Project Management

The Plan to Transform Federal IT

Janis Rizzuto

Janis is an award-winning journalist and editor who has covered many industries beyond project management, including health care, financial services, higher education and retail sales.

A new federal report outlines 25 ways to reform the government’s IT programs, including creating a career path for program managers and building greater transparency into project portfolios. Essential elements transfer private-sector wisdom to the public agencies struggling to realize benefit for the billions expended. Industry supporters laud the plan and its clear accountability.

While health care reform — and its potential repeal — is top of mind on the Hill and with the American public, there is a similarly sweeping reform effort affecting government IT programs that has federal agencies and their IT contractors abuzz.

On Dec. 9, U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra released his “25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management.” The 40-page document is designed to change the government approach to IT projects by adopting principles that work well in the private sector, such as cloud computing and agile development methods.

The report is honest about the government’s poor track record in IT. “Despite spending more than $600 billion on information technology over the past decade, the federal government has achieved little of the productivity improvements that private industry has realized from IT,” Kundra writes. “Too often, federal IT projects run over budget, behind schedule …

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