Roadmaps for IT Modernization

Roadmaps for IT Modernization

Roadmaps for IT Modernization

The risk associated with legacy information technology (IT) systems not meeting the Federal Government’s evolving needs is substantial and unacceptable. The costs are also significant with 78% of the $80 billion spent annually on Federal IT going toward maintaining existing systems, crowding out funding for modernization.

On February 9, 2016, President Obama announced his Cybersecurity National Action Plan that requests $3.1 billion for an IT Modernization. The crux of the proposal is to invest the money in modernization to reduce costs, deliver new functionality, and overcome weaknesses in the systems that make them difficult, if not impossible, to secure.

Agencies have a tremendous opportunity to develop IT Modernization Roadmaps that position them for the resources they need. Chief Information Officers (CIOs) should consider the following in their plans:

* Embrace quick wins – Plan to demonstrate results early, growing confidence that funding will be spent well at your agency. Start now so that when money is available, you are ready to take quick action

* Align investments with long-term strategies – To select the best projects, incorporate the current program or agency strategy. For example, there is no need to update a system if its primary function will no longer be needed in a few years

* Engage with all stakeholders early and often – End users can be the greatest source of knowledge about modernization risks and bring mission knowledge that the development team does not have. To obtain quick buy-in, recruit motivated users to be advocates for modernization and serve as a communication channel to reach other users through a trusted source

* Embrace agile methods – Use agile methods and take advantage of Government resources such as 18F to accelerate modernization

* Think security first – Architect new releases and systems with security requirements in mind

* Plan with the data in mind – Data migration and the launch of the new system can be one of the riskiest parts of a modernization project. Develop a data strategy early. Test it to address quality issues. Diligently practice deployment to cutover flawlessly

An IT Modernization Roadmap needs to consider the mission benefits, sequence of modernization, risks and mitigation strategies. Governance for the Roadmap must include a cross-disciplinary team of mission leaders, system users, technology leaders and experts, and coaches with expertise in the latest methods to architect with the mission in mind.

Organization Redesign: Is the Cure Worse than the Ailment?

Organization Redesign: Is the Cure Worse than the Ailment?

According to a popular management joke, new executives should blame their predecessors when facing their first crisis.  When facing their second crisis, they should reorganize everything. Jokes are funny when they’re seen as plausible. Reorganizations show action, produce change, and create opportunities for new leadership. However, are reorganizations worth the disruption?

Arc Aspicio to Host Design Thinking Forum: Creating the Future of Government on June 21

Arc Aspicio to Host Design Thinking Forum: Creating the Future of Government on June 21

Washington, DC, June 7, 2017 — Arc Aspicio plans to host an inaugural Design Thinking Forum featuring a discussion on how Federal leaders can innovate solutions to create the future of Government. Design Thinking is a human-centered innovation process that emphasizes observation, collaboration, fast learning, visualization of ideas, rapid concept prototyping, and concurrent business analysis, which ultimately generates innovation and increased mission outcomes.

Firefighters Show You Can Develop a Strategy While Fighting Fires

Firefighters Show You Can Develop a Strategy While Fighting Fires

“Employees at all levels are too busy ‘doing their jobs’ and ‘fighting fires’ to devote time or pay heed to strategic initiatives.” It’s a common complaint. Academic literature has confirmed that ‘firefighting’ takes up much of the manager’s job and offers extensive advice on how to stop fighting fires – and even how to suppress the urge to do so.

The SILab: An Invitation to Embrace Innovation

The SILab: An Invitation to Embrace Innovation

Government agencies and businesses must embrace innovation and strategic thinking to keep up with today’s changing society, rising demands, and complex problems. Encouraging organizations to fully adopt innovative thinking, however, is difficult. Organizations are often focused on their daily activities and have limited time to discover new approaches. In addition, employees often choose to stay with proven, mainstream solutions because they fear wasting resources or failure. 

Putting the Mission First in a Leader’s Agency Reform Plan

Putting the Mission First in a Leader’s Agency Reform Plan

Agency leaders have more than a little to do these days. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released guidance for implementing Executive Orders and Presidential Memoranda on Federal management and human capital. The Comprehensive Plan for Reforming the Federal Government and Reducing the Federal Civilian Workforce (M-17-22) directs agencies to create comprehensive plans to enhance mission focus, streamline operations, and improve workforce effectiveness and efficiency.

SharePoint: Unique Solutions for Homeland Security Partners

SharePoint: Unique Solutions for Homeland Security Partners

As information sharing has become more common across local, state, and federal agencies, homeland security partners need tools to manage this critical data. SharePoint has emerged as an information sharing tool that can assist emergency managers, law enforcement agencies, and others across the homeland security enterprise with the sharing of sensitive data with internal and external partners, quickly and securely.

Managing Change Using a Maturity Model

Managing Change Using a Maturity Model

The pace of change is accelerating. Government agencies, and their employees, must find new ways to support their stakeholders and manage internal operations in the face of changing mission expectations and potential budget cuts. Guiding the workforce through the change is messy and challenging and is essential to successful implementation of innovative ideas, technologies, and processes. 

Lost in Translation No Longer: Data Translators Bridge the Gap to the Mission

Lost in Translation No Longer: Data Translators Bridge the Gap to the Mission

Two main types of problems can make it difficult to make data-driven decisions: technical and cultural. Technical difficulties could include data that is messy, incomplete, or split between different departments or components. Cultural factors might include a resistance to change, an environment that favors trusting your instincts, or a belief that things are fine the way they are. 

How to Use Data to Drive Employee Engagement

How to Use Data to Drive Employee Engagement

When it comes to retaining your workforce, one feature correlates to 87% increases in retention and 57% increases in employee effectiveness. It is not compensation. It is employee engagement. Engagement measures an employee’s emotional commitment to an organization and willingness to use discretionary effort to achieve organizational goals. In other words, engaged employees strive to exceed the status quo. 

A Leader’s Most Influential Tool: Gratitude

A Leader’s Most Influential Tool: Gratitude

Gratitude is one of a great leader’s most powerful tools. It creates positive energy among an organization and the sense of appreciation permeates through the work the collective group is performing. Influential leaders listen to the needs of their colleagues and express gratitude. This helps them bring out the potential in the people they lead and inspire them to achieve what is most important to them and to the project.

The Design Era of Project Management

The Design Era of Project Management

Project Management best practices and methods continue to evolve to address the biggest challenges Government agencies face in today’s market. The increased use of Agile and the move from traditional waterfall methodologies is fairly common in Information Technologies. Projects use Agile methods such as Scrum or Kanban, and organizations invest a lot of time and effort to make this cultural shift on projects.