The Department of Defense (DoD) has plans to establish a user experience portfolio management office and hire a senior official to lead the office, a DoD spokesperson confirmed to MeriTalk.


The user experience portfolio management office will live under the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO).


The DoD CIO is working to establish the new office in support of the department’s objectives to provide a holistic approach to managing user experience as a portfolio that ensures a consistent and focused effort with result-driven measures and accountability.


Leslie Beavers, DoD’s principal deputy CIO, explained that the new office marks the department’s long-term approach to fixing the user experience of IT systems within the organization.


“[DoD] plans to really take a holistic approach to delivering world-class IT to our service members,” Beavers said during the DAFITC 2023 conference this week.


She added that the new office will be modeled after the DoD’s zero trust portfolio management office.


The DoD is establishing the new office partly as a response to a 2022 open letter that laid out issues DoD employees had with IT systems and demanded that DoD address them. The move to establish the new office is also in response to a February 2023 Defense Business Board study that found that 80 percent of respondents rated user experience as average or below average.


For Beavers, the goal is for IT systems to work seamlessly, “like when you go to your house, and you turn on the electricity or the water. It just works … That’s my ideal end state.”

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.