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Posted by on Oct 22, 2014

Leadership Skills Critical to Federal IT Project and Acquisition Success

shutterstock_fedITWe all see Federal agencies focusing more on the importance of cultivating strong leadership skills, including team building, problem solving, and effective communication, particularly for Feds in IT.

Take the 27th annual GCN Awards Gala; it showcased Fed IT ingenuity, teamwork, honored 20 standout projects for their achievements and impact across government.

Among the awards was the ground-breaking effort by the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the CIA, Doug Wolfe. Wolfe’s outstanding leadership enabled the CIA to set up cloud services for the intelligence community, bringing about a new phase in collaboration and information sharing across the often siloed agency.  

With an ever-changing set of demands in government, it’s no wonder that leadership skills such as innovation, collaboration, and information sharing were key to the success of these award-winning Federal IT projects. Agencies need leaders who can champion innovative technologies and tools to streamline their operations. The ability to set a strategic direction at the program and agency level is a highly-sought critical skill.

As both the President and senior government officials have identified this year, procurement of IT within the government needs an overhaul. As such, building effective and strong leadership skills in IT acquisition and project management will be a particularly critical aspect of reform.  A multitude of Federal agencies are putting more energy and resources behind training the acquisition workforce.

A professional acquisition corps with both leadership skills and subject matter expertise can improve the success of IT projects. According to a recent survey conducted by Federal News Radio, a majority of the chief acquisition officers and other senior level acquisition managers believe that hiring and retaining the right people with the right skills is driving their current agenda.

Educating the Federal workforce on basic fundamentals, fostering an environment where the leadership mentality is rewarded, and creating a workplace where individuals are allowed and expected to make tough decisions is integral to success.

What Federal agencies seek now are the innovative IT leaders of tomorrow; those who can adapt within the complex Federal IT environment.

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