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FCW : February 2013
34 February 2013 FCW.COM For example, managers must prove a conduct case by 51 percent. The stan- dard of proof is much lower to re someone for low performance; man- agers must simply show substantial evidence. Those cases, however, often move more slowly because employees typically need to be counseled or given opportunities to improve their perfor- mance, Liff said. "But the problem is not the system; it s how the system is implemented by government managers," he added. The most important thing is to deal with the problem instead of shuf ing employees around. "The key is that there have to be reliable consequenc- es to every level of performance and behavior, whether the management likes the employee or not," Liff said. Turkey farms "can spring up like mushrooms because nobody is paying attention," Palguta said. "It s not even the case of a manager saying, I m just going to put this person over here and ignore them. It s that the person is left alone and not getting any feedback on what they re doing or should be doing." The antidote is to have good perfor- mance measurements, offer feedback to employees and develop competent managers, the experts say. "When you don t have good managers or leaders, things tend to go awry," Palguta said. Or as Liff advised managers: "You have to have the will --- that s the most important thing. And you have to have the skill." ■ Sharing IT resources across agencies is a key part of the Obama administra- tion s push to streamline and econo- mize federal technology spending. But even though using a shared service is relatively straightforward, the decision to become a managing partner and share your own service is much more complicated. John Hale, chief of enterprise applications at the Defense Information Systems Agency, offered some advice for of cials who are trying to determine whether a particular IT service is truly shareable. First, they should ask them- selves two questions: 1. Is the service needed at other agencies besides my own? 2. Can my agency afford to continue providing the service on its own? "Once you take the rst step and say, This service really is bigger than my organization, and it should be shared, then the case for all of the other ones is easier," Hale said. If you determine that the service is bigger than your organization, the next consideration is whether it is commodity-based or mission-speci c. Commodity-based services --- think email, content management or human resources systems --- are easier to turn into shared services because more people need them. Mission- speci c services, on the other hand, can take more work to t more than one agency s needs. But those services --- geospatial systems, for example --- can often bene t the most from cross- agency standardization. Hale said DISA of cials consider offering a service enterprisewide if it has 10,000 potential users. Neverthe- less, each organization would have to determine its own tipping point between added cost and improved return on investment before sharing its service. One key consideration is how much it costs your agency to provide the service. Hale said agencies can some- times reduce the cost of a service by making it available to others. "If you share it across multiple orga- nizations, you have the ability to defray the cost of the core infrastructure into the share operations mode," he said. ■ BY MATTHEW WEIGELT Executive Handbook How to share a ser vice One key consideration is how much it costs your agency to provide the service. " " ADDITIONAL RESOURCES More in this issue: How to use conformists to spark creativity (p. 10) How to foster high performance (p. 11) How to keep OMB out of your business (p. 42) More on FCW.com: How to get into SES How to build a leadership team
March 15, 2013