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OCIO’s Enterprise Management Approach

The first strategic goal of OPM’s Strategic Plan FY 2022–2026 is “positioning the federal government as a model employer.” OCIO’s key supporting role for the OPM Strategic Plan is to deliver IT solutions to support OPM’s programs, federal agencies, and other stakeholders, such as applicants, retirees, and beneficiaries. To be successful, OCIO must continuously adopt and integrate best practices and IT management approaches so that it can effectively deliver on the initiatives described in this plan.

The effective use of information technology is fundamental to OPM’s ability to meet its strategic goals. The role of the CIO and OCIO is to partner with all OPM program offices to deliver OPM IT investments that are efficient and effective. The role of the CIO at OPM was established by statute in the Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996 (ITMRA). ITMRA designates the CIO as the primary IT advisor to the Director of OPM. Since the passage of ITMRA, numerous laws, directives, and OMB guidance have defined additional CIO responsibilities, including 2014’s Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA). Responsibilities assigned to the CIO establish the foundation for this Strategic Plan, including:

  • IT Leadership and Accountability
  • IT Strategic Planning
  • IT Workforce
  • IT Budgeting
  • IT Investment Management
  • Information Security and Privacy
  • Architecture
  • Information Resources and Data

OPM has also assigned the CIO substantial IT operational responsibilities, including creating and operating the IT networks, data centers, cloud environments, systems, websites, software, and services that support OPM program offices. As such, OCIO partners with each OPM program office to meet OPM’s stakeholder needs. Meeting these operational responsibilities is the primary focus of OCIO staff, the OCIO budget, and this plan.

Per the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010, there is a requirement to address cross-agency priority goals. OPM has established six APGs that reflect the top performance improvement priorities of OPM leadership and the Administration. APGs reflect measurable results that leadership wants to accomplish over a two-year period, advancing progress toward longer-term goals and objectives in the agency’s Strategic Plan. OCIO, through cooperation with OPM program offices to include Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA), Healthcare and Insurance (HI), and Human Capital Data Management and Modernization (HCDMM), will play a substantial support role in delivering three of the six APGs for OPM, namely:

Number 1

Drive a data-driven and leading practices approach to recruitment, assessment, and hiring initiatives that strengthens and supports diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility across the federal government. By September 30, 2023, increase the percent of hiring managers who report they have reviewed applicant flow data trends for their previous recruitment efforts by 5 points.

Number 3

Improve data collection, use, and sharing to help agencies successfully implement DEIA-focused programs, practices, and policies that support improved equitable services through a more engaged workforce. By September 30, 2023, create easy to use, insight-focused DEIA dashboards used by 75 percent of target agencies, and score an average 4/5 on a customer survey that tests decision-support effectiveness.

Number 6

Improve customer experience by making it easier for federal employees, annuitants, and other eligible persons to make more informed health insurance plan selection. By September 30, 2023, complete user-centered design and develop a minimum viable product for a new, state-of-the-art FEHBP Decision Support Tool that will give eligible individuals the necessary information to compare plan benefits, provider networks, prescription costs, and other health information important to them and their families.

OPM OCIO has incorporated these three APGs in the set of initiatives it plans to meet by September 30, 2023.

OPM’s major management priorities are reflected in Goal 2 of the agency’s Strategic Plan. The OPM IT Strategic Plan is aligned to support OPM’s organizational capacity and capability transformation, focusing on addressing OPM’s Objective 2.5.

OPM Objective 2.5: Modernize OPM IT by establishing an enterprise-wide approach, eliminating fragmentation, and aligning IT investments with core mission requirements.

Given the opportunities for enhancing OPM’s approach to IT management, the following IT strategic objectives are the major management priorities OCIO will focus on over the four-year span of this Strategic Plan:

  • Invest in Our Workforce: 1.2 Strategic Objective Establish annual training and certification requirements based on new technologies and business frameworks.
  • Enhance Customer Value: 2.1 Strategic Objective Establish customer performance improvement goals for each program office to show a direct connection to the business value, and track metrics to show improvement.
  • Enhance Customer Value: 2.3 Strategic Objective Define performance requirements with each customer.
  • Improve Customer Experience: 3.3 Strategic Objective Develop a governance structure, processes, and tools to identify, evaluate, prioritize, and track OPM’s IT spend.
  • Improve Customer Experience: 3.4 Strategic Objective Establish budget plans and execution based on the prioritized business needs defined through the governance process.
  • Invest in Innovation: 5.1 Strategic Objective Foster an innovative, collaborative culture.
  • Enhance Cybersecurity: 6.1 Strategic Objective Define OPM’s overall IT security strategy and budget based on current cybersecurity tools and best practices.
  • Enhance Cybersecurity: 6.2 Strategic Objective Increase cyber visibility and protection of key systems.

OPM OCIO is committed to becoming a leading IT organization within the federal government—one that is a value-added partner to OPM program offices through the effective delivery of IT solutions. This is OCIO’s first and most important strategic goal, and it starts with leadership and the IT workforce.

