Kundra's parting gift? 10 lessons in IT management

In what Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) called the outgoing federal CIO’s swan song on Capitol Hill, Vivek Kundra shared 10 key principles that have improved transparency and federal IT management.

Kundra offered the lessons June 14 to members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and Procurement Reform Subcommittee.

They are:

  • Build end-to-end digital systems to reduce errors and protect the integrity of the data across the federal enterprise.
  • Build once, use often.
  • Tap into the "golden sources" of data. Don’t rely on derivative databases or data derived from other data sources. Go directly to the transactional systems that do the business on a day-to-day basis.
  • Release data in a machine-readable format and encourage third-party applications.
  • Employ common data standards. Think about what would have happened if railroads across the country had used different standards in terms of railroad track gauges.
  • Use simple, upfront data validations.
  • Release data as close to real time as possible.
  • Engineer systems to reduce burdens.
  • Protect privacy and security. This is critical, especially in the age of Facebook and Twitter. You can create a mosaic effect without really thinking about it. It’s one thing to release data when it comes to health care on a state level, and other thing to release it on a zip-code level.
  • Provide equal access to data and incorporate user feedback on an ongoing basis.


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