Government Reorganization

Solutions to transform how government does business.

Compelled to act by a March executive order on agency reorganization, federal leaders have the opportunity to revamp how government does business.

The directive calls for agencies to embark on efforts that will lead to leaner, more accountable and more efficient government; a workforce more aligned to future needs; and elimination of barriers that hamper frontline employees from serving the public effectively.

Major change inevitably comes with bumps in the road. By seizing the current opening to identify problems and find tenable and long-lasting solutions, agencies can position themselves to be more effective and efficient over the long term.

Our Role and Guidance

The Partnership for Public Service maintains a strong focus on the federal workforce and our government’s management practices. To assist departments and agencies as they navigate through ongoing reorganization efforts, we will convene, prepare and support leaders from across organizations, and share the best approaches for creating a smart and strategic reform process.

Our many years of conducting research, holding forums and releasing reports on issues of importance to federal departments and agencies, will help us serve as a valuable resource and advisor to Office of Management and Budget staff and other administration members as they pursue management improvements. Relying on our access to a vast network of government management experts, we work to ensure administration officials have a greater understanding of how they can collaborate constructively with the career workforce for the best results.


Agencies turn to chief operating officers for guiding management reform

Chief operating officers—typically deputy secretaries, but sometimes other high-level executives at the largest federal departments and agencies—are in the best position to drive management changes in government. They must assist with reshaping the workforce, help their agencies work across government and build on the best efforts from previous administrations. And they need to be held accountable for results.

Read our latest report on chief operating officers

Budget cuts will compel federal leaders to make tough choices

Leaders will use numerous strategies in response to budget cuts, ranging from reducing or eliminating programs to lowering administrative costs to decreasing the number of agency employees. With in-depth planning, leaders can take on reorganization efforts with focused strategies for deciding what to change or cut to meet the goals of the executive order.

Shared Services has the potential to change how government does business

Federal agencies struggle to find the resources they need to pursue their missions. By sharing services across or within departments, agency leaders can find efficiencies, and devote more resources to their core operations.

Learn more about our shared services work

Agencies that provide a good customer experience can save money and improve compliance

Providing high-quality services is central to the missions of many agencies, and good customer service is linked to increased trust and confidence in government. Improving the customer experience also can help agencies save money, improve compliance and accomplish mission-critical goals more effectively.

See more of our customer experience research

Powering Government Innovation: Federal Leaders Driving What’s Next

Federal agencies are undergoing a transformation as they respond to the White House executive order on reorganizing the executive branch. These reorganization efforts present unique challenges and opportunities for government leaders. That’s why the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton are partnering on this initiative. Focus areas include driving innovation, transforming organizations, building a workforce of the future and improving acquisition.


Federal leaders are constantly rethinking and restructuring federal agencies to find efficiencies and increase effectiveness. President Trump’s executive order to reorganize the executive branch offers leaders the opportunity to make sweeping changes across the federal landscape.

Not all agency transformations will have the same goals. Some may involve changes in mission, service delivery, workforce optimization, technology or the use of analytics or automation. Yet in each situation, leaders must keep their eye on the larger objective of making their agencies more effective while navigating the complexities of finite resources and the interests of internal and external stakeholders.

The Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton tapped experts who have led agency transformations and uncovered seven key recommendations to assist senior executives as they drive strategic, organizational and operational changes at their agencies.


The first installment of our video series includes an interview with former IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti, who discusses lessons he learned while leading the agency's reorganization in the nineties and how today’s federal leaders can drive toward success.


In a Facebook Live, The Partnership’s Tina Sung and Booz Allen Hamilton’s Dee Dee Helfenstein discuss how federal leaders can create lasting change as they reimagine how their agencies operate.


In Government Executive, we examine how agency leaders can seize the opportunity to reorganize government.

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Seven Strategies for Effective Government Transformation


Agency reorganization efforts offer federal leaders the opportunity to drive change and reimagine how their organizations operate. To best serve the American people and accomplish ambitious new goals, it's crucial that agencies have the right talent in place. One former federal human capital leader said, "Without proper attention to our employees, we will be hard-pressed to weather the turbulence successfully."

Federal managers must develop innovative ways to fill workforce gaps and find mission-critical expertise by retraining federal workers with outdated skill sets, sharing existing expertise across agency silos, attracting entrepreneurial talent, and bringing diverse talent from across the country into federal service.

In our resource "Preparing for the Federal Workforce of the Future," we provide a snapshot of what the government looks like now and recommendations on how agencies can prepare for the future.