To succeed, OCIO must define workforce positions and organizational structures. This includes determining the skills and abilities needed to perform well in these positions. OCIO continually invests in attracting and retaining early career talent, to prepare tomorrow’s leaders who will continue OPM’s modernization journey. The four primary objectives that support this strategic goal focus on developing a diverse and skilled workforce across the employment lifecycle, from recruiting, training and development, and mentoring, to measuring the effectiveness of these efforts and continually improving.

OCIO has undergone a structural reorganization to reflect the changing nature of how IT is managed today. For instance, with OPM’s Cloud First policy, there is a need to have OCIO set cloud standards and support the adoption of cloud computing for all new applications and migration of legacy applications. OCIO has stood up a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) to provide just such leadership and support. Likewise, Agile techniques and DevOps have changed how applications are designed, developed, and implemented. OCIO has reorganized itself to better enable integrated teams to handle all aspects of working in an Agile environment.

Regarding IT leadership, FY 2021 was a year of technology leadership transformation at OPM, with CIO Clare Martorana moving on to become the federal CIO, while Guy Cavallo was selected as OPM’s current CIO. Along with Mr. Cavallo’s selection, FY 2021 was a year of rebuilding the CIO’s Executive Leadership Team by hiring a new Deputy CIO, Chief Technology Officer, Policy and Governance Officer, and a Cloud/Cyber Team Lead.

This leadership transformation continues with the recent appointment of a new Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and the recent hiring of a new leader for Enterprise Infrastructure Services (EIS).

The leadership transformation of OCIO is not just taking place in the senior ranks. A Digital Services Senior Advisor, Cloud Solutions Architect, Site Reliability Engineering Senior Advisor, and Enterprise Architect were all recently hired. These leadership changes set the stage for driving the IT improvements outlined across all six goals of this IT Strategic Plan.

The plan highlights the need to professionally develop OCIO employees. This includes offering significant training opportunities spanning all stages of an employee’s career, from newly hired to those with long tenure in the federal workforce. IT and cybersecurity are rapidly evolving. To stay current and leverage new technologies and practices, such as cloud computing, OCIO is committed to helping staff learn and develop relevant IT skills.

In addition to training, OCIO is using internship and recent graduate programs to accelerate the skills of those entering federal service at OPM. These programs improve recruiting efforts, offer clear paths to federal internships for students from high school through post-graduate school, and to careers for recent graduates. OCIO is using these options to attract, develop, and mentor those early in their careers. This includes the Internship Program for current students, the Recent Graduates Program, and the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program for people who obtained an advanced degree within the preceding two years. These programs, collectively the Pathways Programs, are streamlined developmental programs tailored to promote employment opportunities in the federal workforce for students and recent graduates.

The OCIO is partnering with OPM’s program offices to implement an inclusive, transparent IT governance model to drive investment decisions that align with a robust enterprise architecture and data analytics strategy while simultaneously addressing IT security requirements. The investment decisions will prioritize initiatives that achieve the best performance outcomes and are of greatest benefit to OPM, so that some funding and other resources currently dedicated to operations and maintenance can be recapitalized and invested in modernization efforts. The objectives to maturing IT governance are captured in elements of Goal 2: Enhance Customer Value, and Goal 3: Improve Customer Experience of this IT Strategic Plan.

Improvements to IT governance at OPM are well underway. By establishing portfolio management and related governance processes, OPM program offices are part of the decision-making process in setting IT investment priorities. At the overall agency level, OPM has reinstituted the IT Investment Review Board (IRB) so that all OPM program offices can proactively understand and engage in setting IT priorities. Through this process, OCIO aims to be a trusted and value-added partner to OPM program offices.

As modernization of the website and the publishing processes that underpin it moves into its funded project phase, the Digital Governance Board (DGB) will refresh content guidelines, more carefully oversee and apply content standards, better regulate website changes, and apply modernized content management principles where applicable. The purview of the DGB will include both internet and intranet content and operations. The DGB includes representation from OPM’s Offices of Communications, Privacy, the Chief Management Officer, and the OCIO.

To support this governance model, a new Capital Investment and IT Acquisition Review (CIITAR) process went live, modernizing how capital and IT investments valued at $250K or more are approved. CIITAR replaces cumbersome and—in some cases— paper-based processes, and is an upgrade for all OPM employees who use the process to complete their work. OCIO worked with stakeholders across the agency to develop CIITAR, including user testing, training, and job aids. In FY 2022, more than $58 million in Capital Investment Committee (CIC) requests and more than $150 million in IT acquisition reviews have gone through CIITAR.

And recently, OPM established an IT Working Capital Fund (WCF), which, from a funding perspective, is a crucial component of OCIO modernization efforts for FY 2023 and FY 2024. An OPM IT WCF gives OPM more flexibility in how it funds IT programs, and also provides a means to harvest and reuse savings to further IT modernization efforts.

To achieve OPM’s strategic goals, OCIO will optimize and integrate IT capabilities throughout OPM, proactively engage stakeholders at all levels through the IT governance model, and innovatively address the needs of both the public and job seekers. OCIO will partner with program office leaders for mutual accountability and adherence to data standards and enterprise architecture, which will be required for successful adoption of the HR lifecycle IT framework.

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