Mission Centric Metrics | Secret Cloud Coming to State

Mission-Centric Metrics: Colt Whittall on Measuring Success in Government
Colt Whittall, founder and CEO of BRAVO17 and former Chief Experience Officer of the Air Force, emphasizes the importance of mission-connected metrics in evaluating success. He advocates for metrics that align directly with business value, which not only aids in securing resources and funding but also in facilitating benchmarking against industry standards. Whittall acknowledges the balance between setting ambitious targets and the risk of setting unrealistic expectations, highlighting the utility of the System Usability Scale (SUS) in measuring application performance across the Air Force.

Key Takeaways:
  • Mission-Aligned Measurement: Colt Whittall stresses creating metrics that directly reflect the mission's value, which simplifies the explanation to leadership and aids in obtaining necessary support.
  • Balancing Targets with Industry Standards: The discussion on metrics reveals the need to align with industry standards for external benchmarking while maintaining mission-specific relevance.
  • Calibrated Risk Management: Whittall acknowledges the risks associated with ambitious metrics, like a high SUS score, advocating for building baselines and understanding variations before setting improvement targets.

Links Mentioned on Pod: Article: Readiness Redefined, but Not Measured

Cloud Horizons: Jimmy Hall Jr. on the State Department's Digital Transformation

Jimmy Hall Jr., CIO & Director at the State Department, outlines the significant strides in cybersecurity and digital transformation under the bureau's 2025 strategic plan. He details the expansion of the TS/SCI network and the transition to cloud platforms, which bolster the department's intelligence dissemination. Hall stresses the importance of collaboration with industry, academia, and internal government partners to leverage emerging technologies and strengthen diplomacy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Strategic Cybersecurity and Cloud Expansion: Hall Jr. explains the State Department's efforts in enhancing cybersecurity measures and adopting cloud technologies to improve intelligence distribution.
  • Importance of Partnerships: Emphasizes the critical role of partnerships across government, industry, and academia in achieving the bureau's strategic goals and advancing diplomatic efforts.
  • Workforce Empowerment: The strategy includes workforce development, recognizing telework's viability, and the importance of continuous education and certification for employee retention and skill enhancement.

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