100 reasons to be optimistic

The upcoming nomination process for the 2014 Federal 100 awards is an antidote for pessimism.

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Looking at what's transpired since our last Federal List issue, it would be easy to make the case for pessimism. There have been high-profile IT debacles, no real appropriations for fiscal 2015 despite setting budget levels last December and ever-scarier cyber incursions. And talented agency IT leaders continue to head for the exits.

Some of those events are enumerated in the pages that follow, but trust me: We could have produced one heck of a long, depressing list!

Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to the coming months. And it's almost entirely due to the Federal 100 nominations that will soon come pouring in.

The Federal 100, of course, is FCW's award to honor outstanding individual efforts in the federal IT community. And when the 100 winners are chosen and announced, we all get a reminder of just how much great work is being done.

That desperately needed survey of what's good in federal IT, however, starts with you. No matter how great an individual's accomplishments are, he or she can't win without being nominated.

So start thinking about who deserves a Federal 100 award. We'll formally open the nomination process in late October, but it's never too soon to begin making a list and gathering the necessary information. And please spread the word so that all the worthy women and men get the consideration they deserve.

If you're not sure what it takes to make the Federal 100 list, here are four things to remember:

  1. Anyone in the federal IT community is eligible, public or private sector.
  2. The award is for individual accomplishments in 2013. Great teams get their due elsewhere.
  3. Federal 100 winners go above and beyond -- whatever their level or rank. A fancy job title is not required, and just doing one's job well is not enough.
  4. Impact matters. The judges need to know not only what a nominee did but also what all that work accomplished.

Know someone who fits the bill? Then please make sure we know about him or her as well!

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