GSA promotes investment measurement

CIO Council Best Practices Web site for Value Measuring Methodology

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. — The General Services Administration has rolled out a tool to help agencies build better business cases.

The Value Measuring Methodology (VMM) — a set of guidelines introduced in April — supplies a framework for analyzing projects and making investment decisions.

"It helps you to look at what's in your portfolio and what decisions were made to put these investments in your portfolio," said Roxie Murphy, director of the electronic government strategy in GSA's Office Of Governmentwide Policy.

Murphy spoke today on a panel at the Interagency Resources Management Conference 2003 here.

The VMM was developed through the CIO Council and is available for agencies to access highlights or complete guidelines. Senior management can pull the entire process or take a few best practices for their projects, Murphy said.

She was unsure how many agencies are using the methodology, but said GSA is using it on three major projects, including e-authentication and e-travel.

The VMM asks officials to outline five value factors: financial, such as return on investment; consumer or direct user; the society as a whole; government foundation, such as enterprise architecture; strategic and political, including goals and mandates.

The methodology allows managers to examine the relationship among value, risk and cost. It creates a road map for future decisions by documenting decisions along the way, Murphy said. The tool allows managers to move beyond developing business cases as a "paperwork drill for funding" and toward improving overall decision-making and investment, she said.

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