A New Path for TTS | Acquisition Modernization at FAS | IT Check Up at OSD


Recorded at ACT-IAC's ImagineNation ELC 2023

Ann Lewis, Deputy Commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service at GSA, discusses her role and vision for the Technology Transformation Services (TTS). She outlines the challenges federal agencies face, such as the siloed nature of services and how TTS can assist in creating more user-friendly government experiences through human-centered design and reducing unnecessary steps in processes. She emphasizes the importance of understanding user needs, improving communication between technologists and government workers, and the continuous modernization of technology.

Lewis also discusses organizational changes within TTS to improve leadership continuity, operational excellence, and the provision of technological tools to agencies. Lastly, she highlights the significance of shared services like login.gov to prevent redundant work and promote efficiency.

Key Takeaways:

  • Enhancing User Experience:
    • TTS aims to streamline the public's interaction with government websites using human-centered design.
    • Focus on reducing steps and simplifying processes to minimize user drop-off rates.
  • Organizational Evolution:
    • Strategic realignment within TTS to support its growth and improve service delivery.
    • Investment in leadership development and operational excellence to maintain continuity and adapt to technology advancements.
  • Fostering Agency Collaboration:
    • Encouraging a stronger understanding of technology within government agencies.
    • Promoting the use of shared services and best practices to avoid duplication of efforts and maximize the efficiency of technology-related tasks.

 Links Mentioned in Pod:

At ELC 2023, Charlotte Phelan, Assistant Commissioner for Strategy and Innovation in the Federal Acquisition Service, outlined GSA's acquisition tech transformation, blending advanced technologies with careful updates to older systems. She highlighted the strategic modernization of systems based on their lifecycle, continuous improvements, and essential collaboration with the OCIO. Phelan's strategy reimagines business processes beyond mere digitization, focusing on user experience, data analysis, process reengineering, and tech enhancements. She stressed the role of a new UX strategy and the critical need for metrics and feedback to ensure ongoing advancement and tech alignment.

Key Takeaways

  • Balanced Approach to Modernization
    • Modernization efforts are a mix of new technology adoption and careful upgrading of legacy systems.
    • The transformation includes evaluating and improving user experiences, understanding the importance of data, and aligning with technological advancements.
  • Prioritization Based on Lifecycle
    • Systems are prioritized for modernization depending on their lifecycle stage.
    • Constant enhancements are made across all systems, not just older ones, to keep up with technological progress.
  • User-Centric Development Strategy
    • Agile methodologies have led to a user-focused approach in system modernization, emphasizing the simplification of user interactions.
    • The success of tech modernization is measured by user feedback and adaptability to new solutions that enhance the IT infrastructure.

Links Mentioned in Pod:


Since becoming CIO for the OSD, Danielle Metz has notably advanced its IT governance, emphasizing user involvement, transparency, and accountability. Her key contributions include launching an annual IT report, establishing an IT service agreement, defining service roles, and making DISA the sole IT provider after a restructure. Metz stresses strategic vision and narrative for aligning technology with business results. Her five-year plan prioritizes network simplification and enhancing the digital experience to be more user-friendly across the board.

Key Takeaways:

  • Establishment of a Governance Structure:
    • A governance structure was chartered to ensure accountability and user feedback.
    • The governance framework enables better decision-making and strategic direction for IT services within the OSD.
  • Service Provider Consolidation and Role Definition:
    • DISA has become the unified service provider for the Pentagon after reorganization.
    • A new Memorandum of Agreement clarifies the roles and responsibilities between service providers and the OSD.
  • Strategic Vision and User Focus:
    • The strategy for IT services has shifted towards delivering tangible business outcomes.
    • Ongoing efforts are to professionalize the CIO role within the OSD and to foster a culture of collaboration and customer-centric service improvement.

Links mentioned on the Pod:

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