NewsBrief February 11, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: February 11, 2022

OPM needs more reliable telework data, watchdog says

(FCW) The Office of Personnel Management has work left to do to improve the accuracy of data on federal teleworking, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. OPM asks agencies for data on telework levels annually, which it reports to Congress. But long standing data issues are still potentially impacting the reliability of the data OPM produces on telework, GAO says, and OPM hasn’t implemented most of the relevant recommendations from GAO first put forth in 2016. Read More

DOD publishes new software modernization strategy, memos on code

(fedscoop) The Department of Defense issued a rash of new software policy documents in recent days, including a new Software Modernization Strategy, aimed at speeding up the way the military codes. The strategy, published Wednesday, was accompanied by recent memos on strengthening cybersecurity with a “continuous Authority to Operate” and another on the importance of open-source software. Together, the documents aim to push software closer to the center of how DOD does business and wages war with a more collaborative approach to coding across software factories and services. Read More

DOD wants more software factories

(FCW) The Defense Department wants to make software factories a common presence across the department, according to a new strategy. To help do that, DOD is betting on expansion of special pathways designed for buying software. “Transforming software delivery times from years to minutes will require significant change to our processes, policies, workforce, and technology,” Hicks wrote.”The DOD Software Modernization Strategy provides the approach for achieving faster delivery of software capabilities in support of Department priorities such as Joint All Domain Command and Control and artificial intelligence. Read More

MITRE: White House biometrics definition requires rethink

(fedscoop) MITRE’s Center for Data-Driven Policy recommended the White House redefine biometrics as it develops an Artificial Intelligence Bill of Rights, in a request for information response submitted last month. Within its RFI, the Office of Science and Technology Policy married biometrics for identification with technology for inferring emotion or intent and medicine’s understanding of the term as any biological-based data. MITRE would rather OSTP use the National Science and Technology Council‘s internationally accepted definition of biometrics limiting them to identity matters. Read More

Agility at the Point of Execution

(MITSloan) What does it take to lead agile, high-functioning teams that collaborate effectively? That’s the question Rob Cross has been exploring with his research group. Cross, a professor at Babson College, explained how to identify collaborative dysfunction — and then improve it — as a guest at MIT Sloan Management Review’s recent Work/22 virtual symposium on the challenges leaders can expect to face in the year ahead. Collaboration increasingly happens through networks, and these networks have startling characteristics when you look at them closely. Hierarchies have collapsed thanks to employees’ instantaneous access to one another. Read More

The Data Boom Is Here — It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed

(MITSloan) Joseph Schumpeter was deeply worried about innovation. The renowned economist, who coined the term creative destruction, championed entrepreneurship as the engine of economic growth but feared that small players lacked the key resource needed to implement their pathbreaking ideas: capital. Fortunately, he turned out to be wrong. Since the 1950s, a thriving ecosystem of angel investors and venture capitalists has supplied enough money to startups for their ideas to change the world. But the data age has revived Schumpeter’s concern that innovators could be blocked from accessing the resources they need. Read More

Why Outside Perspectives Are Critical for Innovation Breakthroughs

(MITSloan) WASHINGTON — If a war against a major adversary breaks out, it’s going to require the military to resupply troops at a pace it hasn’t seen in a long time, Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, head of U.S. Transportation Command, said on Wednesday. And to keep up with that frenetic tempo, TRANSCOM is going to have to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to streamline its logistics operations, Van Ovost said in an online conversation hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Read More

NASA: Lessons from Ongoing Major Projects Could Improve Future Outcomes

(GAO) The complexity of NASA’s major projects means they will always carry inherent risk—but prior GAO work found that management and oversight problems contribute to cost and schedule growth. As NASA works to execute new missions, including those that rely on commercial partners, GAO’s past work provides lessons that, if applied, could strengthen NASA’s management and improve outcomes of its major projects. Read More

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is cooling down for its next trick: Observing the universe

( It’s been a whirlwind 38 days in space for the James Webb Space Telescope, but its chief scientist says the mission is well on track to uncover the universe soon. “The telescope is cold … the instruments are cooling,” John Mather, a Nobel laureate and astrophysicist who also works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said during a livestreamed Explore Mars event Thursday (Feb. 3). Read More

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has captured the first visible-light images of Venus

( In between its main mission, the Parker Solar Probe just made a novel contribution to Venusian science. New images from the sun-focused mission, captured during a close flyby of Venus, show the planet in visible light for the first time. With time and analysis, the new images will provide valuable information about the planet’s geology and minerals, NASA said. Read More