California CIO Teri Takai Announces Program Management and Policy Offices

"The key to successfully implementing projects on time and within budget is strong management and oversight."

by / October 6, 2008

State Chief Information Officer Teri Takai last week announced the Program Management and Policy Offices within the Office of the State Chief Information Officer (OCIO). Consistent with SB 90, which created the OCIO as a cabinet agency this year, these units are part of Takai's effort to modernize IT governance in California to improve service delivery and program efficiency. Chief Deputy Director Adrian Farley leads both units.

"With the size and complexity of major information technology projects in California state government, the key to successfully implementing projects on time and within budget is strong management and oversight," said Teri Takai, CIO for the State of California. "These units will develop policies and standards for project development and management to be used throughout the state. We will also provide critically-needed training and orientation as state agencies work to overhaul California's technology infrastructure and improve government services for our constituents. The Program Management and Policy Offices are a major component of this agency as envisioned by Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature."

Deputy Directors Sandy Kazer and Russ Guarna lead the Program Management Office, which provides primary support for program and project planning, investment analysis and project management. The Office also provides the technical resources necessary to support enterprise (statewide) projects. It also ensures standardization in project management processes and project performance metrics to maximize the management of major projects and allow project performance to be assessed uniformly. The Office also coordinates the implementation of project remediation activities that may be directed by the CIO.

Assistant Chief Deputy Director Debbie Leibrock leads the Policy Office which is responsible for establishing statewide policies and standards for the use of information technology, streamlining and improving processes for technology review and approval processes, coordinating training and planning efforts. The Office published the policy and direction for developing the IT Capital Plan, which will represent the administration's five-year plan for strategic IT investments for the entire state.

In partnership with experienced project managers from other agencies, these offices are developing a new project management methodology and training and certification program for state project executives, project managers and project teams. The new Project Management policy and training will be announced later this fall.

In December 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Teri Takai as state CIO and a member of his cabinet. To more effectively oversee information technology in state government, the governor signed SB 90 to establish the Office of the State Chief Information Officer this year as a cabinet-level agency with statutory authority over information technology policy. The office establishes and enforces information technology strategic plans, policies, standards and enterprise architecture, as well as approves information technology projects for all state departments.