Our story so far:
The Senate Defense Authorization bill includes a provision that would require the military services to establish chief management officers to oversee business transformation efforts. This provision apparently was a compromise of sorts. GAO had suggested giving CMOs at higher levels in the department, but DOD resisted adding another layer of bureaucracy. Under the bill, the CMOs would report to Congress' Armed Services and Appropriations committees within six months about the actions they have taken on the business transformation plans.
A glimpse ahead to March 2009:
Lawmakers: "We are here to receive your report on progress made in establishing and implementing a business transformation and transition plan in your particular DOD agency."
CMO: "Copies of my report are in the manila folders that each of you received before this meeting."
Lawmakers: "The ones with the old addresses crossed out and Capitol Hill written in crayon on the front?"
CMO: "That's because the pens they gave me were all out of ink."
Lawmakers: "And what are all these stains on this report?"
CMO: "It was raining on the loading dock this week."
Lawmakers: "They got wet while in transport?"
CMO: "No. My desk is on the loading dock. If I get there early enough I can get the sheltered space behind the dumpster, but that day the train from my parking space was late, and I had to do rock-paper-scissors with the UPS guy to get space under the overhang."
Lawmakers: "The train from your parking space?"
CMO: "Yes, The agency really went out of their way to get me a parking space in Manassas. They didn't have to do that."
Lawmakers: "We'll look into that later. What progress do you have to report?"
CMO: "I'm very happy to say that almost everyone in the office has stopped referring to me as 'Sport.' "
CMO: "Yes. And the agency CEO actually recognized me in last week's meeting. Granted, it was 'Hey Sport, can you run out and get us some lunch?,' but each journey starts with a single step, right?"
Lawmakers: "On page two of the report you mention that you have finally received a key to the agency bathroom..."
CMO: "Yes! Next month they promised to tell me where it is."
Lawmakers: "We were hoping for a little more progress than this. Do you have anything to report on the transition plans?"
CMO: "I promise to get you those as soon as the agency shares them with me. I hope that will be soon, but it's a very busy time of year. Next week the DOD has me giving a speech to the Franklin County Kiwanis, and the week after that I'm calling bingo at Walter Reed."
Lawmakers: (to an aide) "Did GAO give any directive for ensuring that the CMO would have a role in agency planning?"
(Everyone at podium turns to look at everyone else.)
Lawmakers: (forehead resting on hand) "We're right back to where we were with the agency CIOs."
CMO: "Oh -- I met her! She was so happy to see me. She told me if it wasn't for me coming on board, she'd still have to clean the agency coffee maker!"
Lawmakers: "Thank you. That's all for now. This committee would like to call an agency representative to answer some questions about this relationship."
CMO: (while walking out of hearing room) "Great! We finished early! I can mow the office lawn today."
(Back to hearing table, where an agency representative is now seated)
Agency Rep: "What do you want, Sport?"