Obama Management Agenda – What is Happening, Why, and So What?

Posted for my good friends over at The Public Manager:

The Obama Management Agenda:

What Is Happening, Why, and So What?

It’s been one year since a healthy majority of American voters elected Barack Obama to change America. Our nation is barraged by new challenges and international crises, and facts crushing deficits and rising national debt. Never before have we so badly needed new and big ideas on government management and never before have we so badly needed strong managers and leaders in government. In the forthcoming issue of the journal, THE PUBLIC MANAGER, a group of 20 current and former government executives, academicians, and private and non-profit sector leaders offer insights on the progress of the new administration’s management agenda. As yet there isn’t a high-profile label for this new performance and management agenda; no “Reform 88”; no “Reinventing Government”. There isn’t even a “President’s Management Agenda (PMA)”. Rather, the administration is focused on following barriers to improving federal performance, which the new Deputy Director for Management and Chief Performance Office, Jeff Zients, indicated that he has personally encountered:

* A lack of focus on management by senior political leaders;
* Failed efforts at upgrading the government’s information technology infrastructure;
* An overly cumbersome contracting process;
* An equally burdensome federal hiring process.

There is a strong alignment between the guidance, recommendations, and assessments offered by our team of expert authors and the initial actions of this new president and his management team. Read more at www.thepublicmanager.org and see if you agree with this initial report card and grades; this Special Forum will be available on the referenced site beginning on Friday, January 15, 2010.

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