It is easy to be cynical about government. Although we've learned lately that those who are most cynical are usually selling something.
Still, when government does something right, they should be given their props.
The dashboard gives an IT organization a visual view of all its projects, so decision makers can dig down into which are working and which aren't. TechStat is a model that can kill, and justify the killing, of important IT projects
CIO Vivek Kundra wants to use these tools in order to kill one-third of underperforming projects within the next 18 months. Anyone who has tried to kill any government project with bureaucratic momentum will know how difficult that is to do. These are cruise missiles for the bureaucratic wars.
Both state governments and a number of federal agencies have expressed interest in the tools, Kundra said. Many large private enterprises should also be interested.
This is not just a code dump, in other words. It's a properly done product release. Agencies don't have to procure this code – they can just grab it and start working with it. The potential savings in the public sector are immense.
But the potential of this in the private sector should not be underestimated. Big corporations that don't make software their business have huge repositories of good code that have yet to be unlocked. Unlocking this code was one of the main goals of Codeplex when Microsoft spun it out, and it's now a big goal of the group's successor, the OuterCurve Foundation .
Those private efforts now have a model for code delivery and a result they can use in evaluating their own efforts. The potential impact of this should not be under-estimated. It may be the most important open source news of the year, but because it's such unabashedly good news, and from a government bureaucrat to boot, you may not hear about it except from blogs like this.