March 31, 2011

The IT Dashboard, one of better known websites supporting the President’s open government initiatives, is now Open Source! Read the online post by the Federal CIO and the article by Civic Commons or Tim O’Reilly’s blog post … its getting lots of attention!

The IT Dashboard is a portfolio management tool used by Federal CIOs to plan and manage IT investments.  During inception, the decision was made to open the tool to the public with an intention to promote accountability and transparency in the government. Since its launch, the IT Dashboard has helped Federal government identify and cancel more than 3 Billion Dollars in troubled IT projects.

OMB and GSA contracted REI to build this high profile tool.  REI delivered the tool within 6 weeks in June 2009.  Although the IT Dashboard went through many iterations, the most challenging assignment was to make IT Dashboard open source, a decision made by the Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra in September 2010. 

Open Sourcing a product was a new paradigm for REI. The assignment came with many challenges including:

  • Security to ensure that sensitive information  doesn’t get released into public code repository
  • Eliminating dependency on proprietary libraries
  •  Deciding on appropriate licensing
  • Cultivating open source culture and etiquettes

Above all, it was crucial to ensure that the code is well received and adopted by the community. To mitigate this concern, a case study was prepared and posted on Drupal.org. The case study has been very well received and has been promoted to the Drupal.org front page. For the last few months, the IT Dashboard team has worked very hard to ensure that this open source initiative is a success. 

Much appreciation and thanks to team members pictured below.

IT Dashboards Team