The First 90 Days

The first 90 days. We all focus on this chunk of time in different ways, but the end is always the same. We judge ourselves against this measure of time – how we are doing in a new job, how the semester went, how did the diet go, how did the fiscal quarter end, how did the first 3 months of dating go, how did the first 3 months of summer go, etc.? We all focus on this period of time in one way or another. Measure, discuss, re-measure, discuss, adapt.

This focus on 90 days made me think of the new Federal CIO, Steven VanRoekel. He replaced the first Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, who had many wins in this time in office. The clock is already ticking on his first 90 days. All the federal agencies are watching, the government contractors and systems integrators are watching, and of course the public is watching. These are tough times for our government. Budget cuts, retiring workforce, how to attract the younger workers, public perception of government leaders, nervous businesses and government contractors, and of course, the economy. All eyes are on Steven and everyone is scoring his first 90 days.

I was elated to see a first action in the right direction: Memorandum for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, dated 8/8/2011. M-11-29, as we in the government space refer to it, talks about finally empowering federal CIO’s and their changing roles. Finally, they maybe able to actually make some changes, have some power, do some good.

Steven adds, “In my time in both the private and public sectors, I know the importance of giving CIOs the tools necessary to drive change and to hold them accountable for results. For example, when I arrived at the Federal Communications Commission from the private sector, I set an ambitious goal of reducing IT operating costs and by aligning the agency’s strategic objectives with our IT investments and terminating things that were not working we delivered substantial results.”

It appears that the CIO’s of the agencies will now be able to think and act more like business leaders! They will be required to make positive changes within each of their agencies. But where to start? Looking at the information in a meaningful actionable and in real-time. Gathering the data and making it actionable. Showing what projects are working, which are not. Businesses have known for years, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. The tools necessary to drive change exist with companies like Domo. If you can measure it, manage, it, visualize it, and be actionable with it, you can drive the needed change. And in less than 90 days!

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