined in the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) to set the stage for enhanced result-oriented accountability for grants. This guidance is the beginning of the Administration’s pivot towards actions geared to focus on improved stewardship and ensuring that the American people are receiving value for money spent on grant programs.

New Website Standards. Federal Times reports: “Agencies now have a concrete map for designing and developing public-facing websites that comply with the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act, or 21st Century IDEA Act, as the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Service released a set of web design standards for federal agencies Jan. 22.

GREAT Fiscal Transparency. Marc Joffe writes in Governing: “A recently enacted federal law, the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency Act, offers a unique opportunity for Americans to learn more about their state and local governments as well as many of the nation's largest not-for-profit institutions — if it is faithfully implemented.”

Michael Keegan

Does strategic planning help organizations? Steve Kelman notes growing support for strategic planning efforts -- and the steps agencies take to keep those plans relevant.

Automation yielding dividends, officials say. To support growing demand for automation technologies, ACT-IAC released an AI playbook for government agencies. It is aimed at helping government implement technologies that would help them better serve their customers and mitigate risks associated with human operation. Federal agencies are reporting benefits from automation technologies, in the form of reduced processing backlogs and labor hours saved. The Treasury Department is looking to robotics process automation to help direct information seekers to the right resources. GSA's website is using a chatbot to answer common questions about potential fraud.

GSA sets the stage for update to federal sites and apps. The General Services Administration is setting the stage for agencies to implement new mandatory standards for updating federal websites and digital services. The 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA) requires all digital products made by the government -- such as websites and applications -- to be modernized for user and mobile friendliness, accessibility to those with disabilities, contain easily usable search functions, leverage secure connections, provide options for customization and be consistent in their appearance. These goals will be achieved in part through new website standards developed by the Technology Transformation Services at GSA. Those standards were updated last year, and GSA officials said they spent much of Fall 2019 soliciting feedback from the Federal Web Council, the Federal CIO Council and other federal agencies.

Understand your goal to create the motivation required. Create the motivation you need to achieve your goals by identifying a powerful reason you want to succeed and then seeking to learn and gain energy from that knowledge, writes Susan Fowler. "When you have mastered the skill of motivation, you recognize the real issue and ask yourself, 'What choices do I have?' " she writes. SmartBrief/Leadership

Look to generalists when you need to innovate. A study of how scientific researchers adapted Microsoft's Kinect technology revealed that generalists have an edge over specialists at spotting new uses for technology. Specialists are better with improving existing technology, but Harvard Business School professor Frank Nagle says, "being a Jack-of-all-trades actually allows you to master knowledge that is farther away from your expertise." Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success. While there is nothing wrong with having a new title, there is a good chance it’s hurting your ability to effectively lead. Titles are dangerous for those who hold them because they create a distraction away from the actual responsibility of leading others. Here’s an interview with John Eades, the author of Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success to learn more about how the best leaders effectively lead in an effort to help you.

Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour – Leadership Stories-Part 2.  Join host Michael Keegan in the second of a 2 part series exploring the leadership stories and public service of government leaders This edition introduces 5 executives leading missions and programs that include improving government management, building a weather-ready nation, envisioning transportation and supply chain infrastructures for the future, and implementing enterprise risk management (ERM) to mitigate the potency of uncertainty by managing the realities of risk. That's next week on The Business of Government Hour.

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Friday at 1 p.m. on Federal News Network 1500AM WFED

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