Editorial: Call for nominations

This week, Federal Computer Week begins accepting nominations for the Federal 100 awards program. It seems early, but it's not. This year the deadline for nominations is Dec. 17, so don't wait.

The Federal 100 awards recognize government and industry employees who have played pivotal roles in the federal information technology community. Each year, we receive hundreds of nominations that must be sifted and sorted by our panel of judges. Many people are deserving, but only 100 are recognized. Here are a few tips for writing a winning nomination:

n Get personal. Nominate an individual, not a project and not a team. Federal 100 winners are people who go above and beyond their daily responsibilities. They bring uncommon dedication or unique vision to their jobs. Projects are often successful because of several individuals' contributions; why should this one person be recognized?

n Think about impact. Many people do good work, but the award is not for a job well done. It is for people who made a difference in how technology was bought, managed or used in 2004. If you are nominating someone for a successful program, describe the impact the nominee had on that program and the impact that program had on an agency or a community at large.

n Don't get nostalgic. The Federal 100 is not a hall-of-fame award but a most-valuable-player award. It recognizes work accomplished, to a great extent, during a specific year. Given how long some government programs run, it can be difficult to decide when an award is warranted. The deciding factor is impact. In some cases, an individual's major accomplishment is simply getting a procurement under way. In other cases, the impact comes once a project is complete.

n Don't get sentimental. This is not a popularity contest. Occasionally, a person makes a big impact by pushing an unpopular agenda or by questioning conventional wisdom. People may not perceive their impact as positive, but it is felt all the same.

Again, the deadline will be here before you realize it. Nominate early and often. Find out the specifics and nominate at www.fcw.com/fed100.

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