Mission Possible: How Chief Operating Officers Can Make Government More Effective

March 28, 2019

The Trump administration laid out a management framework in its first 100 days that addresses longstanding problems with government accountability, talent and effectiveness. The president has placed this emphasis on management earlier than his predecessors, indicating the effective operation of government is a top priority. He created the White House Office of American Innovation to bring in new ideas from the private sector, and issued an executive order to identify ways to reorganize the government and make employees more productive.

How this management framework will be implemented is an open question. It is the more than two dozen presidentially appointed chief operating officers who will have much of the responsibility for guiding management changes. However, the nomination process for COOs and other political appointees has been slow, so many of the leaders who are expected to manage the directives in the president’s executive orders are not in place.

If COOs are going to reorganize government, they will need to work together using their collective resources, experiences, insights and abilities. The goal is a government that is more responsive, effective and accountable to the American people. It is important that COOs build on our government’s successes, and grow and extend them throughout the agencies and departments.

The Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton just released “Mission possible: How chief operating officers can make government more effective,” the second in a series on the state of federal management from the perspective of the senior officials most accountable for results: the government’s chief operating officers and other equivalent top management officials. For more information about these critical positions, download the full report here or watch the release panel here.