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Fed 100 – nominate early, nominate often

As we head rapidly toward the end of the year, it is that time to reflect on the year… and, by extension, nominations are open for the annual Fed 100 awards.

For those who don't know, the Fed 100s are Federal Computer Week's annual awards where we nominate 100 people in the government IT community who have gone above and beyond – truly made a difference.

Here is the link for making nominations.

The deadline is Dec. 21. In years past, we have often extended that deadline – so much for deadlines, right? But often we get people who wait until the last minute to make their nominations. (I can't understand that, he says with his tongue in his cheek.) This year, however, there will be no extensions. Yes, the event isn't until March, but there is a lot that has to happen between now and then – reviewing the nearly 1,000 nominations that come in each year, judging those nominations, verifying those decisions, and then writing up 100 profiles of the winners. It actually is amazing that it all gets done that quickly.

So… I know everybody is busy. But it is Thanksgiving week. It is going to be more quite. Take advantage of that time to do your nominations now. We all know how crazy December gets.

Needless to say, the Fed 100 is an incredible honor. We had a judge last year – I can't identify the person because the judging is behind closed doors but this person has deservedly won many Fed 100s – anyway, we had a judge last year who was shocked at how competitive it is. This person said they had always had respect for the award, but they never really understood how competitive it was.

So honor those who are deserving.

Some tips from FCW editor in chief John Stein Monroe, coming from the editorial he wrote in the 11.14 issue. It provides some excellent guidance.

Get personal. Nominate an individual, not a project and not a team. Federal 100 winners are people who go above and beyond their daily responsibilities. They bring uncommon dedication or unique vision to their jobs. Projects are often successful because of several individuals' contributions, so why should this one person be recognized?

Think about impact. Many people do good work, but the award is not only for a job well done. It is for people who made a difference in how technology was bought, managed or used in 2005. If you are nominating someone for a successful program, describe the impact the nominee had on that program and the impact that program had on an agency or a community at large.

Don't get nostalgic. The Federal 100 is not a hall-of-fame award but a most-valuable-player award. It recognizes work accomplished, to a great extent, during a specific year. Given how long some government programs run, it can be difficult to decide when someone warrants an award. The deciding factor is impact. In some cases, an individual's major accomplishment is simply getting a procurement under way. In other cases, the impact comes once a project is complete.

Don't get sentimental. This is not a popularity contest. Occasionally, a person makes a big impact by pushing an unpopular agenda or by questioning conventional wisdom. People may not perceive their impact as positive, but it is felt all the same.

Nominate away!

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Nov 18, 2005 at 12:15 PM


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