Seeking lessons learned from complex IT projects – Plus the 7 Gov Stories

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But up front: Seeking lessons learned from complex IT projects

On Thursday, I get to moderate a lunchtime panel hosted by AFFIRM -- the Association For Federal Information Resource Managers -- where we will be focusing on Lessons Learned: Delivering on Complex IT Projects in Government.

First the details…

Who: AFFIRM has assembled a great group:  

When: Thursday, March 13, 2014 from 11:30a-1:30p,

Where: Clyde's of Gallery Place, Piedmont Room, Second Floor, 707 7th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20001 [Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown (Red, Yellow, Green Lines; Parking: Clyde's validates parking for a discounted rate at the Gallery Place Parking Garage on 6th Street between G and H Streets. Street parking and other parking garages are available.]

The AFFIRM write-up: The Federal government has complex information technology needs, impacted by policy, culture, budget and other non-technology factors. These add a unique set of challenges to the development of major IT projects. Media and government watchdogs focus on struggling projects, but significant improvements in citizen services and efficiency in government has resulted from innovative technology programs, managed well and on time. Project management, information sharing, innovation, and agency culture can play a significant role in determining success of a major IT project. Join us as government program managers discuss best practices that can help your agency achieve a higher likelihood for future success.

We'll explore:

  • Well implemented programs that are helping employees become more productive by leveraging technology

  • How team-building plays a role in motivating and achieving the goal

  • The critical touch points between business collaboration and IT

  • How standards, security, and infrastructure impact success

We had our pre-event call last week.

My general notes about what we are going to discuss:

  • Opening question:

  • What is the difference managing big and small programs?

  • Procurement challenges -- often, particularly with big programs, the acquisition process becomes so onerous, agencies end up putting so much into the RFP because they don’t want to have to revisit that process. How have people dealt with that?

  • What made your successful projects successful?

  • Enterprise architecture seems to be in vogue again these days. Is that a lesson learned? Why does EA matter?

  • Closing question: How can industry help government do its job better?

What else should we discuss?

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Washington Post: OPM losing ground with federal-worker retirement claims - “The Office of Personnel Management has lost momentum this year in processing federal-employee retirement claims after drastically reducing its inventory in 2013, according to a progress report from the agency. OPM processed about 18,500 applications during the first two months of 2014, compared to 27,900 during the same period last year, meaning processing has slowed by 34-percent this year during the traditional peak months for new cases.”

  2. GovExec: Defense Unveils Options to Overhaul Military Retirement System - “The Defense Department has outlined several possibilities for overhauling retirement benefits for military personnel, which could provide more cash up front to service members but limit overall compensation.

  3. Washington Post: Senate rejects further revamp of how Pentagon handles sex assault cases - The Senate rejected a proposal Thursday that would dramatically overhaul how the Defense Department handles assault and rape cases involving military personnel, voting down a proposal that would remove military commanders from the decision about whether these cases should be prosecuted. Congress has already voted to revamp the military’s legal system by ending the statute of limitations on assault and rape cases and making it a crime to retaliate against victims who report assaults. It also voted to require dishonorable discharge or dismissal of anyone convicted of sexual assault or rape. But on Thursday, senators rejected a plan by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) that would go further by taking away from military commanders the power to refer serious crimes to courts-martial.”

  4. FCW: Microsoft seeks agency try-outs for government cloud platform - “The software giant wants agencies to test its Azure for Government cloud hosting platform as the offering awaits formal FedRAMP authorizations.”

  5. NextGov: Pentagon Tries Again on Cyber Intelligence-Sharing Contract - “The Defense Department will recompete a $26 million contract to support a classified cyber intelligence network, after federal attorneys determined the Pentagon failed to properly evaluate contractor proposals, Defense officials said late on Friday.”

  6. Federal Times: GSA seeks $35 million for cybersecurity center - “The General Services Administration is seeking $35 million for the design of a civilian cybersecurity center in the Washington, D.C. area, according to the agency’s 2015 budget request March 4.”

  7. NYT: Jackson Mourns Mayor with Militant Past Who Won Over Skeptics - “Many people here still do not entirely know what to make of the mayor with the unusual name and even more unexpected résumé, who proudly embraced the term “militant” and to many was still the same dashiki-wearing firebrand who first came to prominence advocating an independent black nation in the South in the early 1970s. But when Jackson said goodbye to Mayor Chokwe Lumumba this weekend, blacks and whites, for a change, largely united in mourning an unlikely experiment that ended when he died last month, apparently of a heart attack, at age 66, after only eight months in office.”

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder... yes, we’re trying to help you make your water-cooler time better too...

  • Why You Should Embrace Surveillance, Not Fight It: Wired: Kevin Kelly, one of the co-founders of Wired magazine author of What Technology Wants, Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities: “We’re expanding the data sphere to sci-fi levels and there’s no stopping it. Too many of the benefits we covet derive from it. So our central choice now is whether this surveillance is a secret, one-way panopticon — or a mutual, transparent kind of “coveillance” that involves watching the watchers. The first option is hell, the second redeemable,” Kelly writes. “But if today’s social media has taught us anything about ourselves as a species it is that the human impulse to share trumps the human impulse for privacy. So far, at every juncture that offers a technological choice between privacy or sharing, we’ve tilted, on average, towards more sharing, more disclosure.”

  • Is the Link Now Broken Between Innovation, Jobs and a Higher Standard of Living?: The Wall Street Journal columnist Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Is the well-documented link between innovation and a higher-standard of living is now broken. “Given the torrid pace of technology advances and new ideas, how come the U.S. is continuing to experience slow economic growth, stagnant wages and high long-term unemployment?” he asks. “Are we now in an economy in which technology and innovation do not necessarily lead to a higher standard of living and quality of life?” There are a number of possible responses to this question, some addressing the unique nature of today’s innovations, others telling us to take another look at the past and realize that “the road to riches was rockier than is often appreciated.”

11 Times The Simpsons Predicted the Future of Technology [Mashable] Related: Mohter Jones: How the Simpsons Have Secretly Been Teaching You Math

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