Cover: Improving Government Processes

Improving Government Processes

From Velocity Management to Presidential Appointments

Published May 12, 2005

by John Dumond, Rick Eden

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To substantiate the claim of the Volcker Commission that "governments and government agencies can change, even in ways that seem far-reaching, and those changes can produce significant improvements in efficiency and performance" we present a case study in which governmental agencies worked together to achieve successful change. This study involved the Velocity Management (VM) initiative, which the U.S. Army began in 1994 to improve its order fulfillment and related processes, and which the National Partnership for Reinventing Government recognized with a Golden Hammer award in 1998. We then suggest how the VM approach might be applied to other governmental processes. Because of the Volcker Commission's concern with the quality of senior governmental executives, we focus here on the presidential appointments process. As with military logistics processes, this process is complex, has both chronic and acute performance problems, and involves many stakeholders. The problems have been well described for decades, and many reasonable recommendations have been proposed. Nevertheless, the performance problems have continued to worsen to the point that the system is now considered to be in crisis. A proven approach to implementing and managing change through interagency cooperation may be the missing catalyst. --

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Originally published in: High-Performace Government: Structure, Leadership, Incentives, pp. 78-90.

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