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U.S. CIO urges Feds to fail fast, not fail big

Kenneth Corbin | Feb. 11, 2014
Taking a page from the private sector, federal CIO Steve VanRoekel calls for a more agile, iterative approach to government IT projects.

Those efforts won't be accomplished through the hulking procurement contracts of years past, VanRoekel said, in part because the money simply isn't there.

The smarter, more incremental approach to new tech deployments that VanRoekel envisions doesn't, by design, break the bank. It does, however, highlight the challenge of reforming a culture within government that has historically been resistant to change.

"A lot of our direction, a lot of our thinking in this was really walling off the old in favor of doing the new - but to do that we had to work really hard to communicate to people the nature of that work and the benefit of going that direction," VanRoekel said.

"There very much is a culture in government that to do more you must spend more, VanRoekel said. We need to think about how [to] get employees in government, the people of government, to embrace innovation as a culture."


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