Online Extra: Forman's way with words

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And in IT circles, feds and industry officials alike have taken to mimicking the unique phraseology of Mark Forman.

Over the last two years in his position as the government's e-czar, Forman's way with words?often colorful, sometimes bureaucratic, rarely techie and occasionally confounding?has transformed the federal systems and business lexicon.

Forman intentionally reused certain phrases and terms to make his point that the Office of Management and Budget expected agencies to reinvent the way they bought and implemented IT in the e-government age.

There are a handful of catchphrases he especially enjoyed using. So with apologies to David Letterman, here are our Top 10 Mark Forman aphorisms:

10. Three clicks to service?Forman's promise to simplify navigation on federal Web sites.

9. The enterprise architecture wedding cake?a description of the many layers of a systems infrastructure.

8. Buy once, use many?Forman's advice for recycling proven technology.

7. Getting to green?the path to the top rating on the President's Management Agenda scorecard.

6. Citizen-centered, results-oriented and market-based?the attributes of effective systems.

5. Eliminating stovepipes?the goal of scrapping systems that aren't interoperable.

4. Islands of automation?organizations that fail to foster interoperability.

3. Putting lipstick on a pig?dressing up a bad idea with flashy technology.

2. Paving cow paths?agencies' tendency to automate management problems rather than solve them.

And the No. 1 Mark Forman saying: Unify and simplify?the rallying cry to eliminate redundant applications and make all systems user-friendly.

Jason Miller writes for Government Computer News

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here


  • VIDEO: Explore the 2019 M&A Trends

    Editor Nick Wakeman interviews Kevin DeSanto of the investment bank KippsDeSanto about the highlights of their annual M&A survey and trends driving acquisitions in the federal space. Read More


    In our latest Project 38 Podcast, editor Nick Wakeman and senior staff writer Ross Wilkers discuss the major news events so far in 2019 and what major trends are on the horizon. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.