USDA scrutinizes IT projects

The Agriculture Department is taking a closer look at its 65 major IT investments. Through a pilot, agency officials are using the Earned Value Management criteria to better manage their IT portfolio, said Marilyn Holland, Agriculture's chief of the CIO office's Program Planning and Management division.

The agency wants to know which investments are closest to meeting their cost, schedule and performance goals, Holland said at the Interagency Resources Management Conference Sept. 3 in Cambridge, Md.

The Earned Value Management technique lets agencies plan, budget and schedule requirements in timed phases. It allows managers to set baselines to measure cost and schedule progress. Holland said she hopes the agency eventually will use Earned Value Management on its entire 375-project portfolio.

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