DHS CIO Spires: ‘Good Governance’ is Key to Successful IT Management

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DHS CIO Richard Spires, Photo: dhs.gov

The key to successful IT management — a hot topic even before the Office of Management and Budget released a door-stopper of a report on the issue in December — is maintaining good governance over a project.

So said, Richard Spires, chief information officer of the Department of Homeland Security, who took to the CIO.gov blog to share his thoughts on successfully managing federal IT projects.

And, with 25 years of experience in IT from the private sector to the federal government, he would know.

Good governance, or setting sound process and policies for success, is the “core,” he writes.

“Even the best program manager fails if the governance model does not work,” he notes. “Governance drives alignment amongst key decision makers in an organization.”

Nearly all other problems that can plague IT systems stem from this failure of alignment, when all the stakeholders are not on the same page, Spires writes.

But getting everyone on the same page is an ongoing process, he acknowledges.

“Change is inevitable in all IT programs, so achieving such alignment is not a one-time event occurring at the start of a program,” he writes. “Alignment is an ongoing process that is critical throughout an investment’s strategic planning, design and development, as well as its implementation—hence, governance must be viewed as a full life-cycle process.”

For Spires’ complete blog post on the principles of good governance, click here.

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