USDA techie says teamwork keeps projects on track

Scott Snover has been at the Agriculture Department for 24 years in various capacities, starting as a civil engineer in the field. His current assignment as national project manager of the Common Computing Environment program has convinced him that team effort is key to any successful project.

| GCN STAFFScott Snover has been at the Agriculture Department for 24 years in various capacities, starting as a civil engineer in the field. His current assignment as national project manager of the Common Computing Environment program has convinced him that team effort is key to any successful project.'The combined strength of everybody is more effective than that of a single person,' Snover said. If there's anyone qualified to say so, it is Snover.The CCE project involved getting three agencies'the Farm Service Agency, Rural Development and the Natural Resources Conservation Service'to support common telecommunications, automation and administrative applications [].When the project began in May 1996, each agency had its own chief information officer and an office in every state. That meant handling 50 organizations and about 150 decision-makers at the state and national level to get the program rolling.align="right" width="171">'Each state office had its own set of challenges and its own budget and staff to manage,' Snover said.If a computer had to be sent to Montana, then all three representatives of the agencies at the state office had to give permission.'Only if they all agreed would we proceed,' Snover said. 'It was a case of everybody's in charge, but no one is in charge. You have the responsibility but no authority.'But when the agencies worked as a team, they reaped dividends. In September 1998, they pooled funds and bought 16,500 desktop systems and 1,200 notebook PCs to replace computers that were not year 2000-ready. In the process, they saved about $5 million.Simply getting the machines was not enough; the agencies had to decide how they would get them installed.At a meeting in St. Louis in December 1998, more than 200 representatives, including the CIOs, thrashed out a way to deploy the computers.'At the start, people's posture was, 'Why are we here?' ' said Snover, who played cheerleader at the meeting. By the end of the week, that changed. The information technology staff of each agency got a better understanding of their counterparts in other agencies. And there was greater willingness to work together.'They were hungry for new technology,' Snover said, adding that the need helped many to overcome their differences.The program got a boost last May when the USDA CIO was given more control over the funds. The CIO can now intervene to help agencies resolve their differences. In addition, Congress now allocates money directly to the CIO, which has increased coordination among the agencies.As a manager, Snover said he tries to ensure that everyone involved with CCE understands it and has access to the resources required to get the job done.'Every project needs a high-level vision,' Snover said. But it's equally important to speak to everyone involved, particularly to users in the trenches and not just the IT and business people, he said.'Have a simple vision, speak to the entire community, build a team and get everyone involved,' Snover said. 'One person alone usually cannot accomplish great things.'
BY PREETI VASISHTHA





GCN, Feb. 19, Page 16




size="2" color="#FF0000">Team effort is vital to a successful project, says Scott Snover, USDA Common Computing Environment project manager.









Working things out















X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.