AFFIRM names first acquisition manager to board

Federal CIOs for the first time are giving a procurement official a seat at the table, literally. Michael Sade, the Commerce Department's director for acquisition management, last week was named vice president for the Association for Federal Information Resource Managers. This was the first time a non-IT person was named to the board of AFFIRM.

Sade, who was the co-chairman of the Technology Subcommittee of the former Procurement Executives Council, is considered a leader in making sure acquisition issues are considered during the planning of IT systems, said AFFIRM officials.

AFFIRM on Friday also released a white paper titled 'Achieving Mission Agility Through IT.' The paper, based on a roundtable discussion with key IT, procurement, financial and industry leaders, was presented to Mark Forman, administrator for e-government and IT at the Office of Management and Budget. Click here for a transcript of the discussion

The report found an agile organization is one that is able to respond to a rapidly changing environment and meets new requirements easily. The organization also must be structured enough to meet those requirements.

'There is a relationship between structure and agility,' said Forman. 'In order to operate fast, you need a structure to know how it operates. Most people believe less structure allows you to operate more quickly. But most business books will tell you that without structure you end up going quickly but going nowhere.'

The study also found agencies are most agile when dealing with a crisis because bottlenecks break down. This does not happen as easily during noncrisis times, the report said.

Agile organizations also need to have top-down leadership that pushes responsibility down to the program managers and other middle-management leaders, AFFIRM said.

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