Weekly Roundup May 1, 2015

U.S. CIO Tony Scott: OMB's draft FITARA guidance aims to advance IT reform. OMB released the much-anticipated guidance to reform how agencies buy and manage information technology for public comments. The comment period will remain open until May 30, but federal CIO Tony Scott, in an exclusive Federal News Radio interview, said OMB wants to move on the comments and refinements with a sense of urgency. DHS' Unity of Effort seeds the roots of change. The joint requirements council is one of the best examples of just how much the Homeland Security Department has changed over the last year.

Weekly Roundup May 8, 2015

Rewiring the Pentagon: Carter's new cyber strategy. After two months on the job studying the Defense Department's cybersecurity and defense IT needs, Secretary Ashton Carter will on April 23 unveil a new DOD cyber strategy that emphasizes developing the personnel and technologies necessary to stay abreast of an ever-evolving threat. Government’s Mobile Sites, Apps Rated More Highly Than Many Companies’. More and more, Americans are turning to their smartphones to check their bank balance, look up a restaurant listing -- or even access a government service.

GovConnect: Connecting the Talent Dots

GovConnect is an initiative sponsored by the Office of Personnel Management that reflects broader trends in the workplace toward the use of project-based work.  It allows federal employees to share knowledge, collaborate, and apply their skills to address challenges that may be beyond their traditional job classification or organizational or geographic location.  Announced a year ago, it is currently being piloted within several agencies and is poised to be spread across the government in coming months.

Aligning mission support with mission delivery: Interview with Ellen Herbst, CFO, U.S. Dept of Commerce

A clear strategic focus and sound management are essential to the effective stewardship of taxpayer dollars, enabling agency decision makers to make tough choices on a day-to-day basis and for long-term management challenges. Given the critical challenges facing government today, the ability of government executives to properly align mission support functions with mission delivery can help them respond more effectively to their mission and management challenges simultaneously, as well as drive change within their department. The U.S.

Meet the Center's Newest Fellow: Darcie Piechowski

For several years, our Center has promoted and welcomed dialogue with government stakeholders around how best to encourage innovation and social media; our work in this space is led by our Social Media and Innovation Fellow. I am pleased to introduce the new occupant of that seat, Darcie Piechowski. Darcie succeeds Gadi Ben-Yehuda, who recently moved to be the Director of Social Media with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Beyond Facebook and Twitter – How Government Organizations Leverage Other Social Platforms Effectively

As detailed in last week’s announcement from Center for The Business of Government Executive Director, Dan Chenok, I am happy to be starting my work with the Center as Innovation and Social Media Fellow. I plan to explore innovation, social media, and the intersection of the two as government’s look to better achieve their missions and serve the public. As I delve deeper into these issues, I expect to explore further topics worth discussing and encourage broad dialogue as part of that discussion.

The Impact of Government Shutdowns on Innovation

Much has been written about the cost of these budget uncertainties, particularly around lost labor hours (6.6 million furloughed days as a result of the 2013 shutdown) and the economic impact to both the public and private sectors through lowered job creation, reduced output, and other costs. For example, Philip Joyce’s report, The Costs of Budget Uncertainty, gives both a historical context to past shutdowns and CRs and what impact these have had. Worth consideration, though, is not just the tangible costs of budget uncertainty, but the impact to the intangibles such as innovation.

Strengthening Connective Links in Government

The evolution of technology tools and the use of social media has dramatically lowered the technical and bureaucratic barriers to working more collaboratively.  In the first days of his administration, President Obama publicly placed a premium on the use of collaboration.

Making Innovation Labs Work

The White House recently released its final iteration of the Strategy for American Innovation – a set of policies and initiatives aiming to drive innovation and economic growth.  Among the suggested initiatives, Innovation Labs are slated to receive additional funding in the 2016 budget.  While Innovation Labs have the potential to create significant improvements for government, they have also received criticism for not meeting their goals.

Innovative Methods Reshaping Government Recruitment

Traditional recruitment methods, such as websites and online applications, are no longer sufficient. Government agencies have to adapt to new recruitment methods to keep pace with these changes and build their future workforce.