New IT strategic plan has work cut out for agencies

The Office of Personnel Management released its strategic IT plan this week, fulfilling a promise Director Katherine Archuleta made when she was first sworn in — that she would assess the state of IT in government and create a plan within her first 100 days.

Among the main focus of the plan is the development of a strong federal workforce enabled by technology. Under the plan, OPM will be helping agencies recruit and hire a talented and diverse workforce, ensuring employees are properly investigated, appraised and supplied with the right tools, providing training, benefits and work-life balance for federal employees and providing everything necessary for the retired federal workforce, to name a few of the initiatives.

“IT is really about a bigger picture,” Archuleta said in a blog post. “We know that our IT systems impact how we do every aspect of our work. That is why in order to better serve the American people, federal employees and federal agencies, my team and I will also use the HR lifecycle IT framework to help make government human resources smarter and more effective.”

Revamping the USAJOBS system is also a priority in the IT strategic plan. Archuleta said simplifying USAJOBS will ease the burden on applicants and attract a world-class workforce. OPM has also considered the necessity of bridging current systems to a shared platform; using infrastructure that promotes an enterprise, secure and cost-effective system of managing information flow.


“This plan fulfills my commitment and more,” Archuleta said. “It provides a framework that is rooted in the use of human resources data throughout a lifecycle . . . allowing for reuse of that data in our HR systems to support agile HR policies; establishes enabling successful practices and initiatives, and enterprise and business initiatives that define OPM’s IT modernization effort.”

According to OPM’s plan, coupling the HR lifecycle IT framework with successful practices in six categories — IT leadership, IT government, enterprise architecture, agile IT, data analytics and information security — will lead to shared accountability and integration of data, technology and processes within the business units.

“Taking a ‘strategy to separation’ approach, we will adopt an HR lifecycle IT framework as a concept for sharing information among the various existing IT solutions and future capabilities at OPM, at other agencies, and in industry,” according to the IT strategic plan.

OPM will provide a set of standards that span support information exchange and the HR lifecycle. The agency expects this framework will drive government and industry in creating solutions and supporting processes that will revamp modern IT services and capabilities at the agencies.

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