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Friday, December 9, 2016

State of the Union Epiphany

I had an epiphany after having written the first draft of a new book. It goes back to a book that I published in 2010, Smart Data, Enterprise Performance Optimization Strategy, (c) Wiley Publishing. In that work, Dr. Rodger and I advocated the creation of a U.S. President's Performance Management Dashboard. The dashboard would provide performance metrics, aggregated from all of the programs and service initiatives under the Departments and Agencies of government such that the President and Congress can see metrics at any level that they desire. It is absurd that the federal government doesn't have such a thing already, but it doesn't.

If it did, then the State of the Union would be readily available for all to see at any point in time. The epiphany part is that the State of the Union report from Presidents is probably not delivered always at the right time.

The U.S. Constitution is rather casual about it.

"The formal basis for the State of the Union Address is from the U.S. Constitution: The President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Article II, Section 3, Clause 1."

Historically, it has been an annual message, of a sort.

Think about it. A new President arrives in January. Would it not have been useful to have a State of the Union report from a credible system having been delivered, say in October, before the national election? That way voters can evaluate the past performance and understand the stepping stone to the next administration.

The next government could be a continued incumbency for a second term. Or, it could be a new presidency.

The dashboard and its metrics would be inherited for the next incumbent to assume control to produce new metrics.

Having a standard system and approach would ensure continuity in accountability. Now, that does not mean that the dashboard would not change. In fact, the contents would reflect the actions of the Executive and Congress at changing and amending legislation, funding, and schedules. Otherwise, it must be dynamic and accountable for real-time results.

A Presidential Dashboard is a management tool for which the results are the U.S. Government Performance Dashboard that should be available and accessible by Congress and the citizens with some caveats particular to national security.


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