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FCW : August 30, 2014
The Obama administration has launched its long-promised U.S. Digi- tal Service, a team of experts based at the Of ce of Management and Budget that seeks to improve IT procurement and agencies efforts to design public- facing online services. The team will be led by Mikey Dick- erson, a former Google engineer who served on the team that triaged and repaired HealthCare.gov after its disas- trous October 2013 launch. Dickerson will have the title of administrator of the U.S. Digital Service and deputy federal CIO. The Digital Service was called for in President Barack Obama s fiscal 2015 budget request, and a small team has been testing the idea for several months. The size of the team has not been revealed, but the $20 million bud- get request indicated that it would sup- port about 25 full-time employees. In an impromptu chat with reporters after a Senate hearing in May, U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel said, "By bringing this team in to work with the agencies proactively to do a deep engagement, it ll all be about guring out where they are in- ight and then applying recom- mendations to identify where are the OMB launches Digital Service team to guide IT projects of IT spending originates outside formal IT organizations, according to Gartner 26% Trending gaps, what are the approaches they re doing that maybe aren t compatible with getting the results we want to see, and what do we do to address that, and then hold them accountable with regular check-ins." The Digital Service is envisioned as helping at the requirements and pro- curements stage, rather than jumping in when projects start to fail. "This isn t taking over," VanRoekel said. "It s not rescuing these efforts. It s really about working side by side with them." In his Senate testimony in May, he explained that the Digital Service would complement the efforts of the General Services Administration s 18F team. He also hopes to reduce the amount of time it takes the government to recruit and hire developers, project managers and other IT specialists. According to the White House, the Digital Service is designed to "improve and simplify the digital experience that people and businesses have with their government." The Digital Service released a play- book of best practices --- essentially 13 ideas on how to ensure that cus- tomer and user needs are addressed in design and development and that testing and delivery take place along ef cient, predictable lines. The docu- ment includes checklists and sets of questions to guide IT acquisitions. The playbook also focuses on agile methodology, with multiple testing periods and frequent revisions. And it urges agencies to "consider open- source software solutions at all layers of the [technology] stack." The team also published a TechFAR handbook on GitHub that instructs agencies on how the Federal Acquisi- tion Regulation supports the use of agile in the technology procurement cycle. --- Adam Mazmanian FCW CALENDAR Health IT The Veterans Health Administration's Theresa Cullen is among the speakers at this FCW conference on electronic health records and next-generation health IT. Washington, D.C. http://fcw.com/f2fhealthit Cybersecurity DHS' Phyllis Schneck will keynote the Federal Executive Track at HP Protect 2014, which focuses on emerging threats, cybersecurity management and more. Washington, D.C. http://is.gd/FCW_fedcyber 9/17 9/10 Cybersecurity DHS' Peter Fonash joins a wide range of private-sector cyber experts for the "Rock Stars of Cybersecurity" conference. Austin, Texas. http://is.gd/FCW_rockstar 9/24 August 30, 2014 FCW.COM 3 ZAID HAMID It's not rescuing these efforts. It's really about working side by side with them. --- STEVEN VANROEKEL
September 15, 2014
August 15, 2014