Agencies guided in commercial practices

CIO Council

The federal CIO Council and the Industry Advisory Council released a guide

Monday to help agencies trying to put in place a private-sector-style IT

investment process.

The two organizations developed the guide, "Smart Practices in IT Capital

Planning," shortly after the Office of Management and Budget proposed revisions

to update its Circular A-130, which regulates the management of information

resources, to reflect a commercial-style capital planning process.

In the guide, the CIO Council and IAC examined the practice of nine

federal agencies and seven commercial organizations, including the Education

Department, the Defense Information Systems Agency, Electronic Data Systems

Corp. and Booz-Allen & Hamilton I

"We documented some practices of

leading organizations as a guide, to say, "If you're having some trouble,

here's someplace to go,'" said Joe Leo, CIO at the Agriculture Department

and co-chairman of the CIO Council's Capital Planning and IT Management

committee, at the release of the guide at the IAC Executive Leadership Conference

in Richmond, Va.

The results of interviews with these organizations are presented in

seven areas:

* Strategy.

* Business focus.

* Leadership.

* Capital planning.

* Project management.

* Performance management.

* Technology (acquisition and architecture).

It also presents several commercial off-the-shelf tools used by the

organizations and techniques developed internally. These are provided to

supplement the OMB guidance and the Information Technology Investment Portfolio

System (ITIPS), which the CIO Council helped to develop as an online tool

for agencies.

"It doesn't have to be invented [at your agency]; all you have to do

is find out where its at and take advantage of it," said Daryl White, CIO

at the Interior Department and co-chairman of the committee.

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