Report: IT helps agile organizations
- By Patience Wait
- Jun 24, 2003
The President's Management Agenda is driving agencies to use information technology to be able to respond rapidly to changing requirements, or mission agility, according to a report released June 20 by the Association for Federal Information Resources Management.
The report, drawn from a May focus group held with 10 senior government officials, presents their views on federal e-government. Among the key points:It is clear government agencies will be under increased pressure to become more agile.An agile organization will push decision-making downward, thus eliminating executive bottlenecks.Agencies will embrace some of the characteristics displayed in times of crisis, where parochialism and bureaucracy tend to go out the door.There is a balance between agility and cost: How much is government willing to pay for organizational agility?In program management, agile leadership is not always desirable, especially when it affects system delivery.Agencies want agile vendors who understand and can work within their infrastructures.Enterprise architectures support organizational agility by defining how to quickly build and deploy core components.A common set of higher-level, "balanced scorecard" metrics across departments would help achieve the kind of common vision necessary to overcome an organizational "silo" orientation.The first working premise should be that IT security is a concern of everyone in the organization, not just the security officials. Security should be built into all aspects of the IT infrastructure, not added on later.Even with additional training, if the system is not set up to reward governmentwide thinking and actions, agility will not happen.It is imperative the government plans for disaster recovery, redundancy and replication; it has to establish various layers of IT security protection to have the IT flexibility and agility it wants and needs.All too frequently, IT programs receive priority; now it is the IT infrastructure that must be given priority.
A copy of the full report, including a discussion of the significance of these results and responses to the five questions upon which the report is based, can be found at www.affirm.org