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FCW : January 2016
April 15,2015 FCW.COM 21 January 2016 FCW.COM 21 folks,” the executive said. “We know we’ve got our senior IT leadership and our project managers. We know they know about it.... But I don’t know how we get the feedback to know that everyone who needs to know the message has it and understands it.” At one agency, that staff-level communi- cation has taken the form of meetings with every stakeholder involved in program port- folio reviews. More important, an executive from that agency said, those stakeholders were tasked with setting the roadmap for that process. The first group was then asked to tell the others what to expect. “We told them we’re not going to tell other groups about the pro- gram portfolio reviews,” the executive said. “‘You tell them how we interacted with you and what your experience was, and then you come back and tell us what we can do to improve.’” That sharing of control, the executive said, “bought us miles and miles of goodwill.” Another executive said her agency was conducting biweekly “study sessions” with acquisition employees. “I thought this wouldn’t work, but we are getting 65 to 70 people every two weeks wanting to learn.... We are turning people away because we don’t have the capacity.” “The more that the CIO community can work with procure- ment,” the executive added, the better the odds will be for real reform. “Bring people in. Let them sit in on meetings. Let them listen to this. Let them be part of the win.” ...and scrounging for resources... Participants said people are essential to FITARA implementa- tion in another sense as well: CIO shops need the resources to properly execute the law’s requirements. And although money helps, qualified employees are really the key. “FITARA doesn’t give you more peo- ple,” one CIO said. “You have to figure out that balance of the acquisition cycle in FITARA and the meeting of the mis- sion without impeding the delivery of that mission. That’s a weighty problem for the rest of the team.” “My overhead is increasing,” another said. “My office is now a full acquisition review organization. Probably 35 per- cent of my business right now is that overhead.” Another CIO agreed. “This is additional work on top of what we have today. We do these things, but we have not hired anybody to do compliance reviews or to take a look at [whether component agen- cies are] actually following the policies that we write. And you need to do that if it’s going to work because if you don’t enforce it, people will return to the way that they know how to work.” Most participants said their agencies are reallocating existing staff or, more often, loading additional responsibilities onto already stretched team members. But the CIOs at the table agreed that dedicated employees are needed, with headcount estimates ranging from one-person teams to “MY HOPE FOR OMB AND OTHERS IS [THAT] THEY LOOK AT THIS AND RECONSIDER AS WELL. IS THERE FLEXIBILITY IN HOW WE GET SOME OF THOSE RESOURCES?” 0116fcw_016-024.indd 21 1/6/16 1:52 PM
November and December 2015