Senior Fellow, IBM Center

Insights from New Zealand’s “Results” Programme

You can’t solve “horizontal” problems with “vertical” solutions, warns University of Maryland professor Don Kettl. And the country of New Zealand – a forerunner of government reforms – learned that the hard way. Nearly three decades ago, New Zealand pioneered government reforms to make individual single-purpose agencies – a “vertical” solution – more accountable and […]

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Does Taking the Long View Help?

Traditionally, U.S. federal agency plans last the length of a four-year presidential election cycle. But many challenges facing government are on a much longer cycle – such as building Defense weapon systems, adapting to climate change, and creating energy independence. In 1996, Congress mandated the Defense Department to conduct a “quadrennial defense review” (QDR) of […]

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Big Data, Big Cities, Big Deal

Big Data is increasingly seen as a Big Deal, especially in mid-sized and big cities. But why? What can government leaders vs. data geeks get from it? Professor Alfred Ho, at the University of Kansas, recently surveyed 65 mid-size and large cities to learn what is going on, on the frontline, with the use of […]

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What Does It Take to Really Fix a Supply Chain?

Knowing best practices and having the right policies doesn’t necessarily translate into desired operational improvements on the front line. So, what does it take for people on the front line to do the right thing?  A recent report for the IBM Center by a team of Northeastern University researchers, Gilbert Nyaga, Gary Young, and Russ […]

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Secret to Getting Off the GAO High Risk List

There are jokes that getting put on GAO’s high risk list is like the 1977 Eagles’ hit, “Hotel California,” where “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” But in fact, over one-third of agency programs on the list have gotten off. What’s the secret? Lessons summarized in a new […]

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Funding “What Works” Requires Building Performance Systems

The “pay for success” movement in the non-profit world is starting to take hold at the federal, state, and local levels. But a prerequisite is having some way of measuring success – and ensuring the funding models encourage it. The Urban Institute has launched a new web resource to explain Pay for Success, which it […]

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Using Social Intranets in Government to Share Knowledge

Most of an organization’s collective wisdom is locked in people’s heads, and not written down for others to search for and use. So, how do you increase the ability of people to know the expertise of their professional colleagues and share it with each other within a large organization? The long hallways of the State […]

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Solidifying the U.S. Federal Performance Management System

Being a performance management advocate over the past two decades has required two traits – optimism and persistence. But the recent fiscal year 2017 budget adds a new dimension – hope! In 2004, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report touting how, after a decade, the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 had […]

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New U.S. Budget Scales Investments in Evidence and Analytics

President Obama’s final budget puts a stake in the ground for his long-running agenda to inject the use of data and evidence into budget, policy, and operational decisions. President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal, released in early February, builds on bipartisan momentum at all levels of government to increase the use of data and […]

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Government on the Go

Want to know the weather? There’s an app for that. Want to know how long the TSA security line is at the airport? There’s an app for that, too! Blog Co-Author:  Susan Wedge In 2012, President Obama’s digital government plan ordered federal agencies to create at least two mobile apps.  A lot has happened since […]

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Bringing Design Thinking Into Government

When most people hear about “design thinking,” they immediately conjure up an image of fashion design, or a sleek, new tech toy like the Nest thermostat. But design thinking is so much more than a physical product. It is a way of thinking. For example, if you were asked to design a new vase, you […]

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Measuring Up: How CIOs Can Take Stock

Savvy leaders know that it is important to not only know what and how you are doing, but for your key stakeholders to know, as well. . . . . Information technology has made possible the availability of real-time data and the tools to display that data, such as dash­boards, scorecards, and heat maps. This […]

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