The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Circular A-11 for the fiscal year 2021 budget cycle, released June 28, includes new guidance on customer experience (CX), Technology Business Management (TBM), and OMB’s new shared services policy.

On customer experience, OMB added a new section to the document to highlight the importance of providing better service to citizens. Section 280 aims to “establish a more consistent, comprehensive, robust, and deliberate approach to CX across government,” the circular states. Agencies will need to complete a self-assessment based on the CX program maturity model, with CX measured by questions about the services, the process, and the interactions with people.

“In an effort to develop comparable, government-wide scores that will enable cross-agency benchmarking (when relevant) and a general indication of an agency’s overall customer satisfaction, all programs providing significant services directly to customers should measure their touchpoint/transactional performance in as a real-time manner as possible,” the guidance also notes.

To further that effort as well, agencies designated as high impact service providers will need to send quarterly data dashboards to OMB based on these measurements, to be released on

The A-11 Circular also adds some guidance on TBM and its full implementation. Citing the full IT Budget Capital Planning Guidance document, the A-11 Circular notes that major changes include the full implementation of TBM IT Cost Pools and IT Towers.

“Beginning with the FY 2021 submission cycle, the multi-year transition within Capital Planning Investment Control (CPIC) will be completed and all TBM-related reporting will become required. Agencies should plan to leverage progress made during the phased TBM implementation period to establish baselines and prepare to share their data publicly on the IT Dashboard,” the Capital Planning Guidance states.

In addition to TBM implementation, agencies will need to add Open Data Plans to Information Resources Management plans, as part of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act.

The new A-11 Circular also makes note of the role of the new Quality Service Management Offices (QSMOs), reinforcing the policy and offering further reasoning for the shift in approach.

“Legacy providers traditionally offered one solution with varied flexibilities to respond to agency needs for technology and/or services or both. In addition, legacy providers were sometimes housed in agencies whose mission was inconsistent with the services provided, limiting their capacity to scale, innovate or implement fair governance models,” the circular notes.

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MeriTalk Staff