Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Jeff Zients signed a memorandum on Friday requiring federal departments to agency-wide information technology portfolio reviews using the new “PortfolioStat” tool.
Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said the effort “gives agencies tools to look into the darkest corners of the organization to find wasteful and duplicative IT investments.”
By June 15 of this year, agencies will complete a high-level survey of agency IT portfolio status and a bureau level information request for specific types of commodity IT investments that will be used to baseline the maturity of an agency’s portfolio.
The reviews will be led by agency deputy secretaries or chief operating officers working in coordination with chief information officers, chief financial officers and chief acquisition officers.
“This level of executive sponsorship is a direct reflection of our belief that IT is a strategic asset that can dramatically improve productivity and the way agencies execute their mission,” VanRoekel said.
The COOs will use the data to establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets; illustrate how investments within the IT portfolio align with the agency’s mission and business functions; establish criteria for identifying wasteful, “low-value,” or duplicative investments; and improve governance and program management utilizing best practices and, where possible, benchmarks, VanRoekel said.
“Though this process is new for Federal IT, leading private sector companies have been leveraging improved IT portfolio management tools for some time. Private sector organizations that waste millions on duplicative and low value IT are destined to disappear,” VanRoekel said. “Competitive pressure has forced change and efficiency. Though there are differences between public and private sector work, my time in both makes me extremely confident that the best practices from a well-run company can be applied effectively to the Federal Government.”
The “PortfolioStat” process came about after a number of federal agencies saw significant IT savings after the President’s Management Advisory Board, a group of private sector leaders, sat down with administration and agency officers to help the government adopt management best practices, VanRoekel said.