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FCW : September 15, 2015
KRIS VAN RIPER is the government practice leader and DYLAN MOSES is a research analyst at CEB. The Federal Information Technol- ogy Acquisition Reform Act requires that federal CIOs reorganize their IT departments so that those leaders will be accountable and responsible for all IT-related decisions made across their agencies. Although the changes remain a concern for many, FITARA provides government CIOs with the opportunity to develop a clearer picture of their IT portfolios. If taken as an opportunity, the law could be a catalyst for more effective IT investing and portfolio management by consolidating dupli- cative systems, retiring legacy assets and ultimately driving federal agen- cies into a new era of IT efficiency. To truly capture the benefits that the new law brings, CIOs must have visibility into current assets and must plan for technology changes that signal new investment needs and divestiture requirements. To support those collective objectives, the most successful organizations are using roadmaps to identify the current state, drive fact-based deci- sions and convey execution plans. Roadmaps can also help agencies comply with the Office of Manage- ment and Budget’s mandates for FITARA — in particular, the cre- ation and disclosure of a strategic plan to ensure compliance (which was due Aug. 15) and a strategy for implementing that plan (due Dec. 31). All reporting agencies and their components should have submitted an assessment and an implementa- tion plan by now. CEB research has found that although roadmaps have the poten- tial to be highly effective com- munication tools, 70 percent of IT executives are dissatisfied with their organization’s current efforts. Respondents cite poor visualization, data quality and cross-silo collabora- tion as challenges to creating effec- tive roadmaps. Many organizations struggle to strike the right balance between comprehensiveness and mainte- nance, and leading organizations use longer time horizons judiciously because they understand that overinvesting in detailed, long-term roadmaps might be a wasted effort in light of the pace of change. Our work with hundreds of teams in developing roadmaps has revealed four critical stages for establishing a successful roadmap- ping program: 1. Properly scope roadmap objectives. Roadmaps that are developed without clear priorities and goals in mind will often fail to deliver value quickly enough to the IT portfolio. Instead, leading organi- zations determine the desired out- comes and identify relevant stake- holders before creating roadmaps. 2. Coordinate roadmap devel- opment. Poor or uncoordinated processes result in inefficiencies, bad data and slower time to benefit in roadmap creation. Federal IT organizations can ensure an efficient development process by setting standards for quality measurements, roadmapping processes and seg- menting roadmap ownership. 3. Maintain and update road- maps. Even the best-planned roadmaps face challenges such as changes in business priorities, advancements in technology and inefficient performance manage- ment techniques. Leading organi- zations avoid those problems by anticipating new demands and monitoring the roadmap’s status. 4. Share roadmaps with stake- holders. One common mistake is presenting a roadmap without context for the greater organiza- tion, thus losing stakeholder buy-in. Federal IT organizations should make artifacts available to different audiences to ensure stakeholder adoption and use. FITARA’s implementation will require focus and rigor, but federal IT leaders can navigate the com- plexity of their portfolios better with a concerted roadmapping effort. Even if your organization is not subject to FITARA, investing in better roadmaps is an opportu- nity to improve IT governance and decision-making. n Roadmapping: A key tool for FITARA compliance A technology roadmap can help agencies reap the benefits FITARA has to offer. Here are the four stages of a successful effort. Federal IT leaders can navigate the complexity of their portfolios better with a concerted roadmapping effort. Commentary | KRIS VAN RIPER AND DYLAN MOSES 14 September 15, 2015 FCW.COM 0915fcw_014.indd 14 8/21/15 8:54 AM
August 30, 2015
September 30, 2015