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FCW : May 30, 2013
20 May 30, 2013 FCW.COM For many years, agencies have been tasked with measuring the perfor- mance and management of their technology programs, usually under the watchful eye of Congress and the White House. With agencies spending about $82 billion a year on IT, transpar- ency is seen as a powerful motivator for keeping IT programs on track. Over the years, report cards, watch lists and high-risk lists have been used to draw attention to systems that were BY COLLEEN O'HARA Dashboards can nudge agencies toward better program management --- but they can't do it alone IT DASHBOARDS: Picture perfect? over budget and behind schedule. In this era of open government, many of those tools have been superseded by online dashboards that display data in a visually compelling way to show how an organization or program is meeting speci ed performance goals. Dashboards are proving to be use- ful tools in the campaign for better IT management. The most visible example is the IT Dashboard, launched by the Of ce of Management and Budget in 2009 to improve the oversight, trans- parency and accountability of federal IT programs. The IT Dashboard offers a view into how agencies are managing 700 major IT programs that are worth a total of $40 billion. It tracks the progress of those programs by synthesizing and graphing data from Exhibits 53 and 300 (reports to OMB that detail agency IT investments and performance plans) along with other agency updates and investment information. If a project is running behind schedule or over bud- get, the dashboard will display that information, along with a color-coded risk rating on a spectrum from green for low risk to red for high risk. OMB has added other data streams since launching the site to provide more agency-speci c data or deeper views into trends or context, said an OMB of cial who spoke on back- ground. The dashboard also offers insight into how well agencies are meeting Digital Government Strategy milestones and complying with Portfo- lioStat reviews, which detail agencies processes for managing their IT portfo- lios and highlight duplicative programs that are ripe for consolidation. However, the OMB of cial said the dashboard is more than a collection of data. It also helps improve IT man- agement by increasing the quality of agency performance data, improving transparency and visibility regard- ing the health of IT investments, and increasing agencies focus on proj- ect management and IT governance, according to the of cial. The PortfolioStat process is getting an upgrade as well. U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel announced PortfolioStat 2.0 in a memo and accompanying blog post in March. The upgraded process streamlines agencies data-collection requirements, reducing 30 reports down to three. VanRoekel wrote that it "improves analytics, consolidates the agency s strategic IT direction and management improvements into
May 15, 2013
June 15, 2013