Making Government’s Massive Programs Work: Now It’s the Law

Co-Author: Roger Kodat, Project Director, National Academy of Public Administration

In addition to managing ongoing programs, the federal government increasingly is called upon to undertake large, complex initiatives and to adapt and improve existing programs in a rapidly changing environment.

Competent Management: Getting the Basics Right

new article in the Harvard Business Review by a team of researchers led by Raffaella Sadun, Nicholas Bloom and John Van Reenen, have done just this, for private sector companies.  But their lessons apply in government as well, observing: “Core management practices can’t be taken for granted.

How to Foster Innovation in Government Management Systems

Little wonder therefore that governments around the world want to be seen promoting innovation. However, based on my experience, government efforts in this area can be divided into two broad categories: Most of the governmental resources (money and time) are used for promoting innovation by non-government actors, and only a small amount is allocated for the innovation programs meant to encourage management innovation within the government itself. The former category represents innovation encouraged ‘by’ the government and the latter innovation generated ‘in’ the government.

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.

Building an Enterprise Government

In January 2017, the next administration will begin the hard work of implementing the President’s priorities. Regardless of the specific policies, implementation in many cases will require working across agency boundaries. By taking an “enterprise government” approach – starting in the transition and continuing into the White House – the next administration can deliver on their promises more effectively.

Incident Reporting Systems: Lessons from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Organization

Incident reporting systems are an integral part of many agencies’ operations. For example, the Veterans Health Administration collects data on incidences of errors made during surgeries, the Food Safety and Inspection Service collects data on incidences of errors in meat inspection plants, and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration collects data on incidences of work­place injuries.

From Data to Decisions II: Building an Analytics Culture

In our 2011 report on analytics use in the federal government, "From Data to Decisions: The Power of Analytics," we wrote about the tremendous budget pressures federal agencies face at a time when there is great public demand for government to be more effective and efficient. This report’s release sparked an overwhelmingly positive response from agency leaders and federal performance management practitioners who asked, “Where do we go from here?

The Guide: Helping the New Administration Succeed in Washington

The transition from campaign to governing requires that presidential policies be transformed from rhetoric into an actionable agenda and then into concrete results. Neither good policies nor sound investments are likely to work, let along succeed, if undermined by poor implementation. Too often, however, federal management issues are considered somewhere between “uninteresting” and “a waste of time.” The reason: Washington is a policy town. If you are focused on politics or policy, “management” is often ignored or simply left for someone else to figure out.

Use of Dashboards in Government

Government leaders are deluged with thousands of streams of data about the performance of their agencies and programs.

One approach the Obama administration has latched onto to make sense out of the deluge of data is the use of on-line “dashboards” of performance data that track the key performance metrics of various federal agencies and programs.  The administration has touted the benefits of dashboards as a way of organizing and filtering performance data so it makes sense to decision makers so they can understand and act on it.

Seven Management Imperatives

 

Periodically the IBM Center staff steps back and reflects on the insights provided by its authors of more than 300 research reports and by some 300 senior government executives interviewed over the past 13 years.  Through our research and interviews, we identified several broad societal trends that we believe are changing the game for successful leadership at all levels of government.

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