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TTS Technology Portfolio

Mission: We exist to make TTS more productive and secure, empowering our staff and programs to better deliver on their missions.

Vision: We strive to make TTS the model for how to do IT in government: human-centered, transparent, and as a force-multiplier for the organization(s) we serve.

Background

The Tech Portfolio was formed in July 2019 as the reincarnation of the 18F/TTS Infrastructure team. It can be thought of as a mini (mini) version of GSA IT that serves TTS exclusively. We are technically under the Acquisition Services Fund (ASF), though our funding comes through overhead charged to TTS programs.

Responsibilities

We oversee/manage/coordinate everything technology-related that cuts across TTS, and anything technology-related that will affect TTS from the outside, particularly security, compliance, infrastructure, and policy. We provide all the things that allow TTS staff to get their jobs done at the highest quality level.

Rather than try to exert control over everything technology at TTS, we focus instead on protecting, streamlining, and enabling our staff and systems, and doing so in an empathetic, transparent way. The Tech Portfolio’s work applies to much more than technology; it applies to our entire operation, including how TTS works inside the law, secures our systems, and spends money. We also:

  • Find where we may be duplicating effort or have gaps around technology, and if those are opportunities for TTS/GSA/government-wide shared services
  • Serve as the primary liaison between GSA IT and TTS, ensuring high levels of service, finding compromise, and generally keeping a good relationship between the teams

Take a look at the following for more specifics:

FSGC

TTS sits within the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), and the Tech Portfolio Director represents TTS as the voting member on the FAS Systems Governance Committee (FSGC). This body decides on what groups in FAS get funding from the Acquisition Services Fund (ASF) for new/expanded technology initiatives.

Voting considerations

TTS’ votes mainly focus on technology/product aspects, following the 18F De-Risking Guide. We will generally defer to other voting members on alignment with other initiatives, etc.

  • If this is a New Investment:
    • Cost should be under $10M, ideally under $5M
      • Based on Standish Group report that only 6.4% of federal IT projects with labor costs > $10 million were “successful” (on time, in budget, satisfactory, and ultimately used)
  • If this is an Amendment, looking for:
    • Evidence that users (outside the team) have deemed the previous phase(s) a success
      • E.g. quotes from usability research participants
    • A demo
  • Should plan for and then show live, usable deliverables every six months (incremental delivery)
  • Showing reasonable options for what could be done for lower cost
  • The Integrator Fees/Allocation should only include offices that the initiative is applicable to
    • Per the FAS Budget Guidance, “Integrator spending is supported by the revenue generated by the business lines, and therefore should be of benefit to those business lines.”

Out of scope

The following are example tasks that the Tech Portfolio isn’t responsible for in its current state:

  • Purchasing office equipment for individuals (rather than the project the individual supports)
  • Picking up software development tasks for TTS programs
  • Being the owners/stewards/pushers of data/metrics for TTS, beyond what applies to responsibilities listed above

Partners

These are the groups we interact with heavily:

Feedback?

We’re open and excited to hear (anonymous) feedback to hear how we’re doing!

Questions?