Put the Users at the Center of Program Management in Government

Put the Users at the Center of Program Management in Government

Put the Users at the Center of Program Management in Government

Despite new methods, agile processes, and more certified project managers than ever, large, complex programs are not achieving mission goals faster or more cost effectively. Can legislation make a difference?

The Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act of 2015 (PMIAA) plans to enhance accountability and best practices in project and program management throughout the Federal government. An important part of the PMIAA calls for the Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue the standards, policies, and guidelines.

To help accelerate this effort, Arc Aspicio has some key recommendations based on our project and program management capabilities and experience.

  • Create Standards, Policies, and Guidelines by Incorporating Existing Best Practices –These include the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) ‒ the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) standard and guideline for project management ‒ and Federal agencies’ system development and program management guidelines (for example, Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Systems Engineering Life Cycle (SELC) and Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Acquisition Guidebook). As demonstrated in the DHS SELC, including an approach for project tailoring is very useful
  • Promote the Use of Agile – OMB should incorporate project management best practices from Agile methods, such as Scrum and Lean. Agile implementation has been successful within the Federal government, including in DHS, and is paving the way for more innovative solution development in a highly dynamic environment
  • Put Users at the Center Through Design Thinking – User needs, requirements, and experience should be a primary focal point at the beginning and throughout the life of the project. OMB should introduce Design Thinking and prototyping in the standards, policies, and guidelines, and bring in industry subject matter experts who can help support this journey. Design Thinking focuses on getting to know your end users or customers and empathizing with them to truly understand their motivations, feelings, and pain points. 
  • Experiment and Prototype – A key element of Design Thinking is prototyping, which involves producing an early, inexpensive, and scaled down version of the product to reveal any problems with the current design. This is an easy and cost-effective way for Project Managers and teams to explore potential solutions, harness creativity, and iterate to achieve an outcome that is conducive to end user’s goals and desires. They can measure how well the projects meet the user expectations – rather than just whether they are performed on time and within budget
  • Emphasize the Importance of Risk Management – OMB should emphasize Risk Management processes in the standards, policies, and guidelines. Using Risk Management plans and Risk Registers, and encouraging project wide collaboration when discussing risk are all important for the success of the project. Looking at risk from the perspective of the program goals is important, but programs must also consider the risk to the mission as well

Our consultants, designers, and managers look forward to learning how industry can add value and support OMB and the Federal government during this change.

About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. As a rapidly growing company, Arc Aspicio has a bold strategy for 2016-2018 that drives growth through new capabilities in strategy, design, human capital, data analytics, information sharing, cybersecurity, and strategic communications. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude – for its clients and its great team. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.

Contributors

* Arc Aspicio |

Arc Aspicio enhances the future of our nation by creating bold ideas and bringing them to life. A consulting and solutions company, Arc Aspicio solves problems by applying our integrated capabilities in strategy, design, data, human capital, behavioral science, and technology. The company passionately pursues our vision to be the hub of creativity where people take action to change the world. To do this, employees collaborate with clients and partners to create solutions using a human-centered approach. Innovation is not possible without action. The company focuses on strategy first, then takes a hands-on approach implementing ideas to achieve results. Join Arc Aspicio and our Strategy Innovation Lab (SILab) by creating and sharing ideas to inspire people to change the world. Follow us on Twitter @ArcAspicio @SILabDC and, #welovedogs!

Reinventing Strategy

Reinventing Strategy

Since the GPRA Modernization Act in 2010, agencies across the Federal Government have raced to establish new Strategic Plans in response to incoming Presidential Administrations and agency leaders. Developing a new Strategic Plan is incredibly exciting for an agency. Leaders can redefine priorities, frontline managers can improve mission performance, and employees can better engage with the mission. Strategy, however, is so much more than just a Strategic Plan.

Running IT Like a Business: How Technology Business Management is Shaping the Future of Federal Agencies

Running IT Like a Business: How Technology Business Management is Shaping the Future of Federal Agencies

As the Government continually looks for ways to increase efficiency and encourage innovation, Information Technology (IT) is emerging as a solution to these needs. Recent Federal guidance mandates all agencies to adopt a new framework for better understanding IT costs. Technology Business Management (TBM) is a framework that incorporates IT departments into the overall business network, shifting away from treating IT as an independent unit. This provides a clear way to evaluate and manage IT, running IT as a business and communicating the value of new IT investments.

Behavioral Science – Using Behavioral Science to Effect Action

Behavioral Science – Using Behavioral Science to Effect Action

How do organizations encourage behavior change in their customers? Increasingly, they focus on customer experience, and as a consequence employ behavioral science methodologies. At the heart of behavioral science is the consideration of how an organization can make small investments that generate incremental savings/returns while considering both customers and organizational benefits. One example is Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Pre✓® and U.C. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry programs.

Launching into #Action Through Strategy

Launching into #Action Through Strategy

As a new employee, your first company-wide meeting can make you nervous. This was how I felt.

Arc Aspicio’s recent Strategy Launch Day was so well planned and it involved participants so that I learned that I had nothing to worry about! The company treats each employee equally and equips even the newest joiners with the information and skills they need to have a meaningful experience

What Being a Consultant Means to Me

What Being a Consultant Means to Me

As a Consulting Associate at Arc Aspicio, I provide expertise and insight to help clients solve difficult problems. To be successful, a consultant does not need only to be a subject matter expert on their client’s industry and needs - though this often ends up happening over time.

Captivate Your Audience Through Design+Data

Captivate Your Audience Through Design+Data

So often, senior leaders must communicate their strategic and simple vision in a world of growing complexity. They must make decisions – and frequently explain them – based on an enterprise view of their data. It’s getting easier to do this these days through data visualizations and infographics that speak to specific employee and stakeholder audiences. Design+Data is what we call it at Arc Aspicio.

Chief Data Officers: Six Steps to Manage Data as an Enterprise Asset

Chief Data Officers: Six Steps to Manage Data as an Enterprise Asset

With an exponential increase in the types and quantities of data, organizations need defined strategies and techniques to manage data as an enterprise asset. To create enterprise-wide use of data, a Chief Data Officer (CDO) needs a clear data agenda for leadership and the whole organization to address current and future needs. CDOs should follow this six-part data plan to achieve short term capability gains and plot a path to greater enterprise data maturity.