Digital and cloud-based services are changing how government IT resources are procured and managed. Of personal and professional interest to me is how data intensive programs are governed given growing interest in big data and open data. I’ve created this special compendium of posts that are relevant to planning and managing data related programs and projects. There are four groups:
My consulting, project management, and research focus on planning and managing data intensive projects. My contact information is here.
Entries in Project Management (124)
I heard David Lebryk of the U.S. Department of Treasury speak on Data Act implementation this morning at the Johns Hopkins/REI Systems Government Analytics Breakfast Forum in Washington DC.
Leadership and governance are key. If the tip of the data management “spear” is analyzing data in new and interesting ways to help solve important problems, someone still has to manufacture the spear, carry it, and train throwers to hit the target. Managing and governing the logistics involved in getting that spear to the battlefield may not be as much fun as hacking away at the data but it sure is important!
Such challenges are not unique to the Federal Government. All large organizations desiring to take a more strategic position in how data — the lifeblood of organization processes — are managed and released will have to address such governance issues.
A key feature of the Project Open Data effort being managed by OMB and OSTP is that so much of it is being conducted in the open using accessible resources such as shared documentation, a defined metadata schema, and use of GitHub for capturing comments and issues. Agencies that want to involve private sector vendors in their open date efforts should consider the use and management of such tools as a required part of program governance and oversight (as long as sufficient staff and resources are provided to manage such efforts, of course).
Anyone who practices project management for a living will recognize this list. It’s certainly not unique to big data analytics project. It is however reasonable to ask whether “big data” projects are unique in some way that exacerbates the probability of failure.
It’s good to see the Federal government and private sector working together to create value from data that might not be realized were its use restricted only to specifically funded and legislated programs.
Sometimes it makes sense to consider open data programs and cloud infrastructure transformation at the same time. Each can impact the other especially when a program like NOAA’s big data project includes requirements for both public access and support for third-party product development.
Realistically it’s also impossible to control what people say online about companies. Just type the name of any large company into the Google search engine followed by the word “sucks” and you’ll see what I mean.
By itself, just documenting a process is never enough. Also needed is a sufficiently-resourced governance structure that supports program management in how systems and processes are changed and in how they operate.