Clay Johnson's "Where We'd Be Proud To Be" Memo


Through: Mark Everson
From: Clay Johnson III
Subject: Where We'd Be Proud To Be
As I have discussed with you individually and at the last PMC meeting, our progress on the President's Management Agenda (PMA) has reached the point where it is appropriate to think about where we'd be proud to be a year or so from now, after three full years of implementing the PMA.

To begin this effort, the owners of the five government-wide initiatives have each assessed where he/she would be "proud to be" on July 1, 2004. The attached assessment includes:

  • the percentage of agencies the Initiative Owner would be proud to say have achieved green and yellow status for the initiative by July 1, 2004;
  • a succinct description of the ultimate goals for the key components of the initiative, and the percentage of agencies the Initiative Owner would be proud to say have accomplished those goals by July 1, 2004;
  • stretch goals for each of the initiatives, i.e., what would be possible if certain uncertainties were accomplished, like new legislation or additional funding;
  • key milestones, i.e., what the initiative owner will do to advance each of the components of the initiative to help the agencies get to green; and
  • a more specific description of what is necessary to achieve green and yellow status for each of the initiatives.
This information responds to your requests for greater clarity of targets and a more precise definition of yellow status, in particular. This document also provides current thinking on each of the initiatives given all that has been accomplished to date. In the competitive sourcing area, for instance, many agencies have established the infrastructure necessary to implement competitions which, together with the pending revised A-76 circular, will poise us for real advances in this area. Similarly, we now have experience using the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) and have a fuller understanding of its usefulness. In response to your requests at the PMC retreat, we have clarified the role of the PART in the budget and performance integration initiative. Initiative owners have also indicated what they will do to help you get to green.

I now want to ask each agency to indicate where they would be proud to be on July 1, 2004 with regard to each initiative and each component of each initiative. Each agency should also indicate the key milestones they intend to hit to get there. A format that parallels the initiative owners' "proud to be" document is provided for your use. Please complete and return your agency's "proud to be" document by Friday, May 9, 2003.

To answer some obvious questions about this exercise:

  • We are attempting only to make the goals clearer, but not easier or harder to achieve
  • We do not expect agencies that have already worked with their OMB RMOs to map out their deliverables for the next year or so to change their thinking about what is possible for them to achieve. Those agreements should drive what agency targets and milestones are; however, the plans may need to be extended to reach July 1, 2004
  • We want to help the agencies who are now thinking out a quarter at a time, to determine where they hope the sum of their quarterly milestone achievements will take them
  • Listed agency milestones should not be as detailed as the milestones negotiated with the OMB RMOs each quarter, nor should their inclusion here replace the quarterly negotiations/adjustments.
  • OMB and OPM staff are available to help the agencies understand the exercise, project what they might be able to achieve in this time period, and figure out how to get to where they aspire to be by July 1, 2004.
Separately, we will meet with some of you to go through a similar exercise for the program specific initiatives, such as the Faith-Based and Community Initiative, and the items on GAO's high risk list.

Please call me, Robert Shea, or Diana Espinosa if you have questions about this exercise.


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