We also discuss how to build the workforce of the future in our video series. The latest installment features an interview with D.C. Director of Human Resources Ventris Gibson, who discusses lessons she learned as a federal human capital leader and how agencies can strategically use new recruiting tactics.


In a recent Facebook Live, we discuss how federal agencies can adapt to change and ensure they have mission-critical talent in place. This discussion features the Partnership's Tina Sung and Booz Allen Hamilton's Abby Cashman, with Booz Allen’s Ben Marglin moderating.


In Government Executive, we assert that agencies must change their recruiting strategies to succeed.

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Diversity decreases as GS level increases


The federal government’s reorganization and reform efforts offer leaders an opportunity to transform how agencies do business. Government spends $500 billion each year buying goods and services, including guided missiles, fuel, motor vehicles, office supplies, professional engineering assistance, and research and development. Despite the importance of acquisition, most federal leaders give their contracting offices less than glowing grades.

In our resource, "Transforming Federal Acquisition," we provide information to help government leaders improve collaboration, innovate and take risks, and build the right team for acquisition success.


In Government Executive, we discuss how agencies need to take more risks in acquisition.

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Improving Cross-Sector Collaboration


Thinking of ways to improve how government works might be easy for federal leaders, but taking steps to actually implement such changes may seem impossible. Yet federal employees across the government are successfully taking these impossible steps to design and implement creative solutions, and to help agencies better fulfill their missions.

In our resource, "How to Conquer Obstacles to Innovation and Drive Change," we hosted a roundtable discussion with federal executives and interviewed other government leaders to identify some of the challenges to innovation they faced and the solutions they employed to drive transformational change.


In a Facebook Live, The Partnership’s Meroe Park and Booz Allen’s Nyla Beth Gawel discuss how federal leaders can use innovation to drive change as they reimagine how their agencies operate, with Booz Allen’s Ben Marglin moderating.


In Government Executive, we look at how agencies are finding ways to overcome organizational silos and budgetary constraints to try new tactics.

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What does innovation mean to you?


Mission Possible: How Chief Operating Officers Can Make Government More Effective

This report by the Partnership and Booz Allen Hamilton is a blueprint for COOs as they work to make our government more responsive, effective and accountable to the American people.

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Bridging Mission and Management: A Survey of Government Chief Operating Officers

What role do chief operating officers play in agencies? What are their top priorities and challenges? The Partnership and Booz Allen Hamilton set out to understand these questions and more.

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Making Smart Cuts: Lessons from the 1990s Budget Front

The Partnership and Booz Allen Hamilton interviewed more than 30 current and former senior federal officials and government experts on how federal agencies responded to past budget cuts.

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A Call to Action on Shared Services

By moving to shared services, agencies could delegate nonmission-related tasks to specialty organizations.

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Helping Government Deliver

The Partnership and Deloitte identify four organizations who are developing transformative, enterprise-wide approaches to shared service delivery.

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Helping Government Deliver II

The Partnership and Deloitte interviewed agency leaders to understand the extent to which agencies are using or moving toward shared services and what key barriers exist.

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Serving Citizens: Strategies for Customer-Centered Government in the Digital Age

The Partnership for Public Service and Accenture highlight lessons learned from federal initiatives that have simplified the process of government interaction by implementing a customer-centered approach to digital services.

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Building a Shared Services Marketplace

Based on the Shared Services Roundtable’s recommendations, this report examines a vision for agencies to improve service delivery.

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Government for the People: The Road to Customer-Centered Services

The Partnership for Public Service, with support from Accenture Federal Services, identified the steps agencies can take to become more customer-centered, based on extensive interviews with agency leaders.

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Customer Decision-making Guide

One of the most challenging aspects of transitioning to shared services is deciding how to implement it successfully. Our guide will help agencies think through all of the key decisions throughout the process of adopting shared services, including which specific services are best positioned to be shared across the organization.

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Getting Ready Guide

To ensure shared services yields the greatest benefit, it’s important for agencies to be prepared to make informed decisions before they begin the transition and implementation process.

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Implementation Best Practices Guide

Shared services systems operate in a complex environment that requires leadership to support and promote an integrated, enterprise-wide governance framework among all actors, including central management agencies such as OMB, OPM and GSA; line-of-business managing partners; public and private providers; and customer agencies. Having a clear shared strategic vision and knowing who makes decisions, how they are made, and how performance is measured can build trust among all those involved and make shared services a success across government.

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Leadership Maturity Model

A successful shared services enterprise relies on the talented people who operate it. Providers run their organizations like a business and need to hire staff who are customer-oriented, entrepreneurial and innovative. The following are the critical skills, knowledge and experiences shared services organizations need to operate efficiently and effectively.

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