Understanding FITARA

Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) builds upon the government’s departmental CIOs’ responsibilities outlined in the Clinger-Cohen Act. FITARA’s objective is to improve agency IT management, thus, improving mission delivery.

FITARA Framework

FITARA began as a draft bill that would have made changes and reforms to the current IT spend framework that manages how the federal government buys new technology; but it did not passed. However, many parts of it became law as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015.

In line with this, OMB has developed a “Common Baseline” framework that identifies IT management capabilities, roles, and responsibilities for agencies to implement. OMB provided guidance for FITARA implementation including requiring agencies to deliver a Common Baseline self-assessment that identifies a plan to develop an IT management maturity roadmap.
As a member of the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC), Edwards contributed to the Council’s FITARA IT Maturity Model by addressing the model’s Program Management section. We worked with Agency CIOs on the committee to address specific elements of the FITARA Implementation Scorecard including the requirements for “IT portfolio Review” and “Incremental.”

ECHO Secure-Repeatable-Agile

Edwards perfected ECHO to provide a portfolio view across all types of projects. ECHO addresses agile (incremental development) at the portfolio, program, and project levels and provides a consistent planning, and reporting management approach for all projects.

ECHO provides Federal agencies with the methodology, training, and tools to address FITARA requirements at the portfolio, program, and project levels. It addresses PortfolioStat requirements by providing views into projects that may be redundant investments. It supports TechStat by identifying at risk projects by capturing and reporting performance variance. ECHO provides an enterprise agile approach tying software development projects to organizational goals and objectives – addressing the FITARA requirement for aligning IT investments with agency mission, strategy, and objectives.

Edwards based ECHO on principles presented in the COBIT, PMI’s PMBOK, and ITIL. Edwards also designed ECHO to be compliant with proven quality methods and standards by incorporating critical elements from the CMMI, ISO, and Six Sigma. Each of these disciplines validates the ECHO framework.

Edwards’ Technical Services

Edwards provides practitioners who understand the FITARA IT Maturity Model, Implementation Scorecard, and Common Baseline. Our consultants can configure your project management system and standard operating procedures to address Agile “Incremental Development” requirements of FITARA at an enterprise scale. Edwards has a training division that will configure our standard courses or develop custom courses to address your specific needs for institutionalizing FITARA practices (PortfolioStat/TechStat) within your organization. Our senior consultants can address FITARA implementation and reporting initiatives in your organization.

Though there are 250+ CIOs in the Federal government, none have the authority to effectively manage IT investments; resulting in duplicative and wasteful IT spending. FITARA answers this issue as it empowers CIOs with authority to manage IT spending based on the federal IT plan. Our consultants can address FITARA implementation and reporting initiatives in your organization.

FITARA promotes transition to cloud computing for significant benefits for the implementation of federal IT projects. It would also permit CIOs to establish cloud service working capital funds. Visibility across entire IT portfolio is required to support FITARA Common Baseline and Implementation Scorecard




Edward (Ned) Merrill joined Edwards in 2014 as Vice President of Solutions and Director of Proposals. In this position, Ned is directly responsible for solutioning across the Edwards’ four Strategic Business Units and proposal activities. He is accountable for Lean/Agile management, as well as the development and implementation of the Edwards’ Agile Portfolio Methodology.