AUTHOR ARCHIVES

John Kamensky

Senior Fellow, IBM Center for the Business of Government John M. Kamensky is a Senior Research Fellow for the IBM Center for the Business of Government. He previously served as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government, a special assistant at the Office of Management and Budget, and as an assistant director at the Government Accountability Office. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
Results 1-10 of 95

So Many Risks, So Little Time

September 19, 2014 “By some estimates, taking out just nine critical electrical substations could plunge the whole nation into darkness,” says Jason Black, a researcher at Battelle Institute. This scenario, of course, keeps the leaders of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission awake at night. What is their risk management strategy? Other federal agencies ...

How Can Local Governments Embrace Participatory Budgeting?

September 9, 2014 The White House’s Open Government initiative encourages citizens to become more actively engaged in budget decisions in their communities. How does this work in practice? Do busy citizens actually get involved? Inspired by successful efforts in Brazil and other countries around the world, several U.S. communities have undertaken pilot efforts ...

Why Government Takes Calculated Risks

September 9, 2014 Flood insurance? Bank deposit insurance? Pension guarantees? Home loan guarantees? No private sector business would take on some risks that the federal government agrees to bear on behalf of the broader society—at least not at an affordable price. So government, by nature, oftentimes puts itself at financial or reputational risk ...

Risk Management: Creating Organizational Self-Defense

September 2, 2014 Why don’t agency top leaders know about significant management problems in their organizations before it is too late? Scandals seem to be more prevalent these days, ranging from seemingly dishonest reporting of telework hours at the Patent Office or veterans hospital access wait times, to the safety of CDC labs, ...

Unlocking the PerformanceStat Potential

August 19, 2014 Harvard University’s Bob Behn has been working on his latest book about the “Stat” movement for more than a decade. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of The PerformanceStat Potential and told him I would read it and share my impressions with others. In his inimitable response, he just asked ...

12 Tips for Designing an Open-Ended Project

August 6, 2014 How do you tackle a large-scale, complex challenge that evolves over time, involves thousands of stakeholders, and where there is no clear solution? For example, is there a road map for how the Internet evolved? Could we do it again? IBM Center author David Witzel examines the evolution of the ...

You Don’t Have to Be a Whiz Kid to Use Performance Metrics

August 6, 2014 The Urban Institute’s Harry Hatry is one of the pioneers of the late 20th century performance measurement movement. He has just released a new guide on transforming performance measurement that sums up his best practical advice in one place. Harry Hatry is legendary. His indefatigable commitment to measuring government performance ...

Priority Goal Leaders: Is the Concept Working?

August 1, 2014 I’ve been getting calls from reporters asking whether President Obama is interested in government management. The answer is yes. A management innovation he introduced in the early days of his administration is finally taking off. Sometimes it takes a few years to find out if a management innovation works. Early ...

Assessing Trust in Cross-Agency Networks

July 18, 2014 “Trust but verify” was President Reagan’s mantra during the Cold War. Today, trust is a key element to creating effective cross-agency networks to get things done. But what, exactly, is trust, and how do you know what to look for? Addressing public management challenges increasingly requires collaborative networks across a ...

Check Out the First Progress Reports on Agency Priority Goals

July 7, 2014 In 2009, the Obama administration directed agencies to identify a handful of priorities that they would commit to achieving in a two-year timeframe. This initiative was embedded into the 2010 GPRA Modernization Act. Agencies are required to identify priority goals and report on their progress quarterly. In late June, agency ...