Measuring the impact of IT management reforms

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Federal Computer Week surveyed by e-mail a random sample of 449 FCW subscribers to measure how much the Bush administration's information technology reforms have affected the way federal IT managers develop and manage projects and programs.

FCW teamed with Advantage Business Research Inc. (www. advantageresearch.com), a nationwide independent research company, which helped develop the survey and conducted fieldwork for it. The survey measured how much IT managers have adopted the initiatives that the Office of Management and Budget had created and pushed since June 2001, when Mark Forman became the federal government's first administrator of OMB's Office of E-Government and IT.

Those initiatives, some of which started during the Clinton administration, include:

* Building information security into information system development in the design phase, not after the system is completed.

* Encouraging IT managers to take training courses to become certified program managers.

* Developing business cases to show the returns on investments in information systems.

* Encouraging IT managers to look for existing information systems managed by other agencies that can provide the same function before building any information system.

* Encouraging investing in information systems that improve public services.

* Instituting enterprise architectures.

The survey was conducted entirely over the Internet between Aug. 19 and Sept. 4. Subsequent reminder e-mail messages were sent to nonrespondents Aug. 21, Aug. 25 and Aug. 28. As an incentive to participate, all respondents who verified their e-mail addresses at the end of the survey could direct $1 to one of four charitable organizations selected by FCW. The overall margin of error, based on 449 qualified respondents, is calculated to be no greater than +/- 4.7 percentage points.

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