Friday, September 3, 2021
Highlighting articles and insights that we have found of interest for the week ending September 3, 2021

House infrastructure bill includes over $3 billion for federal tech. Under an amendment from Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), the Technology Modernization Fund could see another $1 billion in capitalization. The House Oversight and Reform Committee voted to approve over $3 billion for federal tech initiatives, including another billion-dollar investment into the Technology Modernization Fund. Connolly's amendment also includes $2 billion for the General Services Administration's Federal Citizen Services Fund, an office charged with supporting interagency IT projects ranging from to FedRAMP.

What makes hackathons work. Steve Kelman explores what makes hackathons work. Hackathons are sort of like agile software development sprints on steroids. They are time-limited events — often but not always three days — where a small team stops everything else, they are doing and works fulltime (sometimes around the clock) to develop some new product on deadline. While hackathons are associated with the private sector, there have been occasional hackathons in government, at NASA, the General Services Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs and elsewhere.

White House names Mina Hsiang to lead USDS. Mina Hsiang will serve as the next administrator of the U.S. Digital Service (USDS), which part of the Office of Management and Budget at the White House, provides consulting for digital services delivery, agile acquisition and information technology modernization across IT and digital resources to federal customers. Hsiang is a veteran of USDS – she joined in 2014 when the team launched and returned with the Biden-Harris administration.

OPM has TMF Requests for Zero Trust, Cloud. Like all Federal agencies, the Office of Personnel Management is working on complying with President Biden’s cyber executive order. To help comply with the EO and aid OPM’s modernization mission, the agency has funding requests out to the Technology Modernization Fund Board to help OPM with the move to zero trust and cloud modernization, OPM CIO Guy Cavallo said.

DoL Establishes Office of UI Modernization. The Department of Labor established a new office specifically focused on modernizing state unemployment insurance systems. The Office of Unemployment Insurance Modernization will be tasked with helping support the DoL UI modernization plan and oversee the $2 billion appropriated to the department in the American Rescue Plan, DoL announced.

Culture Shift Needed for DevSecOps Success. In order to launch a robust DevSecOps effort, Department of Defense leaders agree that organizations need to undergo a culture shift and learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable to achieve the best results. During a virtual summit held by ATARC, DoD officials agreed that a cultural component needs to be in place so that employees can work towards a common goal when utilizing DevSecOps.

IRS could raise $200B in revenue, double its workforce under Biden spending plan. The IRS plans to surge its hiring to fill its depleted ranks. The agency told Congress last year it has 33,000 fewer employees than it did a decade ago.

At NASA, telework and remote work will look differently for each employee. NASA is taking the next several months to “experiment” with employee telework and remote arrangements before making big investment or divestment decisions.

3 ways to alleviate frustration when things go wrong. When things go wrong, get control of your thoughts, find a way forward and place the event in perspective instead of feeling defeated, writes TruPerception CEO Melissa DeLay. "Whatever doesn't kill you may hurt, but you will come away from it stronger and more knowledgeable than before," she writes. SmartBrief/Leadership.

How the "Triple As of strategic agility" function. Airbnb was able the survive the worst of the pandemic by employing the "Triple As of strategic agility": avoid, absorb and accelerate -- a process that dodges the worst dangers while quickly unlocking new opportunities, write Michael Wade, Amit Joshi and Elizabeth Teracino. They go into detail about the six principles of this strategy and offer case studies, including California Pizza Kitchen and Zoetis. Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model)

3 questions you need to answer during times of change. Employees want to know how changes will affect them and their work -- and whether it will be worth it, writes business professor Lynn Isabella. Not everyone is asking the same question at the same time, adding to the complexity facing leaders. Darden Ideas to Action (University of Virginia).

Make mistakes a feature to fail faster. Boost innovation by rewarding failure and mistakes, making ambiguity a feature and not a bug and working with low-tech prototypes before investing deeply in a new product, writes Rachel Audige. "If we are truly going to 'fail fast', we need to avoid falling in love with our idea and move quickly and cheaply," she writes. Human-Centered Change and Innovation.

Company culture is collaboration, not a single vision. A company's culture is a collective endeavor that challenges leaders to blend cultures across the company into a cohesive unity, say corporate anthropologists Mario Moussa, Derek Newberry and Greg Urban. "Leadership is the art of knowing when to unite different tribes around single vision or idea and when to let tribes do things their own way," they say. Skip Prichard Leadership Insights.

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Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: A Conversation with Krystal Brumfield, Associate Administrator, Office of Government-wide Policy, U.S. General Services Administration. What is the mission of the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Government-wide Policy? How is GSA pursuing government-wide sustainable practices? What is GSA doing to enhance government wide performance? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Krystal Brumfield, Associate Administrator Office of Government-wide Policy at GSA next week on The Business of Government Hour.

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Friday at 1 p.m. on Federal News Network 1500AM WFED






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