The Challenge of Coordinating "Big Science"

Recent years have seen an increase in cross-agency research and development projects. These initiatives are large and significant in national policy. They include: information technology, nanotechnology, climate change, global change, and bioterrorism. For example, global change has grown to involve eighteen federal agencies and departments, including entities within the executive office of the president. The aim of these and other interagency programs is to draw on the special skills of each organization and weave them into a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts.

Managing "Big Science:" A Case Study of the Human Genome Project

This report reviews the history of management of the National Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health, the federal government's largest science project since the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Apollo Project. The Human Genome Project involved scientists around the world "working around the clock" for over 15 years. The study focuses on Project Director Francis Collins, who has overseen the successful completion of several of the Genome Project's goals.

A Manager's Guide to Resolving Conflicts in Collaborative Networks

The O'Leary and Bingham report expands on previous Center reports by adding an important practical tool for managers in networks: how to manage and negotiate the conflicts that may occur among a network's members. The approach they describe-interest-based negotiation-has worked in other settings, such as bargaining with unions. Such negotiation techniques are becoming crucial in sustaining the effectiveness of networks, where successful performance is defined by how well people collaborate and not by hierarchical commands.

From Forest Fires to Hurricane Katrina: Case Studies of Incident Command Systems

The success of the Incident Command System (ICS) as a hierarchical-network organizational model in emergencies such as forest fires led to its being designated by the federal government as the preferred approach for responding to emergencies. However, it seemingly failed in the response to Hurricane Katrina. Professor Moynihan examines the Katrina case, as well as others, and identifies the conditions under which the ICS approach can be successful.

Six Practical Steps to Improve Contracting

The IBM Center and George Mason University co-sponsored a series of breakfast seminars over the course of 2008 with a series of acquisition experts who constituted the Acquisition Reform Working Group. They believed that whoever won the election, contracting issues would be on the front burner. With the passage of the Stimulus Bill, having an effective federal contracting function will be critical to the success of the Bill.

Federated Human Resource Management in the Federal Government: The Intelligence Community Model

The Intelligence Community developed a "federated" approach to its human capital system under the authority of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. This approach effectively balances the needs of the community with those of individual agencies. Unlike the traditional top-down approaches to policy development, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence worked closely with each of the 17 components of the Intelligence Community to agree upon a new human resource management framework.

What the Federal Government Can Do to Encourage Green Production

The green movement has reached a tipping point in recent years. Private industry now realizes that using green production techniques not only improves the environment but also can provide significant financial benefits by reducing waste, regulatory costs, and potential long-term liabilities. This report identifies six factors that currently discourage industry from undertaking green production methods.

Four Strategies to Transform State Governance

Historically, transforming state government meant restructuring or reorganizing the executive branch or a single agency. However, these approaches are no longer seen as effective. State government must become more flexible and responsive to the rapidly changing environment in which they operate. The four transformation strategies recommended in this report can be acted upon in a relatively short period of time without investing a great deal of additional resources and without partisan debates.

The National Security Council: Recommendations for the New President

Dr. Worley's report examines 60 years of history of how presidents have used the National Security Council organization and process. From the administration of Harry Truman to George W. Bush, the report analyses which approaches succeeded and which failed. It then offers a series of recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the national security system.

Integrating Service Delivery Across Levels of Government: Case Studies of Canada and Other Countries

Public services are traditionally delivered through a number of government agencies via programs that are not connected to each other. In the midst of this decentralized fragmentation, two trends - a citizen-centric philosophy and network model of service delivery - are driving demands to integrate the delivery of citizen-oriented services across levels of government. The rapid increase in technology allows this new collaborative approach to service design and delivery to be a successful substitute for the old hierarchical approach.