Civilian Agency X Case Study

“X” agency Reacts multiple ways

Policy Management attempts to be Level 3 Upper Left “C”, but revolving door limits Level 1 as a Left Side “I”– “X” agency reacts to societal change in view or mission needs (resource use, protection, etc.) but has yet to implement effective performance management. Still reacting to long-term goals (with century forward looking impacts), much of societal pressures are only …

Program Management waffles between Maturity level 2 and 3 – At best they are a Right “C” – “X” agency is responding quite well to the upper part of the “C” based on OMB guidance and has implemented several initially stove-piped approaches.

IT Management is purely a Level 1 Right “I” – “X” agency still has 40% or so of its IT investments under this approach – under the O&M budget, and possibly more given many scientific applications are funded via grants bypassing local/direct need for business and governance involvement. Technologists are driving blind to business needs, not because of lack of competence, but there are language barriers between hard science approach and soft-side approach limiting managements capability to sponsor initiatives. Total Cost of ownership each year runs up, and user experience gets impacted, thus solution relevancy leans towards an online DMV line metaphorically.

Real Examples:

– “X” agency plays to longer-term goals of managing the stewardship responsible resources. Short-term goals which take a lot of resources, but as their goals are not in national spotlight, but more national resource infrastructure, they will get prioritized higher due to the societal reaction to advance and legislate more there. Because of that the mission of “X” agency gets compromised and sub-cultures have reacted autonomously to meet their missions.

– This allowed technology investments to pass thru immediately to their specific products and services thus likely duplicating many supporting products, services, and components thru O&M budgets rather than centralized financial controls.

– Middle-management efforts to integrate, in recent decades at “X” agency for instance, have failed to establish integrated change management as the O&M folks still controlled the strings to their purse, and didn’t have to step up to bat.

– These integrated change management approaches

Whats this mean to “X” agency Transformation efforts?

Performance measurement – Planning, proof of alignment to strategic planning, and capability to actually measures performance for intermediate proof is QUITE needed. Outreach that CIO driven transformation is not a silo’d change management and need to combine with other processes in Capital Planning, Workforce Planning, Security, etc., but integrated hard science techniques with program and policy offices and executives is simply a necessary beast of technology advancement. Without this – transformation will not succeed. Transformation would go in assuming the culture will accept the fact they will perform and it will work if you simply manage the business…

BUT ALAS, this is not true, and CIO leaders are guilty until proven innocent by our performance, mostly under own demise of initial and true hard science governed role as cost center compliance executives instead of service center relevance enabler.

The final part of this study calls out the recommended steps to consider to help bring the cultures together before undertaking or to help in risk mitigation when undertaking a business transformation