A case study in centralization
HealtheVet is an example of an information technology development project that fits into the Veterans Affairs Department’s OneVA enterprise view, said Paul Tibbits, deputy chief information officer at VA’s Office of Enterprise Development.
Earlier this year, the Government Accountability Office said VA had made progress on its effort to upgrade its medical information system but still needed a comprehensive project management plan, independently validated cost estimates and a governance structure for HealtheVet.
“The fact that I’ve now got one group of people working with HealtheVet that know what a life cycle cost model is doesn’t necessarily mean that automatically all 6,000 people inside of [the Office of Information and Technology] now know what a life cycle cost model is,” he said.
VA is incorporating that knowledge in coaching, mentoring and training VA employees on its new IT business processes.
“A lot of energy has to be put in to enlarge that circle from HealtheVet to encompass other programs,” he said.
VA also created a program management division and is in the process of hiring a senior executive to lead it. The division will focus on life cycle costs and management, trade-offs, working with customers, and earned value management, he said.
Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.