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How IT Can Prevent Public Servants From Burning Out

Although technology has drastically changed the way government operates, there are still some ideals that remain timeless about government. One of these is the foundation of what it means to be a public servant, which was perhaps said best by the Athenian Oath, nearly 2,000 years ago:

“We will never bring disgrace on this our City by an act of dishonesty or cowardice. We will fight for the ideals and Sacred Things of the City both alone and with many. We will revere and obey the City’s laws, and will do our best to incite a like reverence and respect in those above us who are prone to annul them or set them at naught. We will strive unceasingly to quicken the public’s sense of civic duty. Thus, in all these ways, we will transmit this City not only, not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”

Public servants still feel the idealism of the Athenian Oath today, but too often government employees become bogged down with time intensive tasks, redundant processes and face tight budgets to access resources. Many workers put in long hours, filled with frustrations and roadblocks. So poorly managed and inefficient IT is not just a problem for the IT department – it’s a human capital problem, too.

Working as a Program and Budget Analyst in the US Department of Health and Human Services, Steve Hanmer felt there needed to be a better way to empower talented people to manage and track government programs. That’s why he left government and started his own company, Mission Source Consulting (missionsourceconsulting.com).

Shortly thereafter, Mission Source formed a strategic partnership to develop the Gov-Path System (www.gov-path.com). Gov-PATH connects federal program management and financial operations to create a single strategic view; analyzing and processing Big Data into accurate, accessible and actionable Smart Data that saves individuals, teams and management time executing shared processes and meeting reporting requirements.

“[Working for the federal government], there were a lot of late September nights and long fiscal years, that came with data challenges and process frustrations,” said Hanmer. “So, we challenged our team to think of a better way to do things for budget and program managers, for the sanity of the people involved.”

As Hanmer began to build his company, he continued to speak with government employees to learn their challenges and pain points working in government. Using this knowledge, his team continues to refine the solution, and build a platform that is built for government. “The best way to come up with solutions is to talk with the people that are facing the challenges every day and find bright spots,” said Hanmer.

Benefits to GovPath include comprehensive budget formulation (project spending plans), budget execution (project funding) and post-award accounting (project implementation). Gov-PATH defines projects as the contracts, grants, agency transfers, salaries and operations that carry out the mission and measure the performance of programs and appropriated funds.

“The first thing that GovPath does is it saves everyone time, and that’s a rare occurrence, and a priceless commodity,” said Hanmer. “The pressure on time is constant, and always seems to be increasing, so the first thing is organizing existing data that is accurate and easy to retrieve. Second, integrating data across other government systems so relevant information is accessible to individuals in the format they need it. Lastly, executing project actions in Gov-PATH allows agencies to track progress, record award information and align data with decision making and reporting needs.”

“There is always a point of integration that must take place,” said Hanmer. This integration leads to more efficiency, as employees aren’t wasting time manually searching for information or transferring data between files and systems. Gov-Path helps take those instances out of the workflow.

And with Gov-Path, many workflows can be automated, giving employees back valuable time to work on mission centric projects. “For example, one of the powerful things about GovPath is processing and analyzing data using grid queries, standard reports, and analytics,” said Hanmer. “We automate communication and project management tools off the same set of data, so inevitably, a lot of the work that takes place in excel now, is handled by custom email alerts, dashboards, and pending action lists.”

“We’re very interested in connecting with government employees and learning how our professional services and the Gov-PATH solution can address their financial and program management needs,” said Hanmer. “Whether you are new or experienced, we want to start a dialogue.”

You can learn more about Mission Source Consulting and schedule a demonstration of the Gov-PATH Solution by calling Steve Hanmer at 202-796-8294 or by emailing [email protected].


Photo credit: US Army, FlickR Creative Commons

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