CIO Council launches best practices exchange site

CIO Council launches best practices exchange site

The CIO Council has taken the idea of component reuse a step further by setting up a registry of applications for program and project managers to search and possibly deploy.

Dave Wennergren, Navy CIO and co-chairman of the council's best practices committee, said the site will help encourage collaboration among agencies by allowing them to share and use best practices in a centralized place.

As a part of the overall CIO Council Web site redesign, the Solutions Exchange provides a short description of the software or product that an agency and the council deemed to be successful. The contact person's name, telephone number and e-mail address are included along with, in some cases, the vendor who developed the software. The descriptions do not include a link or any specific technical information.

'We've talked a lot about not reinventing the wheel and I think this is a mechanism so we don't do that,' said Carlos Solari, advocate of the best practices committee and CIO in the Executive Office of the President. 'This will give agencies a starting place to find successful applications and talk to the agency that developed it. We believe this will save agencies time and money.'

The registry already lists 61 applications ranging from IT security, to setting up a continuity of operations Web site, to developing an enterprise architecture, Wennergren said. To populate the registry, he said the council initially asked CIOs to submit their agency's best practices, but the hope is for agencies to continually add successful programs to the list.

Solari said the council spent less than $50,000 on the redesign of the Web site and development of the registry.

'Each time we see someone reusing one of these solutions, we want to capture the return on investment or cost avoidance that agencies receive from using the exchange,' Solari said.

This is the second time the CIO Council has attempted to harvest best practices from agencies. About four years ago, the CIO Council launched a site for IT security but did not have much success in getting agencies to use it.

Wennergren said this time it is different because the previous attempt was based on static information such as white papers, and this time the culture of sharing is more widely accepted.

IT managers can gain access to the site by visiting the CIO Council Web site at www.cio.gov, clicking on the link to the Solutions Exchange and applying for a password. Agencies interested in submitting best practices to the site should fill out an online form and the committee will review it, Solari said.

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