Posted By: General Services Administration
Category: Ideas Submission Dates: 12 a.m. ET, May 13, 2014 - 1:59 p.m. ET, May 30, 2014 Public Voting Dates: 12 a.m. ET, May 13, 2014 - 1:59 p.m. ET, Jun 06, 2014 Winners Announced: Jun 30, 2014
Planning, project management, financial management, employee engagement, and reporting are among the key responsibilities of today’s public sector program managers. The approach to each of these and so many others is defined, in part, by the state of existing technology, access to data, and the ability of a skilled workforce to take full advantage of those resources. Today’s tools and resources both enable and limit program managers’ ability to deliver the best service to the public, efficiently and within budget, while adjusting to changes in political direction and mission focus. You understand the critical importance of communication and information processing technology, the value of quality and timely data, and the cost of recruiting, training, and retaining top quality talent. And you can help shape the conversation about the coming direction of public sector program management.
How will the work of public sector program managers change over the next 25 years? How should it change? How can it change with thoughtful steering?
The Performance Improvement Council wants to hear from you. Look ahead 25 years and let us know what you see.
Your entry should describe where you think the field of public sector program management will be in 25 years. You may choose to illustrate your vision with a scenario that reaches ahead to the year 2039. Or you may describe your vision in more general terms. Either way, use your foresight and be creative. Note that today’s kindergartners will be well on their way to established careers in business and government in 25 years. And today’s teenagers will be moving into positions of senior leadership, reshaping the way the world does business.
Although you should consider how advances in technology and the skill set of a new generation will drive the development of public sector program management, your entry need not address any particular issue or question. Imagine how the work of government program managers will evolve, and describe what you see. We’re interested in your vision.
The appendix at the bottom of this page contains brief profiles of four government program managers and some of the challenges they faced in 2014. These profiles are an entirely optional resource for your benefit. Use them if you find them helpful in focusing your thoughts, but do not let them limit your creativity. Your entry need not refer to any of the themes discussed in these profiles.
AFTER THE CHALLENGE – WHAT’S NEXT?
The General Services Administration (GSA) and the Performance Improvement Council expect this challenge to kick off an ongoing dialog about current trends and challenges in public sector program management, what tomorrow promises, and how today’s managers can position themselves and their organizations for future success. GSA will feature winning entries on both the challenge homepage and on the GSA website. GSA will also invite contest winners to participate in a moderated and recorded Google Hangout conversation, and may highlight ideas from one or more winning entries in a follow-up contest.
Director of Performance Excellence, U.S. Department of Commerce
Associate Commissioner, Office of Income Security Programs, U.S. Social Security Administration
Performance Manager, The Performance Improvement Council, U.S. General Services Administration
Senior Fellow and Associate Partner, IBM Center for The Business of Government
President and CEO, Partnership for Public Service
Originality - 35%
Judges will award up to 35 points for originality. An original vision will see beyond or around the path defined by a linear extension of current trends in technology, the scope and nature of program managers’ responsibilities, the workplace environment, or the professional competencies of program managers. An original vision will identify new or emerging trends that have the potential to transform the field.
Clarity - 35%
Judges will award up to 35 points to entries that offer a clear and coherent vision of the future. Where originality demands imagination, clarity calls for focus and structure. Contestants will be awarded points for clarity to the extent that they offer a coherent view of the future and a convincing argument for how we’ll get there.
Presentation - 30%
Judges will award up to 30 points to entries for readability and style. Because GSA hopes to feature winning entries on its website and in other forums, judges will award the most points in this category to well-written and engaging entries that are likely to capture and hold the attention of a general audience.
Register and submit your entry from this site between May 13, 2014 and May 30, 2014 (01:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time).
At registration you will be prompted for your name and contact information. The contest is open to both individuals and teams. If entering as a team, you will enter your team’s name and the email address of your team leader. The names of your team members and team leader should be entered as a separate attached file. Registered contestants and team leaders will receive contest updates by email.
PUBLIC COMMENT AND VOTING
GSA encourages visitors to the contest website to review entries, offer comments, and vote for their favorites. The comment and voting process offers you an opportunity to contribute to the dialog.
- Entries received from eligible contestants will be posted to the contest website after GSA determines that they comply with the contest’s Terms and Conditions. Once an entry is posted to the contest website, website visitors will be able to view, comment, and vote on that entry.
- The voting period will extend one week beyond the deadline for submission of entries in order to give visitors an opportunity to view, comment, and vote on all posted entries.
- Visitors may cast up to one vote for each entry, including their own.
- Visitors will vote by awarding up to 5 stars, with each star representing one point.
