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John Klossner's Ink Tank


Anytime, anywhere and anyone's guess

A couple of recent cartoons have targeted the federal government's development and implementation of a digital strategy.

First, as covered in this piece, was the strategy itself. To put it simply, to enable users to access the federal government anytime, anywhere, on any device. And with any project, there will always be a question about budgeting.

Klossner digital strategy

Then, as covered in this article, Commerce officials asked for user input on which two items they should focus on completing for the first Digital Government Strategy deadline this past August. While user input is becoming a larger and larger part of decision-making, I always wonder where the logical conclusion will be.

Klossner Crowdsourcing

Posted on Sep 27, 2012 at 12:19 PM0 comments


Should we cap pay for cartoonists?

A couple recent cartoons concerned issues in the Department of Defense.

The first was based on a story that addressed government contracts covering a certain share of contractor executives' salaries. As stated in the article, "Currently, the Executive Compensation Benchmark is based on the median amount provided to senior executives in large U.S. corporations. The cap stands now at $763,000. Instead, the committee's defense bill would align the maximum amount of compensation with federal employees, which is set at the annual salary of the vice president. It's $230,700."

No word on how many corporate executives were heard to remark " If I wanted to get paid like the vice president, I would have become the vice president."

cartoon contractor executive compensation

And two more -- here and here -- tell of the DOD passing a regulation limiting reports to Congress to no longer than 10 pages, which caused members of Congress to accuse them of possibly withholding information and limiting transparency, which caused the DOD to rescind the order while promising to make reports more thorough and concise.

It remains to be seen whether reports will now be triple-spaced.

DOD Reports cartoon

Posted by John Klossner on Aug 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM2 comments


Working for results can be tough ROWE to hoe

Telework

recent FCW story covered the results-only work environment, or ROWE. This is a management concept that concerns itself less with employee workplace parameters -- no clocking in and out, no office presence -- and more with, well, results. It doesn't matter where or when you work as long as the job gets done.

Speaking as a freelance cartoonist, this is a format I am very familiar with and one I have always operated in. Speaking as someone who has worked in a ROWE format for over 20 years, I also know that it requires discipline on the employee's part, otherwise the perceived freedoms -- flexibility of schedule, freedom of working locations -- can be quickly overtaken by the constant presence of work, which is enhanced by the technologies allowing us to carry our office on our smart phones.

There is always another email to answer, more research to be done, another part of the project that can be taken care of while you're having dinner with your family. Part of this discipline requires establishing parameters with managers, lest they think you are available for contact and response 24 hours a day. These are not overwhelming obstacles, merely issues that need to be acknowledged and addressed in any ROWE relationship.

As our work environments become more ROWE-oriented, and we harbor thoughts of telecommuting from a hammock in the backyard, Mother Nature always seems to crash the party. The recent severe storms and resulting multi-day power outage in the DC region threw a water balloon on many teleworking setups. A once-a-decade (okay, once every 2 to 3 years) extreme nature event isn't the only thing standing in the way of teleworkers, however. Specific office telework policies (or lack of them), problems with remote network access and employees not keeping work hardware at hand all play into telework problems.

telework forecast

Posted on Jul 23, 2012 at 12:19 PM0 comments


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