Understanding PMAS

I had a chance to sit in this morning at a “Business and Enterprise Architecture” seminar in Reston.  The speaker was Dr. Paul Tibbits, the CIO for Enterprise Development at the U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs.

What is a liberal arts major doing at a breakfast for technology jocks and Federal contractors?

Learning to improve our IT system in Virginia, which has suffered from numerous malfunctions in 2009. 

One of the things I liked about Dr. Tibbits’ presentation sponsored by the Northern VA Technology Council was its emphasis on real-time accountability.  In the Veterans Adminstration system, as of June 2009, each IT vendor is expected to participate in PMAS (Project Management Accountability System) which uses the “incremental development approach” to make sure that all IT projects are held to a strict development timeline. 

Those IT firms that don’t meet the delivery milestones are halted.  Failing programs are identified early in the process and discontinued.  As a result, the VA does not spend good money after bad — to use layman’s terms.

In the next year, the state’s VITA technology agency will surely see an overhaul.  The use of PMAS technology and principles in Virginia will need to be present, if we are to restore credibility to the state’s technology structure. 

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