APPENDIX – Profiles of Public Sector Program Managers – ca. 2014
Program managers in the public sector are a diverse group. They confront an extraordinary range of challenges in mission areas as diverse as regulatory compliance, basic research, service delivery, law enforcement, and military preparedness, to name just a few. While many are unique to a particular program mission, some challenges tend to be shared by all program managers.
The following profiles offer a snapshot of the immediate challenges faced by four government program managers. These challenges are defined in part by the tools and resources available to address them. They are defined, as well, by current expectations of what government can and should do. As expectations change, and as technology and workplace skills evolve, the nature of these challenges will change as well.
Profile 1 – regulatory compliance
Trina is a program manager with a Federal Government regulatory agency. She leads an office that writes policy, processes industry applications for licenses, and tracks routine industry reporting in support of the agency’s industry compliance efforts. The office also conducts inspections to ensure industry compliance with laws and policy. In the 20 years that Trina has spent with the Government, the work of her office has been transformed by historic advances in online and data processing technologies. Although the agency’s compliance efforts are more effective than at any point in the past, Trina recognizes the need to develop more sophisticated approaches to keep up with a rapidly evolving industry and an increasingly complicated regulatory environment.
Profile 2 – service delivery
Henry manages a program that benefits low income households. Removing barriers to participation by eligible households is central to the program’s purpose. At the same time the program is committed to eliminating payments to ineligible recipients. Henry believes that facilitating access to benefits and strengthening program integrity need not compete against each other; greater understanding of the factors that lead to improper certification for program benefits might be useful in developing strategies to reach the unserved eligible population. Henry has challenged his staff and program partners to draw on their diversity of skills and perspectives to come up with ideas that advance both goals simultaneously so that 25 years from now the present tension between the two is replaced with a relationship of positive and mutual reinforcement. Welcome to the team!
Profile 3 – grants management
Ty oversees an office that awards and administers grants to community-based social service organizations. As part of an ongoing effort to maximize the agency’s return on investment, Ty’s office is awarding more grants to organizations that promise innovative approaches to service delivery. Many of those organizations are first-time recipients of government grants. Although Ty and his staff are encouraged by early signs of success, they recognize the need for careful oversight and evaluation. They also recognize that new models of service delivery may call for changes in the way that the office collects and analyzes program data. Responding to these challenges is critical to ensuring that management of the grant-making process does not stand in the way of grantee-led program innovation.
Profile 4 – law enforcement
Sami was recently hired by her city’s chief of police to review the organization’s case prioritization approach. She is faced with the dilemma of meeting higher expectations for successful criminal prosecution/crime reduction/agility in response to emerging threats without any increase in enforcement and civilian staff. She is expected to do so in a more transparent manner and to further complicate things, the budget is shrinking. Sami is reaching out to other law enforcement agencies to learn what they are doing that she may be able to replicate but she also believes that new, innovative approaches are necessary to meet expectations in the long run. She is actually more concerned about internal resistance to trying new approaches than she is about anything else.
The Best Overall entry, and winning entries in the categories below, will be recognized on the contest and GSA websites. GSA will invite contest winners to participate in a moderated event about the future of program management, and may feature winning entries in a follow-up contest. Won by: Douglas Clark
Solution: The Lexeme Way to Mars
Description: Please access this submission on the 'Solutions' tab.
Solution: Public Service 25 years from today – The year is 2039 – What will Public Sector Program Management Work look like? - abridged
Description: Please access this submission on the 'Solutions' tab.
Solution: 2039: Program Management...and ROBOTS!
Description: Please access this submission on the 'Solutions' tab.
Add to the Discussion
Roles, Reciprocity, and Adept Networks
The Transformation of Program Management
Public Sector Program Management – A Vision for 2039 – Advice to Our Grandchildren
25 Years and Beyond; A New Wave of Management Evolution
The Lexeme Way to Mars
Public Service 25 years from today – The year is 2039 – What will Public Sector Program Management Work look like? – abridged
Crowd-Sourced Funding and a Flexible Workforce: The Future of Public Sector Program Management
Starting from Almost Scratch
Jetson’s – A Vision for the Future of Government
Horizontal, Collaborative, Connections Improve Effectiveness: Crossing Career, Agency, Sector, Learning Boundaries Yields Program Results
A Look Into the Future of Performance Management
One Government-One Seamless Fit
2039: Program Management…and ROBOTS!
The Future of Program Management Employs Extreme Dispersed Teams
A Future Federal Program Model
Program Management in 2039, a vision
Public Sector Program Managment success starts with Management
Program Management – Operations, Audit and Oversight
The Future of Government
Future Program Management – Opportunities (SAMPLE SUBMISSION)
- Submission deadline: The contest begins May 13, 2014, and all entries must be submitted by May 30, 2014 (01:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time).
- Public voting for the “Most Popular” entry begins May 13, 2014 and extends through June 06, 2014 (01:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time).
