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Is inter-agency collaboration just an expanded version of the dreaded group project?

We’ve all been part of the dreaded group project before. So you know there is always a weaker member, someone who doesn’t pull their own weight. The same phenomenon is true for inter-agency collaboration projects. Sometimes one agency just doesn’t give as much time or resources to a project as others.

“One of the ways to avoid the dynamic is to use a portfolio approach where one member has the full responsibility, so that they can go to OMB or the President and say ‘hey boss you need to rearrange your portfolio a bit because some of these programs aren’t working out,'” said Ron Sanders.

Sanders is a Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton and served as the US Intelligence Community’s (IC) Associate Director of National Intelligence and first chief human capital officer.

Booz Allen Hamilton and the Partnership for Public Service teamed up to create, Building the Enterprise: Nine Strategies for a More Integrated, Effective Government. The goal was simple, create strategies to build an enterprise infrastructure so government could collaborate more effectively.

In part two of his interview with me Sanders talked about the need to focus on outcome measurements. (Check out part one of our interview with Ron Sanders here.)

Last month the President unveiled his new Management Agenda. The agenda focused on three key areas:

  1. Improved service delivery
  2. Reducing waste and saving money
  3. Increasing transparency of government data

“We think our report and the President’s management agenda are very complimentary,” said Sanders. “If you take the Government Accountability Office’s annual report on duplication and overlap of programs, that is a perfect place to start to address the second pillar of the President’s management agenda,” said Sanders.

“Right now the fiscal crisis our government faces demands that we reduce waste and duplication. But the fiscal crisis also has a silver lining because it forces innovation. We can actually make some progress in the “too hard to deal with drawer” of problems, because the fiscal crisis demands it,” said Sanders.

Build an enterprise civil service system

“Building an enterprise civil service system is both the most important and most difficult recommendation we make in our report. Is is the glue that holds the government together. Overtime the current civil service system has become more rigid and outdated. The old GS systems just doesn’t meet our needs,” said Sanders.

Check out part one of our interview with Ron Sanders here.

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