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Federal News Network: New course would teach feds to manage latest IT

Management of new information technology: It’s always been a challenge in the federal government. Now a new course at the University of Maryland’s business school aims to fix that. Many federal career mangers have voiced a need for such a course. Professor and Assistant Dean Joe Bailey joins the Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more…

Tom Temin: And what sorts of people are enrolling? CIO-channel type of people, or maybe some others?

Joe Bailey: It’s a great question, because we’ve actually found a lot of residents, I would say, with chief innovation officers, as opposed to Chief Information Officers. We find that innovation is one of those things that the federal government really wants to go ahead and get a handle on. And they’re looking to places like Silicon Valley and trying to learn from what they’re doing. But what Silicon Valley does so well, with design thinking and trying to focus on the customer, isn’t always immediately adaptable to the federal space. There’s so much that needs to be done to think about de-risking and investing in research and development. So for example, Tom, I’m teaching the first class right now in research and development. We’ve got 32 amazing students, and every one of them is coming with their own background and expertise from companies like Cisco and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and looking at Red Hat as well as people who are active military — we’ve got people working for the Navy and the Space Force — and people who are working in government positions. So we have a student, Kayla, who works for [the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority], and we were talking about SPACs, these special purpose acquisition companies, and her job is to actually examine some of the applications that come in for SPACs. And you know, I’d asked her, ‘Kayla, tell me how many of these are technology companies?’ She goes, ‘so many of them.’ So she’s exactly the kind of person who can not only join our cohort and learn a lot about the other parts of technology management, but she is actually adding value to the courses… Read the full interview here.

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