Whatever happened to CIM?

The Pentagon's Corporate Information Management (CIM) initiative arrived with a bang in the early 1990s. The post-Cold War reduction in military spending meant that the Defense Department had to make do with less. CIM's answer was to trim costs and boost efficiency through business process re-engineering. Paul Strassmann, who joined DOD in 1990 and was named director of defense information in 1991, led the effort.

"CIM came about because Congress declared a peace dividend," said Strassmann, now an information technology consultant. The CIM objective was "don't cut troops, but streamline bureaucratic processes," he continued. "I was brought in to have seven good years to do it. Well, I didn't have seven good years. Everyone was counting on a second [George H.W.] Bush administration."

Instead, Bill Clinton won the 1992 election and CIM was forgotten. Or was it?

"There have been a variety of transformation-oriented programs over the past years, starting with CIM," said Michael Yoemans, who in the early 1990s was the Pentagon's deputy director for business process improvement. Yoemans is now director of strategic resource planning in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration.

CIM was succeeded by acquisition reform, the National Performance Review and, most recently, the Pentagon's transformation initiative, he said. "All have been on that same path, trying to deal with making government a modern place to work," Yoemans said.

"Everybody tells me CIM is alive and kicking," Strassmann added.

So, CIM never really died. It just got a new name.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1986, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

  • Shutterstock image.

    Merged IT modernization bill punts on funding

    A House panel approved a new IT modernization bill that appears poised to pass, but key funding questions are left for appropriators.

  • General Frost

    Army wants cyber capability everywhere

    The Army's cyber director said cyber, electronic warfare and information operations must be integrated into warfighters' doctrine and training.

  • Rising Star 2013

    Meet the 2016 Rising Stars

    FCW honors 30 early-career leaders in federal IT.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group