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Posted on March 05, 2014
Let's play a game - politics aside. Pick any type of recent or pending reform and name the person or group in charge of leading the day-to-day implementation. Now, think of any past reform and ask yourself how it was measured for success and who was in charge of capturing those best practices so mistakes are not repeated.
These aren’t easy questions to answer, and the fact is that reform is a reality and most government agencies have to implement these complex reforms with limited resources and funding.
Managing reform implementation can be a complicated endeavor that is difficult to understand and even harder to implement. For example, the recent Affordable Care Act (ACA) was over 2,700 pages and impacted seven different agencies. Also, immigration reform, if successful, could impact 14 different federal departments and agencies.
Despite the specific issue and challenges, it is important to know how to manage the process properly to turn it into an opportunity, not a burden, for government agencies and organizations to excel and thrive. We’re all familiar with the roles of CIOs, CISOs, and CHCOs, but the reform environment today has changed so much that it may be time to introduce a new role: the CRO or Chief Reform Officer. Whatever the title, the need is clear, a leader or even a network of leaders to ensure reform is implemented correctly and truly provides value to an organization.
Whatever the ultimate role of the CRO, it should focus on working collaboratively to ensure the right collective knowledge is focused on the right challenge. The role also should include coordinating reform planning and implementation with a “big picture” view, and communicating effectively to the public, media, Administration, and Congress.
It is understood that government resources are limited and the last thing we want to do is add to the budget deficit, but the role of the CRO could actually decrease costs and increase efficiencies in government. We’ve offered one solution here but recognize that there could be more. What’s your solution?