The federal government’s record for acquiring major information technology projects has rarely earned high marks.
And from those successes, GAO identified nine common factors in that were critical to the
success of three or more of the seven investments.
Common Critical Success Factors
- Program officials were actively engaged with stakeholders.
- Program staff had the necessary knowledge and skills.
- Senior department and agency executives supported the programs.
- End users and stakeholders were involved in the development of requirements.
- End users participated in testing of system functionality prior to formal end user acceptance testing.
- Government and contractor staff were stable and consistent.
- Program staff prioritized requirements.
- Program officials maintained regular communication with the prime contractor.
- Programs received sufficient funding.
According to report, federal department officials had deemed the following seven investments to have been successfully acquired, based on the degree to which they achieved their respective cost, schedule, scope, and performance goals:
- Commerce Decennial Response Integration System
- Defense Global Combat Support System-Joint, Increment 7
- Energy Manufacturing Operations Management (MOMentum) Project
- Homeland Security Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
- Transportation Integrated Terminal Weather System
- Treasury Customer Account Data Engine 2 (CADE 2)
- Veterans Affairs Occupational Health Record-keeping System
The GAO report noted that implementation of these critical factors will not necessarily ensure that federal agencies will successfully acquire IT systems because many different factors contribute to successful acquisitions.
Nonetheless, these critical factors support OMB’s objective of improving the management of large-scale IT acquisitions across the federal government, and wide dissemination of these factors could complement OMB’s efforts.