Accountability and Performance Weekly – September 8-14

Congress Begins Formally Blocking Trump’s Government Reorganization Plan
Eric Katz, Government Executive
Many of the 32 proposals the White House issued in June have received bipartisan pushback, but the spending package marks the first effort legislators have taken to formally block those proposals from moving forward.

Performance Management
GAO: Few agencies have moved ahead on using metrics to inform policy decisions
Jory Heckman, Federal News Radio
Despite a number of recent initiatives aimed at getting agencies to make more data-based decisions, GAO finds agencies haven’t moved the needle much on using performance information.

How to Achieve Your Agency’s Objectives One Meeting at a Time
John Kamensky, Government Executive
Data-driven meetings made a big splash in government nearly a decade ago. New research shows what it takes to make them work.

How the VHA innovators network is ‘changing narrative’ of complacency
Nicole Ogrysko, Federal News Radio
The VHA’s Diffusion of Excellence Initiative so far has worked with 3,198 VHA employees to replicate 344 practices, which has resulted in cost savings worth about $22.6 million, the agency said.

Will civic tech save government from its tech talent crisis?
Steve Kelman, Federal Computer Week
Students drawn to digital government are bringing desperately needed skills (and enthusiasm) to agencies that are willing to engage.

6 Organizations Making a Big Impact on Smart Cities
Lauren Harrison, Government Technology
Partnerships with nonprofits and foundations drive city innovation.

Why Cultivating Your Innovation Ecosystem Is Worth the Work
Elizabeth Hoffecker, Stanford Social Innovation Review
New research shows there are clear benefits to strengthening the complex environments that enable place-based innovation.

How Senior Executives and Good Government Groups Would Like to Reshape the SES
Erich Wagner, Government Executive
Proposal stresses training, performance management and reducing the number of political appointees.

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Accountability and Performance Weekly – September 1-7

Performance Management
Government-wide Actions Needed to Improve Agencies’ Use of Performance Information in Decision Making
Government Accountability Office
Information about whether and how well agencies are reaching their goals is essential to making the federal government more effective. This only works, however, when federal managers use that data to make decisions.

GAO: Data-driven management is stuck in neutral
Chase Gunter, Federal Computer Week
The Government Accountability Office says agencies haven’t really improved on data-driven decision-making since 2013.

MSPB Highlights Best Practices in Performance Management
Erich Wagner, Government Executive
Timely feedback, employee autonomy and a sense of purpose all contribute to better performance, morale.

Who is Accountable for Agency Performance?
Howard Risher, Government Executive
The steps to improve performance are best seen as a puzzle; no single action is likely to have much impact.  The pieces are well known—research has highlighted what’s needed—but government has trouble putting them together.

Who In Government Is Asking ‘What Works?’
Robert Shea, Government Executive
There is no single individual at agencies who is tasked with speaking up when what agencies are doing isn’t working.

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Accountability and Performance Weekly – August 25-31

OMB putting a twist on applied research to solve federal management challenges
Jason Miller, Federal News Radio
What is different about OMB’s plan to create the Government Effectiveness Advanced Research (GEAR) Center is the focus on internal federal challenges such as workforce modernization and the use of data.

Project management vs. product management
Steve Kelman, Federal Computer Week
The author argues that government innovation needs more of the latter.

The Fast-Follower Strategy for Technology in Government
Stephen Goldsmith, Governing
The public sector shouldn’t be on the bleeding edge of innovation. It should focus on integrating proven tools.

Why modernizing human capital systems is so hard
Chase Gunter, Federal Computer Week
Treasury, DOD and others are working to modernize talent management, but budgetary, cultural and political challenges complicate their progress.

Open Government
Key open gov deadline nears with no public action
Alex Howard, Federal Computer Week
The author asks whether stakeholders and activists take the White House at its word that it is interested in advancing open data and open government policy?

White House Instructs Agencies to Stop Performing ‘Low Value’ Work
Charles Clark, Government Executive
New OMB guidance aims to cut the burden on agencies, in part by rescinding previous presidents’ reporting requirements.

It’s Dismantlers v. Rebuilders on the Government Reform Front
Paul Light, Government Executive
A new study shows momentum among reform advocates pushing for bigger government.

How business process reengineering can support performance improvement
Emad Elias and Bob Etris, Federal Computer Week
Modern use of BPR can create cost savings by focusing on problem definition and clarity of roles and responsibilities vs. people’s individual performance.

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Accountability and Performance Weekly – August 18-24

Performance Management
Observations on facilitating effective use of government performance information
Richard Beck,
There’s a difference between providing performance information and having it considered and used in decision-making.

When Interagency Conflict Is a Good Thing
John Kamensky, Government Executive
Sometimes, seemingly duplicative programs can create needed checks and balances.

Workforce, data likely to be first priorities of WH research center
Jessie Bur, Federal Times
The Government Effectiveness Advanced Research Center is expected to focus on retraining the workforce and finding better ways to leverage government data.

Treasury’s Data Lab makes federal spending numbers more accessible, engaging
Amelia Brust, Federal Newss Radio
Every quarter, roughly 100 agencies submit trillions of dollars’ worth of federal spending data to the Data Lab on Organizing that data, and helping researchers and the general public alike make sense of it is its mission.

One City’s Path to Smart City Leadership
Stephen Goldsmith, Governing
As San Jose has shown, it’s as much about having the right people and organizational structures in place as it is about technology.

Open Government
Are federal agencies doing enough with social media?
Chase Gunter, Federal Computer Week
Despite a $1.5 billion price tag for federal agencies’ social media use, many employees believe their organizations aren’t doing enough.

Risk Management
DHS launching ‘risk radar’ for agency leaders to see big picture on cyber threats
Jory Heckman, Federal News Radio
The Department of Homeland Security plans to launch a “risk radar” next fiscal year aimed at helping agency leaders better understand their cybersecurity strategies.

Strategic Planning
Strategic Planning Best Practices and Lessons Learned
Adrian Evans-Burke,
This article provides an overview of best practices and lessons learned related to developing strategic plans.

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Accountability and Performance Weekly – August 4-17

Three Critical Priorities In the President’s Reform Plan
Matt Erskine, Government Executive
As federal leaders navigate the challenging terrain ahead they should focus on these high return components.

Smart Use of Incentives Would Support Government Reform
Howard Risher, Government Executive
There is extensive evidence that incentives—if they are well designed—produce better results. But there are many examples of poorly-designed incentives pushing people to act in ways detrimental to their organization.

Cautionary Tales from Past Attempts at Pay-for-Performance
Erich Wagner, Government Executive
Merit board warns of pitfalls in changing compensation structures.

Program Management Is Much More Complex Than Many Leaders Understand
John Kamensky, Government Executive
There isn’t a single optimal approach. Different types of programs demand different skill sets.

Employee empowerment and improved performance: The missing link
Steve Kelman, Federal Computer Week
It has long been assumed that empowering employees can boost an organization’s performance, but new research delivers data that supports this.

Analytics and Evaluation
EPA embracing data analytics from daily operations to chemical investigations
Amelia Brust, Federal News Radio
EPA’s Chief Data Scientist is hoping to create a decentralized data science team that will let different program offices know what data science can do for them.

Why Proven Solutions Struggle to Scale Up
Kriss Deiglmeier and Amanda Greco, Stanford Social Innovation Review
Many social innovations fail because they are unable to bridge the “stagnation chasm.” Here is a look at the resources, ecosystems, and skills needed to overcome it.

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