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Friday Fab Five - Commercials, Secrets and GovUps

Every Friday, we take a quick look back at the week and highlight five members or moments that were especially awesome. Here's who and what rocked it out this week. Also, we want to know how or what you think killed it this week on the site so help us out with your comments below.

5. The Most Popular Blog of the Week goes to Why "Best Practices" Won't Fix Federal IT by Dennis McDonald. The blog centers around getting GovLooper opinions about an article in FCW and whether or whether not collaboration can fix federal IT. The opinions are pretty split but they all bring up really valid points.

I like the idea of IT staffs collaborating directly. There's a certain non-political honesty at this level of the organization, and a group of people who take pride in their work and honestly want to see the best product possible produced. - David Dejewski

Millions of dollars are earnestly spent on worthwhile reviews of costly processes in every agency. Lean Six Sigma, TQM and all the various names for process review mean well. They tend to deliver honest results and, in some cases, parts of the recommendations actually get implemented. The problem is that rarely is a process improvement automated to enforce the improvement. And there are reasons for that. But first, if you do not automate the process improvement, then people have a tendency to slowly drift away from the intended improvement. Push back, short cuts, do more with less; all cause the improvement to be skewed in short order. - Richard Schrader

4. The Top Forum was SuperBowl - Steelers or Packers? Best Commercial? The forum was started by us here at GovLoop, but you guys were the ones who made it fun. The consensus is that the VW "Use the Force" commercial was the best, but GovLoopers also liked the Eminem commercials.

Just to be clear, the best ad, hands down, bar none was the ad for my hometown--featuring I-75, the fist of Joe Lewis, the Diego Rivera mural, the Fox Theatre, homeboy Eminem and Chrysler. For Chrysler's purposes, .Wieden+Kennedy totally hit this one out of the park--Twitter was buzzing including the tagline Imported From Detroit. For working America, this hit in the gut and the heart. - Gwynne Kostin

3. Most Active Group goes to Teleworkers and Telemanagers. The group was all about sharing best practices this week but in a fun way. Check out all the interesting telework tips/secrets that they rolled out this week.

4. Quote of the week goes to Peter Sperry on Heather Krasna's blog The job market is scary. Should I stay in school? First off I think this a dynamite post and secondly it's a really important conversation. There really can't be a right answer as it's a person by person case and I think Peter really brought up both sides of the argument well. It's a long quote but it's a good one!

A couple of thoughts
1. Credential inflation is very real. A masters is the base level working credential for many professions today and the situation is getting worse not better. You may not need the education to do the job but you need the degree to land it. I learned this the hard way when government hiring managers encouraged me to apply to their agencies and HR clerks trashed the application for not meeting minimal standards. Went back to school for the degree and got on with life.

2. Tuition costs always seem to rise faster than inflation. If the costs of grad school seem scary now, wait 10 years.

3. The starving student life style is a lot easier at 22 than 32.

4. Yes, you can juggle a job, school and a family; but can you really give your best to all three at once?? Be honest, one of the three is going to be neglected. Married students with jobs bring a dynamic to the classroom the enriches everyone else. But this is a time to focus on YOUR education, not everyone elses. You may find it a bit more advantageous to be on the receiving end of the enrichment.

5. Counterargument - Graduate programs can be a very expensive, time consuming way of discovering a career field is not right for you. At the very least pick one with fairly broad applicability. If you have to choose between MBA, MPA, MHA, MPP, MHCP recognize they become narrower as you move down the list and while the MBA can usually get hired for any of the rest, the reverse is not always true.


6. Further counterargument -- A 20 something staying in school to hide from the career world has deeper problems and needs to grow up fast. Extending parental health care coverage to 26 year olds was probably the high water mark for societal tolerance of juvenile lack of self reliance. Future public policy is likely to provide fewer and smaller financial supports to those who cannot or will not support it

1. Finally, Rockstar(s) of the Week goes to Candace Riddle. Candace took it on herself a few months back to put on a GovUp here in DC and it all culminated last night. The event went off smooth and there should be pic and video up on the site soon.

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