February 2, 2017
Partnership for Public Service
Last January, the Partnership for Public Service launched the Center for Presidential Transition to facilitate a smooth and safe transfer of power and knowledge from the Obama administration to the winner of the 2016 election. This effort resulted in comprehensive pre-election planning by Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns, and coordinated preparation by the Obama administration and federal agencies.
As the nation’s chief executive, President Trump is now responsible for managing the largest, most complex organization on the planet – the federal government, a four million-person civilian and military enterprise with annual spending of almost $4 trillion. That’s why it’s imperative for Trump and his administration to make government management – not just policy – a top priority during their first 100 days in office.
The Partnership recommends that Trump and his team prioritize the following three key activities:
Quickly appoint leadership teams:While President Trump has named more than 25 percent of his top 100 agency leaders, he needs to move quickly to create a diverse and qualified leadership team to support each of his Cabinet secretaries and help them manage the agencies. This means selecting, vetting and winning Senate confirmation for deputy secretaries and other senior leaders who will be critical to effectively deliver services to the American people.
Build a constructive relationship with the federal workforce:People are the most important ingredient for success in any organization. Trump should communicate his administration’s priorities to the federal workforce and let them know they are vital to his ability to govern. Joint teams of political appointees and senior career executives should be formed at the agencies and departments to drive the administration’s priorities and manage operations. The knowledge held by career leaders could be helpful to understand the complexity of the issues, avoid pitfalls and lead to smoother implementation of the administration’s programs and policies.
Implement a comprehensive management agenda:Government is big, complex and fragmented, and navigating this enterprise requires a management roadmap that can turn the president’s agenda into accomplishment. Creating a management agenda and making it a priority will be critical to the success of the Trump administration.
The transition was about the Trump team getting ready to govern, but the real test of governing is now underway. On our platform, we will continue to share resources to help the new administration effectively lead, including a Cabinet secretary checklist and agency snapshots that provide critical information on the health of the federal workforce, technology issues and more.