Author: ericthomas

We often hear about the need to improve communication on projects – maybe too often. The problem isn’t the frequency of communication, but the effectiveness of the communication.  (more…)

I know it is preposterous to consider one of the best orators of our generation and champion for the under classes of our society to be the chief information officer for the federal government – preposterous but also somewhat intriguing. Based on what we know about the man and his causes here are a few issues about which he may have been passionate. (more…)

The days of drafting voluminous 5 year strategic plans are dead. They are expensive to create, rarely, if ever referenced, and quickly become obsolete. Some suggest strategic planning is now all about flexibility and execution because technology is moving too fast; new, better information is constantly available; and making course corrections aren’t nearly as costly or time consuming as in times past. (more…)

Over the years I have met many very good consultants and consulting companies. Invariably they share some of the same traits – standards that I try very hard to uphold. These consultants are prompt, take notes, listen attentively, meet promised delivery dates, and tell the hard truths. There are never concerns about their competence, because they are over-qualified for the work assigned. (more…)

The launch date has arrived. After months filled with team meetings, status reports, and planning documents, your team can confidently assert the project was delivered on-time and on-budget. The system is in production and running smoothly. Congratulatory emails flood the inbox of all involved and everyone is pleased. So, why is the project still a failure? Why, because the project didn’t achieve the business goals. (more…)

Is it just me or is there more news promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in government? We recently heard from the Pentagon about a plan to innovate from non-traditional sources using a self-funded R&D arm. Local governments are pursuing opportunities to embed serial successful entrepreneurs into agencies to be disruptive and unlock value. (more…)

It has been over four years since GSA announced that it was the first federal agency to successfully migrate its employees to a cloud-based email service using Google Apps for Government. One promised benefit to cloud computing, aside from the obvious cost savings, is Improved Productivity. (more…)

As a career consultant, I’ve had the opportunity to look under the hood and see the inner workings of many different types of organizations—from the largest publicly traded corporations to the one-person startup. Recently, I have been diagnosing and solving problems for project managers, CFOs and, most often, CIOs at U.S. government agencies. Of course, every organization, every agency, and every problem is slightly different with its own nuances, but most of the challenges fall into these five areas: (more…)

There are plenty of business continuity and disaster recovery-related lessons to be learned from the government shutdown. Here are seven key takeaways.

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IT managers can improve their management of the budget process by following these five tips, such as distributing responsibility and including confidence factors. (more…)