Helping Government Agencies Improve Their Business OperationsMay 2014
Matt Friedman, a systems engineer with MITRE's Center for Enterprise Modernization (CEM), specializes in helping organizations respond to changing strategies, legislation and performance expectations, by developing strategies for transforming their operations and enterprise. "My specific skill set—what I like to focus on—is helping government agencies design their future business operations with an emphasis on the 'how,' the processes and capabilities they need to fulfill their mission."
Friedman's role reflects our commitment to being a long-term strategic partner to our government sponsors and providing objective guidance in an environment free of conflicts of interest.
Presidential Initiative to Improve Engagement with the Business Community
In one of his recent projects, Friedman led the development of the business architecture for the BusinessUSA program. This program—a joint initiative between the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration—includes 24 partner agencies. His task was to create a blueprint for the program that focused on creating a single gateway for businesses to engage and consume government services.
"My team created the business architecture and concept of operations [CONOPS] that outlined how this new organization would operate. We specified what services they would provide and how they would collaborate with partner agencies. We looked at how they would manage information from customers and provide services to them. We explored how we could use new technologies in this architecture. We focused on designing a CONOPS for this new program that would help small businesses navigate and work with multiple government agencies."
Census Data Dissemination
Another one of Friedman's recent projects supported an initiative for the Director of the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau's mission consists of three tasks: collecting data, analyzing data, and publishing data. The third element—publishing data—involves hundreds of millions of dollars of work and underpins most of the reports, analyses, and indicators used to describe the demographic and economic nature of our country. This information informs decision from individual to business to government programs and legislation. Friedman was part of a joint MITRE and high-level government team tasked with defining the vision for improving the Census Bureau's data dissemination capability.
Here Friedman collaborated closely with a Census team focused on developing a framework for how the Census Bureau would publish data in the future. "We first analyzed all the Census information dissemination operations. We then outlined the major areas for transformation, and what services and capabilities they needed to disseminate this data. This information was organized into a roadmap to illustrate the transformation path and sequence. The joint MITRE and Census findings were presented to the Census Bureau leadership, and were very well received. They accepted the vision and are now working to implement it."
Modernizing Systems at the VA
Friedman has also supported numerous projects for the Department of Veterans Affairs, including; Designing future solutions for addressing the backlog in Veteran Claims Processing, strategies for addressing the digitization of billions of pages of veteran records, designing a future digital environment that allows the DoD, VA, and NARA to operates as a single virtual entity when it comes to veteran information.
He's currently helping the National Cemeteries Administration modernize its operations and systems for providing burial benefits to our nation's veterans and managing our national cemeteries.
"My work comes before the development of new IT systems," he explains. "Our goal is to design new operational processes that will save money, improve the efficiency of their procedures, and solve some of the business operational problems the agency currently struggles with.
"For example, one of the dimensions we're working on is reducing the number of paper transactions and automating many of their processes. We're also exploring using technologies such as a GPS-like capability to help visitors quickly and accurately locate gravesites."
These processes will result in significant cost savings, greater customer satisfaction, and improved responsiveness to the needs of the veterans and their families.
Charting Your Own Course
Friedman clearly enjoys his work and appreciates the level of innovation and diversity of thought at MITRE. "I've always felt that MITRE offers you a tremendous amount of freedom to be innovative and explore new ideas—much more so than my experience in the for-profit world."
He adds, "I think another benefit is the ability to chart your own career path. If you want to learn how the FAA uses satellite technology to route airplanes or delve into healthcare IT, you can do that. If you want to become an absolute expert on enterprise architecture or requirements management, you can go into one of 'those practice areas. The opportunities here are endless."
—by Kay M. Upham