Introducing the General Services Administration’s Silent Hero: Vanessa Ros

Originally posted on GovLoop by Pat Fiorenza.

Young Government Leaders (YGL) and GovLoop present the NextGen Public Service Awards for superior public service and achievement. The 4th Annual NextGen Public Service Awards will be given at the 2014 NextGen Award’s Ceremony, which will kick off the NextGen Training Summit on July 23rd in Washington, DC. We have 18 finalists in six different categories. All month long we will be introducing you to the finalists.

Meet the Finalist:

Who: Vanessa Ros, Enterprise Architect, General Services Administration

Achievement: Finalist for the NextGen Silent Hero Award

 “Vanessa Ros is a consistent and reliable resource, who silently does such a good job, that her management team has to provide very little oversight as she leads high priority tasks to closure and a successful outcome.  Over the course of the last year, Vanessa has played a critical role in the Office of the DCIO/CTO as we have embarked on a consolidation project. Specifically, she has developed the CONOPs for Office of Chief Technology Officer to define roles and responsibilities, resources, goals, functions and processes.” — Brendan Longcore, Director, Office of Training and Usability, United States General Services Administration, CIO.

There’s been plenty of research on the quiet power of introverts. They are often the ones working hard to get projects done, not seeking the limelight, and putting their organization first. Vanessa Ros is one those people. Working as Enterprise Architect at the General Services Administrations, she has been an integral part of programs that are designed to reduce costs and make government more efficient.

“I am very honored [by the nomination]. It’s good to know that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, especially when I tend to be quiet at times,” said Ros during an interview with GovLoop. “I am a public servant because I feel it is very rewarding to be able to do something that helps our federal government and nation better. It’s really a way for me to give back to the community and drive change for the better.”

Ros’s hard work at GSA was brought to our attention by Brendan Longcore, Director, Office of Training and Usability, United States General Services Administration, CIO, through our NextGen Public Service Awards.

Longcore identified six projects that Ros has led, all of which are helping government reduce fraud, waste and abuse.

Digital Signature Project

Serving as the project lead for the first phase of the Digital Signature Project, Ros played an imperative role as she conducted background research to help GSA launch the program. “Vanessa developed an enterprise wide survey to assess the quality and value of enterprise architecture products and services on IT investments, business operations, and stakeholder satisfaction,” said Longcore. “This has laid the foundation for implementation plans for Digital Signature work at GSA.”

Sales Force Service Catalog

Ros has also completed an architecture analysis on Salesforce that lead to the development of the Salesforce Service Catalog, which streamlines service requests for applications.

“As part of her work on the EA team, she provided policy development and program oversight support on Federal-wide E-Government initiatives, including the development of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) version 2 updates, and the development of the Common Approach to Federal Enterprise Architecture document, which provides guidance for practice of Enterprise Architecture (EA) throughout the Executive Branch of the U.S. Federal Government,” said Longcore.

Federal Shared Services Strategy

Ros also assisted with the development of the Federal Shared Services Strategy, which provides guidance to Federal Agency Chief Information Officers and key stakeholders on the implementation of shared IT services. Shared IT services has become an important tool for agencies to explore, as it can lead to efforts to eliminate waste and duplication – while also letting organizations reinvest existing investments back into mission projects.

“The strategy seeks to improve the return on investment for IT spending, close productivity gaps, increase communications with the managing partners and customers of shared services, and support agencies in implementing the PortfolioStat process,” said Longcore.

Enterprise Architecture Representative

At GSA, Longcore explained that Ros serves as the Enterprise architecture representative in the Enterprise IT Governance Board. The board seeks to identify, prioritize, establish and integrate business goals and activities into GSA’s strategy and architecture, while ensuring alignment with GSA’s mission and vision.

Records Management Lead

Vanessa is also the project lead for GSA’s Records Management initiative. “As part of this work, she has developed GSA’s Records Management Strategy to inventory and identify records in GSA’s systems, and analyze GSA’s system for records compliance to improve records management according to NARA policy and to meet OMB M-12-18 policy. This is a high priority initiative that involves working with a varied group of stakeholders across GSA,” said Longcore.

Enterprise Document Management Lead

Vanessa is also the project lead for Enterprise Document Management. “This is an effort to identify standards, consolidate systems and achieve cost savings and efficiencies by defining the technical and business requirements of solutions and aligning it to the business capabilities and needs,” said Longcore. Due to Ros’s efforts, this program led to a cost savings and avoidances of over $400,000 to date.

“In parallel to these efforts, Vanessa has also served as the project lead for GSA’s external websites consolidation effort to streamline communication and identify areas of cost savings to leverage.  This created the first comprehensive inventory of GSA’s external websites that was leveraged during the government furlough to help communication,” said Longcore.

This role has given Ros a unique perspective on government and helped her to gain a deep understanding of the challenges the public sector faces. “One of the biggest misconceptions about government is that change will occur instantly,” Ros explained. “When the government is asked to reduce costs we simply can’t cut our project or critical program without planning. You really need to consider the consequences and planning for resources, personnel, and also to ensure that we have a strategy in place to serve as a seamless transition as much as possible.”

Ros’s work is making a difference in government’s quest to reduce spending and become more efficient. Government employees everywhere can learn from Ros’s hard work and ability to take calculated risks to drive innovation.

“If there was less resistance to change in government, we’d be able to achieve the desired results much faster and more efficiently,” said Ros. And with people like Vanessa Ros, the government is well suited to modernize and change the way that it delivers services.

We will be talking to all the NextGen Public Service Award finalists in the upcoming weeks. See the full list hereand register for NextGen!