Laying a Foundation to Achieve Management Success in Government
Important milestones were recently passed regarding the focus of the Biden-Harris administration and the Congress on management priorities for government programs. The President’s FY 2023 Budget Request added funding and detail to multiple aspects of the President’s Management Agenda Vision. The PMA reflects a set of initiatives and activities intended to improve the effectiveness and efficiency by which federal agencies serve their constituents and carry out their mission.
The latest PMA focuses on strengthening and empowering the federal workforce; delivering excellent, equitable, and secure federal services and customer experience; and managing the business of government (a priority that resonates with us at the IBM Center for The Business of Government!). These and related agency performance goals are further developed on the Performance.gov website. Just prior to that, Congress enacted the FY 2022 Enacted Budget, which prioritized resources for management programs.
The structure that new law and policy provides for management implementation point to multiple focus areas that are consistent with research priorities of the IBM Center. Emerging stronger and more resilient from COVID matches our recent reports, Emerge Stronger and More Resilient: Responding to COVID-19 and Preparing for Future Shocks and Managing The Next Crisis: Twelve Principles For Dealing With Viral Uncertainty.
Another key priority involves addressing equity in the implementation of government programs. The Center is partnering with the Center for Open Data Enterprise to address how data can drive greater equity in managing programs for underserved communities and increased efficiency for all beneficiaries.
The FY 2023 Budget Request also focused in on managing supply chains at reduced risk levels. Current priorities include reducing bottlenecks on producer and consumer networks, distributing needed medical material, and enhancing the food supply. This has long been an interest of the Center, including two new studies by prominent academic experts: The Key to Modern Governmental Supply Chain Practice: Analytical Technology Innovation and Enabling a More Resilient and Shared Supply Chain Strategy for the Nation: Lessons Learned from COVID-19.
Also contained within the Budget are multiple technology priorities that help lay a foundation for achieving management success in the twenty-first century. These priorities are relevant to transformation success for governments around the world. They include:
- A focus on customer experience as a key to program delivery, especially in helping the public move through “life events” that leads to interaction with multiple agencies—like going to school, starting a business, or retiring from the workforce.
- “Digital first” that improves access to, and delivery of, online services for the full range of diverse communities accessing those services.
- Modernizing legacy technology through the Technology Modernization Fund, which can spark accelerated performance across the nearly $100 billion in total IT spending.
- Improving cybersecurity, especially by taking a “zero trust” focus that assumes threats at every corner of an agency’s technology presence and develops risk reduction and response strategies accordingly.
- The use of better data and evidence to inform decisions.
All of these priorities can be enhanced through greater agility by government agencies. Agility is a goal being addressed directly by the Agile Government Center, which led the National Academy of Public Administration to collaborate with our Center.
As reflected in the insights from government leaders in this latest Center magazine, we will continue to collaborate with public sector managers—and work on research with practical insights and actionable recommendations from top scholars and nonprofit partners—to inform leadership and management priorities for governments around the world.