From its introduction by the Bush Administration in 2001, the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) has been integral to addressing and providing actionable steps for boosting the Federal government’s efficiency and effectiveness. With a focus on specific priority areas, this strategic roadmap highlights areas of concern and outlines how positive changes can be implemented. In late 2021, the Biden Administration released the latest PMA, focused on three priorities: strengthening the federal workforce, delivering a better customer experience, and managing the business of government. These priorities are shaping how agencies operate and contributing to mission success.
Federal News Nation’s July 2022 “CTO Profiles in Excellence” virtual panel brought together key decision-makers to discuss emerging innovations and technologies, as well as top priorities now and looking ahead. Several of the participants, like ServiceNow CTO Jonathon Alboum, Department of Homeland Security CTO David Larrimore, and US Marshal Service CTO Christine Finnelle, focused on the second PMA priority: the need for an improved customer experience, providing the tools and resources critical to mission success. “Everything has to find a way to lead to a burden reduction, increased experience, providing improved experiences for citizens and non-citizens alike,” Larrimore said.
Automation technology is proving to be central to providing an efficient, effective solution that enhances the customer experience. The push for automation has taken on new vigor as agencies have discovered the value it brings, freeing up individuals and resources for more critical, creative, and consequential tasks. Jonathan Alboum emphasized that automation has the ability to transform how the government operates, resulting in “more engaged employees, and people as citizens, a public that is better engaged with their government and has more trust because they’re getting the services that they expect.” Not only does it allow for more efficiency within agencies, but is a key driver for better customer experience.
Agencies have been embracing new technologies to make the necessary adjustments to meet today’s customer needs. Two years ago, the permit process from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was entirely manual. Alboum explained that any person who wanted one of the 65,000 different permits issued yearly had to apply through the mail and pay with a check. This outdated process was ineffectual and slow, causing frustration for people who, in today’s world, expect instantaneous information.
With the recent introduction of a customer-focused e-permit system, individuals can now apply for and receive permits more quickly, improving the overall experience. As proficiency is increased, the goal is to “make the work and data flow as quickly and readily as possible. And as we add in automation, we add in artificial intelligence capabilities that are built in part of the platform, we can extend these kinds of solutions to other critical workflows across organizations,” explained Alboum. Without needing to manage manual processes, agents now have the capacity to tackle more pressing issues.
Addressing today’s complex mission, requires federal agencies to continuously monitor and adjust operations. The current PMA priorities will evolve as new inefficiencies are identified but for now, the focus is on strengthening the federal workforce, managing the business of government, and improving the customer experience. While many technologies and innovative processes have emerged to address these priorities, automation is one solution that will further evolve in the years to come to assist with the problems that develop.
Watch the full interview and hear more from the seven participating CTOs about the emerging technologies and innovations impacting Federal agencies here.