- GSA expects to announce winners in June, 2014.
- GSA reserves the right to extend the registration and submission period, and delay the award announcement, for any reason.
The contest is open to U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents age 18 and older at the time of registration, and private entities such as corporations and nonprofit organizations that are incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States.
Individuals entering as teams, and individuals submitting entries on behalf of corporations or other organizations, must meet the eligibility requirements of individual contestants.
All eligible individuals, teams, or other entities that submit entries that adhere to this contest’s rules are referred to as “contestants” in these rules.
The following individuals and entities are not eligible to participate:
- GSA employees and contractors, and members of their immediate families (spouses, children, siblings, and parents),
- other Federal Government employees, acting within the scope of their employment,
- entities involved with the production or execution of the challenge, employees of such entities, and members of their immediate families,
- contest judges and individuals with a familial or financial relationship with a contest judge,
- entities in which a contest judge is an employee, officer, director, or agent,
- other entities in which a contest judge has a personal or financial interest.
Final determination of contestant eligibility rests with GSA.
REGISTRATION AND ENTRY
All entries must be submitted through this site’s “Submit Solution” tab between April 11, 2014 and April 25, 2014 (01:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time).
From the “Submit Solution” tab you will be prompted for the following registration information:
- your name (or the team’s name for team entries),
- your email address (teams must enter the team leader’s email address),
- the title of your entry,
- external link to your YouTube video entry, if applicable, and
- the text of your submission:
- for text-only entries: contestants are strongly encouraged to upload their entries as attachments using the site’s “Additional Files” option; however, contestants may type or paste their entries in the “Submission Text” box
- for video entries: contestants are strongly encouraged to upload their videos’ introductory text and transcripts using the site’s “Additional Files” option; however, contestants may type or paste their introductory text and/or transcripts in the “Submission Text” box
- for text entries with graphics: contestants must submit text entries with embedded graphics as attached files using the site’s “Additional Files” option
If entering as a team, you must submit your team leader’s name in an attached text file titled “Team Information” (or something similar) using the site’s “Additional Files” option.
Contestants may submit their entries as text, a combination of text and graphics, or video. Entries must satisfy the following maximum and minimum length requirements. GSA will discard entries that fall outside of these bounds.
- Text-only entries
500 – 1,500 words, inclusive of title, footnotes, endnotes, citations, and other references
- Text entries with graphics
500 – 1,500 words, inclusive of text contained in graphics, titles, footnotes, endnotes, citations, and references. Text entries containing graphics must be printable at full size on no more than four single-sided 8 ½ x 11 inch sheets of paper with one inch margins
- Video entries
2 ½ – 7 ½ minutes of video posted to YouTube. Video entries must be supplemented with a separate document of introductory text, not to exceed 100 words, and a full written transcript. The introductory text will accompany the video’s YouTube link on the challenge web site.
To be eligible for recognition as a contest winner, contestants must submit their entries in English on the challenge site’s “Submit Solution” tab.
Contestants may submit multiple entries.
SELECTION OF WINNERS
Entries will be evaluated by GSA’s Performance Improvement Council staff and the panel of judges named on the contest website. GSA is solely responsible for the selection of judges.
Judging will take place in two rounds:
- GSA’s Performance Improvement Council staff will review all entries and award points according to the Judging Criteria. The ten entries with the most points will be selected as Round 1 finalists.
- The panel of judges named on the contest site will select the winning entries, based on the Judging Criteria, from Round 1 finalists.
GSA will recognize up to four entries as winners based on the points awarded by the contest’s judges. In addition, one entry will be selected for recognition based on the votes cast by visitors to the contest website.
- “Best Overall” entry – Judges will select a best overall entry from Round 1 finalists according to the Judging Criteria.
- “Most Popular” entry – The entry that receives the highest average rating from among the five entries with the greatest number of votes received will be recognized as the most popular entry.
- “Most Original Vision” – Judges may select an entry from Round 1 finalists not recognized in another category as the most original based on the criteria for “originality” outlined under Judging Criteria.
- “Honorable Mention” – Judges may select up to two entries from Round 1 finalists not recognized in another category for honorable mention based on the same criteria used to select the best overall entry.
Winning entries will be recognized on the contest and GSA websites. GSA will invite contest winners to participate in a moderated event about the future of program management, and may feature winning entries in a follow-up contest. The contest will award no cash prizes.
Contestants conditionally selected for awards will be notified by email using the contact information provided at registration. Final determination of contest winners is subject to verification of contestants’ eligibility and compliance with all contest rules.
GSA reserves the right to cancel the contest before announcing winners.
The U.S. General Services Administration is administering this challenge under authority of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, Section 105 (15 U.S.C. 3719).
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