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March 13, 2019

How to Win with Technology Business Management (TBM)

By Jason Gray, CIO, Department of Education and David Shive, CIO, General Services Administration


How to Win with Technology Business Management (TBM)

TBM focuses on cost transparency, maximizing outcomes for innovation, and ensuring that IT spending aligns with business strategy and priorities. TBM is not just compliance reporting – it’s about making good decisions in every aspect of agency technology.

As co-leads of the President’s Management Agenda Cross Agency Priority goal on IT Spending Transparency, the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department of Education (Education) created a TBM Playbook in order to share some common themes in the Federal implementations of TBM at our agencies.

“The expectation was that the learnings that we got from TBM practices would scale beyond the four walls of GSA,” said David Shive, CIO of GSA. “We want to be able to take the lessons learned, and take the issue areas that we solved, and share those playbooks and learnings with other agencies. Other agencies would then have good working protocols for implementing something like TBM in a federal agency that they could work off of themselves, instead of taking a larger risk across the entire federal enterprise.”

“Working with GSA has allowed us to build off of our experience with TBM and helped each other move forward faster with implementation,” said Jason Gray, CIO of Education. “What that’s done is it’s enabled me, from a strategy standpoint, to figure out what are the things that I’m going to target for modernization. The Playbook allows me to share the insights I’ve gained with others.”

Our playbook lays out 7 ”plays” based on the key considerations and lessons learned from our TBM experience to help other federal agencies win in their TBM implementations.

Play 1: Identify Key Players and Stakeholders

Build a diverse team of business decision-makers, financial analysts, and IT and acquisition professionals to drive change through the collection, analysis, reporting, and informed review of IT data. Successful TBM implementation requires the buy-in and involvement from decision-makers at all levels of the organization.

Play 2: Determine Current State

Understand your current data collection and aggregation methods, business processes, and resources your agency already has to support TBM.

Play 3: Identify Measurable Desired Outcome

Start targeting your TBM efforts and key outcomes with your stakeholders. Consider how technology services will be delivered and break that down into initial projects.

Play 4: Start Collecting and Aligning Data

Start working with the data to examine the trade-offs of IT spend and their impact on the organization. There’s no such thing as perfect data, but you can derive value out of the data that exists right now.

Play 5: Look for Insights

Use the data you’ve accumulated to determine how IT spend supports your desired goals. TBM is a decision engine that allows you to examine tradeoffs, move forward in the best direction, and definitively predict the business outcome.

Play 6: Rollout and Adoption

Help your organization become more familiar with the terminology, goals, and achievements of TBM. Start integrating TBM principles, data, and value discussions into meetings and funding reviews.

Play 7: Keep Maturing the TBM Implementation

Assess the strengths and weaknesses and develop tactics to evolve your organization. TBM is a dynamic practice and your results will improve as your goal-setting, data collection, analysis, and decision-making mature.

Interested in learning more about TBM and its applications? Follow the federal government’s progress with TBM implementation or download the Playbook.

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