Critical Read

Managing the transition

The U.S. Capitol decked out for a presidential inauguration. (Photo credit: JRAphotographics / Shutterstock.com) 

The U.S. Capitol decked out for a presidential inauguration. (Photo credit: JRAphotographics / Shutterstock.com)
 

What: "Making Government Work for the American People: A Management Roadmap for the New Administration," a report by the Partnership for Public Service.

Why: As government prepares for the transition to the next administration, the Partnership for Public Service has collaborated with the IBM Center for The Business of Government to discuss and formulate the principles for successful management.

The new administration needs a management plan well before inauguration day that addresses how to get policies and programs delivered, and the first step is filling about 4,000 political positions across the government with capable leaders.

While policy expertise is significant, these positions should be filled with adept managers with executive experience who can inspire employees, implement policy and work across agencies.

The new administration also needs to clearly define and communicate its goals. Well-defined goals can get appointees on the same page across the new administration, according to the Partnership's report.

The transition team and president also must prioritize working with Congress on key management initiatives to avoid problems down the road.

With the expansion of federal IT in recent years, the new administration will have a unique opportunity to leverage the power of innovation, if it adequately prepares. Innovation can spur culture changes, deepen agencies' impacts on its stakeholders or develop a new service to achieve agencies' goals, if the right leaders are in place.

The new administration will also need to organize its decision-making structure to provide a clear framework of responsibility that will allow appointees to act quickly on the president's agenda and expedite the decision-making process. Clear organization will help lead to informed and timely decision-making.

Additionally, because the new president's budget is already set through October 2017, becoming familiar with and leveraging the fiscal 2017 budget will enable the new administration to take prompt action and to get a head start on preparing the next budget.

Verbatim: "Whether it's solving difficult challenges or pressing forward with bold new plans, the difference between success and failure lies in implementation. Presidents and political appointees generally focus on the details of the policies and navigating the legislative process, giving less attention to how the agencies will implement and manage their initiatives. Meaningful change, and results that matter, require both a vision for what is possible and a management roadmap to get there."

Click here to read the full report.

About the Author

Chase Gunter is a staff writer covering civilian agencies, workforce issues, health IT, open data and innovation.

Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record. He started at FCW as an editorial fellow before joining the team full-time as a reporter.

Gunter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where his emphases were English, history and media studies.

Click here for previous articles by Gunter, or connect with him on Twitter: @WChaseGunter

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