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FCW : March 15, 2016
later, it was a constraining compliance exercise that had little correlation with agencies’ overall IT security. For FITARA, it is imperative that OMB, indi- vidual agencies and Congress maintain the view that the law is about improving IT management so that an agency’s mission and business can be executed more effectively and efficiently. Imple- menting, monitoring and measuring the impact of FITARA should be revisited regularly — perhaps every two years — to keep it fresh and appro- priate, particularly given the rapid changes in technology and the IT market. Risk 3: We lose patience with FITARA It takes four to five years of sustained manage- ment effort to make significant positive change in IT at a large federal agency. Although I get excited about such change, I recognize that most people view improvements in IT management disciplines as downright pedestrian. However, the focus on better governance, staff development, enterprise architecture, project and program management, and budget planning are foundational to success in delivering services to government customers. To maintain that focus and not lose patience, I recommend a scorecard for agencies that is more expansive than what Congress has implemented. It should measure three things at each agency: the maturity of the IT management process, IT performance outcomes that can be benchmarked, and agency mission effectiveness and efficien- cy outcomes that are affected by IT systems performance. If implemented well and used to hold agencies accountable, that type of scorecard would keep agencies’ focus where it needs to be and show sustained progress over time. For instance, within a year or two, agencies could make significant improvements in process maturity, which would lead to better IT performance outcomes in years three and four and ultimately have a positive impact on agencies’ effectiveness and efficiency. None of the mitigation steps outlined above are particularly difficult, but the key will be sustained commitment on the part of administration and congressional leaders to see FITARA through the next five years. n Those of us who care deeply about how effectively and efficiently the federal government operates believe improving IT management is foundational. March 15, 2016 FCW.COM 27 SHUTTERSTOCK/1105MEDIA 031516fcw_026-027.indd 27 2/18/16 2:44 PM
March 30, 2016