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GAO: Good project management more critical than funding for IT acquisition success

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November 25, 2011
FedCyber Wire, Requirements
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Staff knowledge, solid communication and iterative testing are more important to successful IT acquisition than receiving sufficient funding, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office. While information technology projects across government differ in budget and purpose, a Nov. 21 GAO report (.pdf) finds well-executed IT acquisitions share several common characteristics.

In an effort to identify best practices the report reviewed seven IT projects that met cost, schedule and performance goals and totaled $5 billion. Report authors interviewed IT staff from programs such as the Census Bureau’s $1.05 billion Decennial Response Integration System and Customs and Border Protections’ $2 billion Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

The most commonly-cited “critical factor” of GAO’s nine best practices for IT acquisition is the program manager’s continuous engagement with stakeholders, say report authors. Ensuring program staff have appropriate training and expertise and executive-level buy in are also important factors, and were cited by six of the seven projects reviewed by GAO.

via Fierce Government IT, continued here.