Open Sourcing the IT Dashboard & the TechStat Process
We launched the IT Dashboard and the TechStat Accountability Sessions to improve IT transparency and accountability across the Federal Government. The Dashboard has helped us shine a light on IT projects, providing performance data to fuel TechStat reviews, which have led to over $3 billion in cost reductions.
Today we are releasing the software code of the IT Dashboard and the TechStat toolkit to the public for two reasons. First, to take the platform to the next level, we want to tap into the collective talents and ingenuity of the American people, to enhance functionality, improve the code and address existing challenges such as those identified by David Powner and his team at GAO. Second, CIOs from across the country and around the world such as Maarten Hillenaar of the Netherlands, Kyle Schafer in West Virginia and Jason DeHaan of the City of Chicago are all interested in implementing these platforms in their respective organizations.
The IT Dashboard has helped the Federal Government to better manage its IT investments, and now that its code is freely available— through a format known as ‘open source’— it can help any organization do the same. Software developers will be able to collaborate, identify errors, develop enhancements, and recommend improvements to the Dashboard, and find new uses for it that we have not even imagined. The TechStat Toolkit provides a comprehensive guide for organizations to establish their own TechStats to improve line-of-sight between project teams and senior executives, increase the precision of ongoing measurement of IT program health, and boost the quality and timing of interventions to keep projects on track.
Opening up the inner workings of the Dashboard by releasing the code and the TechStat toolkit is only a first step. We recognize that the Federal Government does not have a monopoly on the best ideas, which is why we are working with organizations such as Civic Commons to help share technology for the public good and are asking the public for continuous input to help us improve how we manage taxpayer dollars.
If you have ideas, recommendations or other contributions to the IT Dashboard, we urge you to join the discussion here. To access and download source code for the IT Dashboard and the TechStat toolkit, please visit www.cio.gov/tools.
Vivek Kundra is the U.S. Chief Information Officer