Rob Thomas will lead the Department of Veteran Affairs’ new Enterprise Program Management Office — a vital component of CIO LaVerne Council’s recently unveiled vision for the department’s success in IT — FedScoop has learned.
In his new role, Thomas will stand up and run the EPMO — in the department’s Office of Information & Technology — and “ensure the VA is managing its IT investments to maximize value, minimize risk, and ensure transparency,” Council wrote to VA senior leaders in a memo obtained by FedScoop. According to a VA official, Council announced the move internally on Oct. 26, but the news has not been reported until now.
A former acting chief information officer and deputy CIO with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Thomas joined the VA in March under then-acting CIO Stephen Warren as assistant deputy CIO for product support and to pilot a new role as federal integrator for VA’s OI&T, FedScoop previously reported.
FedScoop spoke with Council in October about VA OI&T’s move to more agile technology development and how the EPMO should bolster that with smarter planning.
“You can’t underestimate the value of planning. People talk about agile development like it’s the panacea. The panacea is a good plan,” she said. “If you’ve got a good plan, the development takes no time. The outcome is pretty much understood. And you understand when you’re not going to make that outcome, and you can take a different direction or you can shut it down and move on to something else.”