A survey released Monday, June 14, revealed that by implementing more efficient acquisition processes and stronger program management training, federal procurement managers estimate they can save up to $158 billion annually.
The survey—which polled 200 civilian, defense and private sector contracting professionals in January—discovered that 28 percent of federal programs are not delivered on time or on budget. A 2004 memorandum issued by the Office of Management and Budget states that only up to 10 percent of programs may come in late or over budget.
Managers who oversaw the survey suggest that this percentage can be reduced through operation and system-level improvements. Fewer than 20 percent of the respondents, all from various agencies, have been encouraged to use government-suggested project management methods such as earned value management, and capital planning and investment control.
While officials believe that using these methods would be beneficial and result in cost savings, there is no oversight program to ensure that the practices are utilized.
Perhaps designating an official (or more) in each agency to devote time to the implementation of these improvements will eventually result in the cost savings that managers are so sure would result from the likes of value management, etc.
Steve O’Keeffe, founder of MeriTalk, the government IT company that performed the survey, sums it up best.
“We need to begin to change our behavior and not just talk about it,” O’Keeffe said.
How do you think the government should ensure that its project management methods are being utilized? Is having a designated official in charge of implementation going too far, or does even more oversight need to be in place?