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What the Heck is Operational Efficiency?

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We’ve got a question for you:

Excellence in Government recently surveyed over 2,000 federal managers to find out what they felt were the most pressing management issues facing the federal workforce in 2013. From middle managers on up, the answer was clear: achieving operational efficiency.

The results showed that:

  • 63 percent of middle managers said achieving operational efficiency was their top priority, followed by saving money on contracts (35 percent) and ensuring accuracy of financial information (29 percent).
  • 67 percent of agency leadership said the same, followed by leveraging data for decision-making (32 percent) and saving money on contracts (29 percent).

This left us wondering: With such an intense interest in achieving operational efficiency, just what the heck is it?

On Performance.gov, OMB defines achieving operational efficiency as follows:

Improving service delivery, securing our Federal resources and information, and centralizing key Federal IT services to decrease wasteful spending.

In other words, streamlining contracts, data center consolidation and cloud computing. Is that what you thought it meant? What does “achieving operational efficiency” mean to you? Tell us at contactus@excellenceingov.com or in the comments below. 

This year, your input will directly shape our agenda for the Excellence in Government conference. With demand up for actionable insights about federal challenges, we’re expanding Excellence in Government to a two-day event at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington on May 13-14. We’re using the insights from our survey and you, our readers, to shape the content of Excellence in Government.

We’ll be exploring what we learned from our survey in the coming weeks, as well as sharing some big news related to speakers. Find out more about it and sign up for updates on the conference at ExcellenceinGov.com. Knowing full well that budgets are tighter than ever, it’s free to attendees.

Have any thoughts on what we should cover at Excellence in Government? We welcome your ideas, case studies, questions and feedback at contactus@excellenceingov.com.

Mark Micheli is Special Projects Editor for Government Executive Media Group. He's the editor of Excellence in Government Online and contributes to GovExec, NextGov and Defense One. Previously, he worked on national security and emergency management issues with the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He's a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and studied at Drake University.

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