Posts By Chaeny Emanavin

How to Bake in Security

The Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA) mandates very detailed security practices. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has an entire division focused on creating security guidance documents. As security becomes more of a focus the nomenclature of these documents seeps into your daily lingo. FIPS 199 and 200 describe the levelsRead… Read more »

The Grey Tsunami Problem: Why It’s Really About Communication

The “grey tsunami” was a big topic at my agency a few years back. The expectation was that up to 70% of the agency’s workforce would take early retirement. Massive amounts of tacit knowledge would be lost. In preparation, my team attempted to “crowdsource” the knowledge of the experienced staff. We wanted to convert thatRead… Read more »

Lessons From the Upside Down Fire

In the middle of cold winter days, what could be better than making a roaring fire? But you’ve probably been building an inefficient fire. It’s probably hard to start. You have to keep adding logs and moving them around to get good burn. The edges of the logs don’t burn. It takes a long timeRead… Read more »

Awesome Web Sites and Apps — in 12 Easy Steps

A Practitioner’s Guide to Usability Testing, Information Design and Content Strategy for Web Site and Web Application Development Developing Web products (sites or applications) is a challenge because you must satisfy many masters. Senior management wants it done yesterday. Developers want to add as much cool stuff as possible. Security wants blood samples for yourRead… Read more »

How to Add Usability to Any Project

The secret to usability is not brilliant design. Even the most talented designers have difficulty being creative on demand. Artistic talent helps but it is not a requirement. Anyone can create good, usable products. There are a few techniques to help you create good designs. One secret to good design is using iterative processes. YouRead… Read more »

Work Smarter, Faster, and With Less Stress

On July 1, 2014 I was honored to be a presenter at the “Work Smarter, Faster, and With Less Stress: 20 Government Productivity Tips” webinar. I presented 21 tips from my featured blogs posts here on GovLoop. They featured productivity tips for individuals and group (meetings and the Briggs/Myers personality types). I wanted to takeRead… Read more »

Using Visual Language to Improve Your Verbal Communication

My favorite innovation techniques, such as brainwriting, come from some key books in my personal library: Gamestorming, Back of the Napkin, Blah Blah Blah: What To Do When Words Don’t Work,, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information and Visual Explanations. Common to all of these resources is the concept of “visual language” or “visualRead… Read more »

Find Project Success With the Balanced Scorecard Method

During my time in National Defense University’s Advanced Management Program (41), I took a great course on the balanced scorecard technique. Generally speaking, it is a technique for senior management to measure how well strategic initiatives are performing. However, project managers can use the technique to help steer any project towards success. Balanced Scorecard BasicsRead… Read more »

Will We Ever Be Able to Promote in the Federal Government?

Other bloggers have written some excellent articles on ways to improve government hiring practices including Donna Dyer’s excellent blogs. I see an issue regarding promoting people within the federal government and offer a suggestion for improvement from the state of California. Where’s the Promotion? On several occasions, my supervisor lamented the lack of easy, transparentRead… Read more »

Productivity Improvements — From Cloud-Based Apps

Cloud based communication and collaboration services help you ease into the daunting world of cloud-based services by using the most mature product. These products offer rich features at a low price without the hassle of managing the infrastructure. The major players are Google Apps for Government and Microsoft Office 365. I have used both andRead… Read more »