US Government to send in troubleshooters to sort out underperforming IT projects

By David Bicknell

The US Government wants to formalise a plan to send in specialist troubleshooting teams to rein in failing IT projects.

Federal chief information officer Steven Van Roekel  said the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) – which oversees the preparation of the US federal budget and supervises its administration in government agencies – is to create government-wide teams to take on the most problematic IT programs.

VanRoekel said agency CIOs also will continue to run TechStats, a government wide tool to shine light on and turn around underperforming IT projects. The critical details of a project’s health that are generated by a TechStat session reveal project strengths and the potential weaknesses that could lead to catastrophic failure.

As well as TechStats, VanRoekel said he will formally launch IT SWAT teams according to a US report.  The concept has already been used to help the Office of Personnel Management sort out its struggling portal.

“We assembled a team of the best and brightest IT people across government and they evaluated the USAJobs infrastructure,” said Van Roekel. “They sent me back a bunch of recommendations we now are having OPM implement and take forward. It is a great program and I’m excited to take that concept government-wide.”

VanRoekel said the goal is to bring together other teams of experts throughout 2012.


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