In this special two-part interview, GSA Chief Information Officer David Shive discusses the adoption of Technology Business Management at agencies and the key components to IT modernization across the federal government.
The General Services Administration is one of the first government agencies to adopt Technology Business Management strategies. While the idea has existed in the private sector for many years, TBM is only now gaining a foothold in government. The President’s Management Agenda tasks GSA with implementing the framework to track IT spending government-wide by FY2022. “Industry has some very deep knowledge and thinking around technology business management in general and how to most effective exploit the data that the government already has,” said David Shive, Chief Information Officer at GSA. “We’re looking to import some of that expertise and knowledge into the federal government.” Shive told Government Matters that because GSA was the first to implement TBM in the government, they can easily advise other agencies on adopting it. “We didn’t really have a road map to go off of. The playbook we have developed and my recommendation to my peers is, don’t wait to start. Don’t wait to make the data perfect. That’s what we were trying to do with our zero-base budget. Instead, implement TBM as quickly as possible. It provides some pretty good insight into where the gaps in your data are and then you can choose to fill those gaps if necessary.” Shive said that he is involved in making decisions that could change the course of federal IT infrastructure, so getting it right is important. “We’re a technology organization. We trust, but verify. Doing quick and dirty analysis after the fact to see if you got the outcomes that you wanted is absolutely the right thing to do. That said, we are long past the days of three to five year engagements. We are stopping and checking [in an] iterative, agile fashion in two-week sprints, six-week sprints to see if this is working. From the strategic side it is no different,” Shive said.