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FCW : December 2013
Secrets of great teams 18 December 2013 FCW.COM FedRAMP certi cation in the rst place. "Reading the language [from the Of ce of Management and Budget], it s mandatory to get certi cation," Steven said. "What drove it is that we have to provide levels of certi cation to current customers and future customers." He made FedRAMP certi cation the No. 1 priority for scal 2013 and set a target date of Sept. 30. His team was able to get the job done by the end of June and returned half of the roughly $300,000 designated for the process. "While we were able to leverage our [Federal Information Security Manage- ment Act] cloud certification in the FedRAMP process, by no means was it easy," Steven said. "The documentation is totally different --- a lot more volume and a lot more detail than traditional FISMA accreditations." Steven tries to strike a balance between having team members in care- fully de ned roles while encouraging input from across the organization. An NITC technical review board evaluates ideas from technical staffers in a peer- based environment. Promising ideas are sent to an executive steering com- mittee led by Steven and his deputy, and they decide whether to authorize expenditures of money or time to pur- sue the ideas. On-site contractors have also proven to be good resources. That collaborative environment is leading to the next generation of technologies for the USDA cloud. Steven said agile development meth- odologies were critical to managing USDA s FedRAMP certification pro- cess. He held daily 20-minute standup meetings to make sure his team was on target throughout the six-month project. About 30 people contributed to the effort, with about six handling the project on a full-time basis. Steven made sure colleagues took care of the key players other daily responsibilities. "That s just making sure nobody gets headed off in the wrong direction --- keeping a laser focus on the goal," he David Wennergren, a former Defense Department executive who is now vice president of CACI International's Enterprise Technologies and Services group, recently shared his thoughts on leadership and change management with FCW. Here is what he had to say about pushing the Navy to reorganize its shore bases into a single command: I brought with me a few independent brokers, honest brokers to meet with the commanding of cers of all the bases and the functional leaders there so that they would actually have skin in the game of making the choices about their future. I brought enough external voices that could help force [the commanding of cers] out of their comfort zone --- idea generators coming to work with the people who actually have to own the problem. After that process nished, there [were] gelling and the hard conversations. We got to the place where we made a set of recommendations that they could do and get done. Fast forward two years later. Now I'm the deputy chief information of cer for the Navy. I'm back in San Diego for a completely different purpose, but I end up at this brie ng with all the base commanders. Two years is like forever. It's different people. Nobody knows that this is the Wennergren who was out there meddling a couple years ago. They brief me on all the things they were getting done in regionalizing and consolidating the shore installation management functions and how proud they were of what they had accomplished, the $40 million a year they had saved and the more ef cient operations and all that kind of stuff. When we left the meeting, the guy who traveled with me said to me, "Weren't you annoyed that they didn't realize it was you and a few other people helping force them todoitandyouwereinthe middle of the change?" I said no, I was actually delighted because that's the art of this light touch. If the change leader is the only person who can make it happen, then it will only last for as long as that person personally has their hands on the wheel. The only way change can actually stick is if the people who have to live the change have their own skin in the game and force the change to stick. We forced them to think outside the box, so to speak, but come up with a set of recommendations that they could implement, and once we left, they were able to take the ball and run with it. That was the only reason why it actually worked. David Wennergren on the role of teams in driving change The only way change can actually stick is if the people who have to live the change have their own skin in the game and force the change to stick.
November 30, 2013