Amidst whatever the current political climate might have been, for the last half dozen administrations, the president’s management agenda (PMA) has consistently set forth a vision for government that not only serves as an important foundation for agency operations and priorities, but has consistently also built on the work of previous administrations.
Indeed, while every PMA has reflected some of the priorities of the relevant administration, for the most part the agendas have been apolitical and reflected a logical, if slow, progression in the modernization of government.
The Trump administration’s PMA is no different. To the administration’s credit, it avoided a “not invented here” mindset and grounded its plan in rationale, goals, themes, and, in some areas, specific priorities that reflect challenges and problems similar in nature to those identified for many years by previous administrations. Striving for better mission outcomes? Check. Improving customer service? Check. Improving fiscal stewardship? Check.
Similarly, the PMA’s “root cause” analysis also strikes some very familiar chords: regulatory burdens, siloed governance and management, sometimes torturous decision-making processes, concerns about workforce capabilities and competencies, leadership and culture. Further, the core management initiatives are, in the main, consistent and logical, as are the cross-agency priorities. Their implementation is now underway.