How to avoid the governance speed bump

Michael Isman, Vice President for Federal Agencies, Booz Allen Hamilton

wfedstaff | June 3, 2015 11:59 pm

By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor

The decision-making process for federal agency IT managers has become cumbersome, difficult and inefficient, making effective IT governence remains an elusive goal.

Michael Isman, Vice President for Federal Agencies at Booz Allen Hamilton, told Federal News Radio the budget process and governance are part of the problem, “but I think the biggest issue is that agencies have put in place governance boards on top of governance boards and make good, sort of local decisions about moving programs forward, but often that gets in the way of program managers being able to do their jobs.”

In order to get around the layers, Isman gives IT managers the following tips:

  • More program managers – Included in OMB’s 25-point IT reform plan.
  • Know what data you have to be capturing off programs – “so they can predict the kinds of things these governance board are going to be looking for.”
  • Integrate processes and boards – One of the biggest challenges has been gathering data and “going through multiple data calls for, in many cases, the same data to different governing bodies and it become cumbersome and time consuming.”
  • Understand the landscape is constantly changing
  • Understand and mitigate the risk
  • Identify problems as they arise – “Issues that come up don’t get better just by waiting on them and hoping that they get improved.”
  • Have a champion executive.

The drivers of “next generation governance,” according to Isman are:

  • To remember that programs are in place to enable the mission of an agency,
  • Help drive agility in decisionmaking, and
  • Can be supported by risk mitigation and risk management tools.