December 18, 2015

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Network Vision Initiative

The Office of Management and Budget’s 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management issued in December 2010 directed that agencies should effectively manage large-scale information technology (IT) programs.  To meet this goal and support its various missions, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) began implementation of a major infrastructure modernization initiative designed to enable implementation of a virtual workforce.  The NNSA Network Vision (2NV) initiative consists of four major IT projects intended to provide enhanced capabilities such as networking, identity management services, cloud-based computing technologies, and collaboration and social networking services across NNSA Headquarters and field locations.  When initiating the project, NNSA estimated that implementation of 2NV would result in annual savings of more than $73 million.

A prior Office of Inspector General report on The Management of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Classified Enterprise Secure Network Project (DOE/IG-0823, September 2009) found that planning and execution of that project was not effective and resulted in a system that did not meet pre-established goals and objectives.  In addition, a prior Government Accountability Office report identified NNSA project management as an area of high risk for fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement.

We found that implementation of various components of the 2NV initiative were significantly behind schedule and over budget.  In addition, 2NV may not meet its primary objectives of enhancing collaboration among employees and implementing a fully operational cloud-based computing solution.  These issues were attributable, in part, to ineffective project planning practices related to the development and implementation of the 2NV initiative.  For instance, essential components of a well-developed project management approach, such as charters, business cases, alternatives analyses, and implementation schedules, were often inadequate, outdated, or had not been developed in a timely manner.  In addition, monitoring and oversight activities were not always sufficient to ensure success and hold project managers accountable for delivering the project within cost, scope, and schedule.

Topic: Management & Administration