Off-track IT investments face do-or-die reviews

26 agencies are expected to hold TechStat meetings by March 31

Federal agencies have started to review underperforming IT investments by holding TechStat sessions, an important element of the Obama administration’s 25-point IT reform plan, according to information posted on the website March 25.

“Agency-level TechStat sessions are currently under way, with all 26 Federal CIO Council agencies on track to have held their first TechStat by March 31,” administration officials wrote on the site. “As of March 25, 15 agencies have already held their first session,” including NASA and the Commerce Department. 

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Recharging the CIO

The Office of Management and Budget defines a TechStat review as a “face-to-face, evidence-based review of an IT investment.” Those meetings are triggered when an agency determines that a project is off track, behind schedule or over budget, based on data from the federal IT Dashboard or other sources.

CIOs and members of agencies' leadership team use the meetings to determine whether to halt an IT project or identify corrective action. The administration’s IT reform plan directs CIOs to implement the TechStat model to turn around or terminate at least one-third of underperforming projects in their IT portfolio by June 2012.

One of the earliest adopters of the TechStat process was the Interior Department, which launched its own version of the review sessions, called iStat. So far, Interior has completed two IT investment reviews, CIO Bernard Mazer said.

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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