Obama’s FY 2011 Management Initiatives

Most of the news media focused on the size of the budget and which agencies gained or lost.  However, the budget also included an overview of the Obama Administration’s management initiatives, as well.

The overall emphasis of these initiatives is on achieving defined mission-oriented results.  It de-emphasizes (but still addresses) improvements to mission-support functions and the reporting of performance information.

The section on “Performance and Management” describes three mutually reinforcing performance management strategies:

  • Use performance information to lead, learn, and improve outcomes.
  • Communicate performance coherently and concisely for better results and transparency.
  • Strengthen problem-solving networks.

What’s New?

The sole mention of OMB’s Program Assessment Review Tool (PART) states that it “increased the production of measures in many agencies, resulting in the availability of better measures than previously existed; however, these initial success have not lead to increased use.”  So, it’s probably dead.

In its place, the Administration offers a series of interesting initiatives:

  • 130 high priority agency-level performance goals. These goals will be tracked quarterly by agencies and OMB.  Bureau-level goals will be developed in coming year.  It also hints at use of the “Citi-Stat” approach.  For example, it notes that Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra recently held a “Tech-Stat” meeting at EPA, using the IT Dashboard, to detect IT investment problems. (scroll to “Chapter 19, Information Technology,” starting on p. 321 to find the budget’s technology initiatives).
  • Creation of a “performance portal” to track performance goals, and a series of mission-support dashboards.  These would be in addition to the existing IT Dashboard.  Dashboards will be created for procurement, improper payments, and hiring.  It also committed to developing a “Citizen Services Dashboard” to display the quality of government services, by “service delivery touch points” for each major agency.
  • Creation of — or expansion of existing — problem-solving networks. Communities of practice will be organized across agencies by (a) problems (e.g., climate change), (b) types of programs (e.g., regulatory or credit programs), and (3) methods (e.g., Lean Six Sigma).  For example, the performance management network will be led by the government-wide Performance Improvement Council, comprised of agency performance improvement officers.  There was also a commitment to create an electronic, cross-government collaboration platform.

What’s Intriguing?

In addition to these key initiatives, there are a number of other interesting elements:

  • A commitment to increase tele-work by 50 percent by the end of FY 2011 (the 2009 baseline = 102,900 tele-workers)
  • Creation of an interagency program evaluation working group.  The budget also invested an additional $100 million in program evaluation, in 17 agencies
  • There was a long discussion of “personnel analytics” in budget, with an emphasis on employee feedback, and a table reporting agency rankings in the last OPM workforce survey.
  • The budget announced a $158 million initiative to improve capacity of non-DOD acquisition workforce.  Previously, the Administration committed to increasing the DOD acquisition workforce by 20,000 positions.
  • Federal civilian employment increased 15 percent between FY 2007 – 2011 (the percent change was the same in DOD vs. civilian agencies)
  • The Administration says it will leverage FederalReporting.gov (created to feed data to the Recovery Act’s recovery.gov site) to expand USASpending.gov reporting to the sub-recipient level.
  • The Administration will create web-based platforms to host challenges and incentive prizes for innovations.

Was there anything that caught your eye that should be added?

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