Weekly Roundup: April 8-12, 2019

John Kamensky

Weekly Roundup: April 1-5, 2019

John Kamensky

GAO on VA IT. The Government Accountability Office testified on the IT challenges at the Department of Veterans Affairs, noting: “Despite spending over $4 billion annually on IT . . . VA still doesn't have IT systems that fully support critical services—e.g., veterans health care, the Family Caregiver Program, and disability benefits.”

Federal Foresight Community of Interest Turns Five

The answer: The U.S. Forest Service – 100 to 150 years – because it takes a long time to grow a forest!

An intrepid band of foresight analysts from across the federal government met last week to continue their regular round of sharing insights and practices. The group quietly celebrated their fifth year of informally gatherings and the band of volunteers who organize the meetings announced the creation of a community website.

Creating Strategic Foresight in Government

Strategic foresight is not futurist forecasting, nor is it the sole purvey of Popular Science magazine, the World Future Society, or the Jetson Family. It is about having the imagination to be prepared for what may come, regardless of which scenario occurs – it’s a mindset, not a process.

Creating a Federal Community.

Solving Public Problems at the Regional Level

In a research project last year, Carnegie Mellon University students used prescription data provided by the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services to create a model that could, with 78 percent accuracy, predict who was at a high risk of opioid abuse outside of pain clinics.  Early detection allows clinicians to intervene before an addiction even develops.

Creating a Framework to Measure Performance - Consistently

The big challenge for top leaders is - How do you create a leadership framework to achieve results, day-in and day-out, in a sustainable way, that stays focused and doesn’t let the organization get distracted by the inevitable headline-grabbing urgencies that arise on a regular basis that sap focus away from key mission goals?

Weekly Roundup: February 18-22, 2019

John Kamensky

Can the Government "Buy as One?"

One path to address this imperative involves a buying reform widely used in the commercial world and other countries – notably the United Kingdom – called “category management.”   Given its potential for driving reform and reducing unnecessary spending, category management is increasingly seen as one of the U.S. federal government’s top Cross-Agency Priority Goals.

Weekly Roundup: February 11-15, 2019

Artificial Intel Exec OrderFederal News Network reports on a new presidential executive order: “It directs federal agencies to make data and computing resources more available to artificial intelligence experts while maintaining security and confidentiality. It also says federal agencies

Getting the Word Out - Part 2

Last week, I highlighted the traditional approaches taken by government – agency annual reports – along with newer approaches such as performance.gov and the quarterly “progress and results” video report pioneered by the Veterans Benefits Administration.  But there have been, and are, other approaches.


Emeritus Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government

Mr. Kamensky is an Emeritus Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government and was 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.

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