Friday, November 15, 2019
The IBM Center's Weekly Roundup highlights articles and insights that we found interesting for the week ending November 1, 2019.

John Kamensky

Planning the Presidential Transition. Government Executive reports: “The nonprofit Partnership for Public Service launched its Center for Presidential Transition on Thursday. . . .  This coincided with the release of the Partnership’s new data that show second term administrations have faced high turnover historically, which the nonprofit said highlights the need to fill positions with qualified candidates early. “Presidential transitions are major undertakings with a great deal at stake,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service.”

Leading in the Gray Zone. Art Petty writes a leadership insight piece for Government Executive: “Every organization has gray-zones—these are the spaces that exist somewhere between functional, divisional, or positional boundaries. It’s no one’s land, yet the issues spanning the gray-zone are visible and often vexing to all parties. . . . .Your challenge and your opportunity are to cultivate the communication, networking, and political skills essential for success with gray-zone issues.

Stable Employee Engagement.  Federal News Network reports: “Employee engagement in the federal workforce held steady in 2019, ending a five-year trend of 1% increases across government, according to the results of this year’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS). . . . That stability, OPM said, was a nice surprise, especially given the partial government shutdown, budget constraints and other events that could have put a dent in employee engagement in 2019.”

Five Lessons.  Federal News Network reports: “The Trump administration has used the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey as a treasure trove of data to inform, at least in part, planned changes to the civil service. . . . A quick glance at the results shows employee engagement across government remained stable in 2019 with a score of 68%, the same as the previous year.” The article also includes five additional observations from the 2019 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.

Better Data.  NextGov reports: “Since 2014, federal agencies have been under Congressional mandate to publicly report data on all spending—on contracts, staff, operations, grants and more—which is then published on for all to see. The road to getting accurate, legible data published has been a long one, but agencies made significant progress in 2018, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.”

Pivot to Agile. FCW reports: “The MISSION Act, a bipartisan push to expand veterans' benefits to include community care, urgent care, benefits for long-term caregivers and more, was signed into law in June 2018. It puts the onus on the technology team at the Department of Veterans Affairs to assemble a set of online tools to help determine who qualifies for the new benefits and to speed their delivery.”

Shared Services Progress. NextGov reports: “Nearly seven months after the Trump administration announced its plan to overhaul the government’s shared services landscape, most of the lead agencies have created standards in their designated areas and are getting ready to move into the implementation phase. . . . Three of the four initial focus areas are ready to move beyond the standards-setting phase to implementation, with GSA’s payroll program leading the way.

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