September 16, 2013 at 2:39 pm #179994
September 16, 2013 at 5:41 pm #180016
Raymond Marbury, DBA, MPAParticipant
I’m trying to create a platform as part of an initiative to highlight the value of succession planning in the federal workforce. Recently, I co-authored an article and wrote my dissertation about the subject matter (see attached). I’ve contacted members of the House of Representatives but haven’t had any success promoting the issue. Do you have any contacts or suggestions on how I can elevate the discussion? Succession planning is a low-hanging fruit in terms of deficit reduction potential, and in this fiscal climate, Congress should explore all avenues of debt reduction, including making investments in human capital.
Dr. Raymond Marbury, DBA, MPA
September 16, 2013 at 6:22 pm #180014
Sorry, but I can’t think about anything but the 12 lives that were lost in the senseless shootings today at the Navy Yard. These were just regular Federal employees, going to work in an office building. I can’t help but ask how this could have been prevented. I know that none of us have all the answers. If we did, we would never have to witness this devastation again.
Part of me wants to blame the security apparatus, but I can’t help but think that this is yet another argument to telework. I’m sure that security will be tightened up as a result of today’s events, but at some point, you need to be able to trust your co-workers and fellow commuters.
There really is no answer, but my heart goes out to those who lost loved ones in today’s tragedy. The solution to this problem is going to take all of us working together.
September 16, 2013 at 6:23 pm #180012
Such a terrible, terrible loss.
September 16, 2013 at 6:24 pm #180010
September 19, 2013 at 12:19 am #180008
I agree Terry…senseless. Security, yeah, the ball was dropped for sure. The shooters mental health as we now know, was “known” and perhaps, yes, if treated, it could have been prevented. Not sure how it makes an argument for telework though, ….unless…. all the GS’ telework and all the WG’s in semi industrial and industrial take their chances at work everyday. I hope our leaders are really putting on their thinking caps as the horse is out the barn. <sigh>
September 19, 2013 at 12:32 am #180006
I often think that the single biggest security risk is the innate human need to want to trust people and hope for the best. People who do bad things all too often exploit those holes; one of the many reasons why security guards and similar personnel are regularly rotated to new locales, even if it only means guarding a different entrance every hour. It is hard to suspect that which one is too familiar with.
At the same time, the very thought of a world in which we suspect any and all, in the name of “security”, is generally not the sort of world people want to live in, and the chronically suspecting are not the sort of people one wants to work alongside. This is why I describe trust as a basic human need.
It’s a tough call to find the magic balance between just enough trust, and just enough suspicion. Grant us all the wisdom to find it.
We’re dealing with our own tragedy in town today. A commuter bus somehow went through a barrier at a level train crossing, and a train sheared the front off the bus killing the driver and 5 passengers, and sending 30 to hospital. Not all the names of the deceased have been announced, but it wouldn’t surprise me if a number were public servants, given the bus route, and time of day.
There’s a lot of folks who go to work at the Navy Yards or other defense installations, and come home safe, night after night, year after year, just as there are a lot of folks who take the bus to work in from the suburbs, day after day, year after year, without incident. It’s going to be hard for many to learn to trust those paths again, no matter how hard they want to.
Sorry Steve, I should have had a question.
September 19, 2013 at 3:47 am #180004
David B. GrinbergParticipant
Steve, do you think there will be a federal government shutdown? Why or why not? How likely is it either way?
As you know, the last gov shutdown was back in 1995 — a long time ago in a galaxy far away. Remember who played Darth Vader then? (hint: he’s now co-host of a CNN talk show…talk about a fall from grace).
September 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm #180002
Nah – I think they’ll be a last minute solution like has happened recently. But I do think unfortunately we’ll come too close and spend an unnecessary amount of time and energy planning for it and talking about it when that time/energy could be spent focused on our missions if we didn’t have these issues
September 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm #180000
It’s the time and energy that has to be devoted to anticipating the shutdown that bothers me as a project manager and a taxpayer. It’s one more thing that needs to be added to agency and program “disaster plans” — i.e., what happens if unforeseen circumstances force us to stop doing what we are legally required to do? Unhappily, such circumstamces any more are far from “unforeseen!”
I learned long ago that any time you have to delay, stretch out, or hurriedly modify a project or plan you increase its cost, especially when you stretch it out.
September 20, 2013 at 8:33 pm #179998
Exactly. It’s kind of like the furlough situation – the worst part about it is all the lost productivity by managers scoping out furloughs and various situations, people talking and gossiping about it. That was 100X times worse than the actual furloughs.
September 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm #179996
Exactly. See my Govloop post from earlier today https://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/sequestration-impacts-on-federal-project-management
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