IBM Center publishes presidential transition guides

Incoming political appointees in the next presidential administration may need some help in learning the tools of government and the inside lingo of federal agencies when taking on their new posts, according to two new publications from the IBM Center for The Business of Government.

The handbook, “Operator’s Manual for the Next Administration,” is aimed at senior management, while “Getting it Done,” is billed as a guide for government executives.

Both handbooks are posted on the IBM Center’s Web pages. The IBM Center also publishes a blog on 2008 presidential transition concerns.

The authors of the books are Jonathan Breul, executive director of the IBM Center and former senior adviser to the Office of Management and Budget; John Kamensky, senior research fellow at the IBM Center and former deputy director of Vice President Gore’s Reinventing Government Initiative; G. Martin Wagner, senior fellow at the IBM Center and former director of the Federal Acquisition Service; and Mark Abramson, president of Leadership Inc. and former executive director of the IBM Center.

"Improving the performance of government is a large and complex endeavor, but the keys to success remain relatively straightforward for those wise enough to consider them when newly navigating this unique terrain," Breul said in a news release.

The books offer tips on managing the confirmation process, learning about the federal agencies and how they work, assembling a leadership team and developing a vision and an agenda.

The IBM Center also advises the incoming executives to learn to work well with 14 major stakeholders, including the White House, Congress, inspectors general, interest groups and the media. Many observers say they believe that managing a government agency is more difficult because of the large number of stakeholders.

“The key to your success will be succeeding (to a large extent) with
all of them,” the IBM Center book, “Get it Done” states. “Failure to work effectively with any one group can likely lessen your chances of success in government and possibly shorten your tenure.”  

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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