Unraveling Bureaucracy At The VA, One IT Project At A Time

Tracy Mayor | CIO | June 3, 2013

How a small, fast SWAT team is improving performance at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Computerworld — In person, it's hard to think of David Paschane as small -- he's 6 feet 5 inches tall. But when you consider his position within the vast U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), it's clear he's playing the role of a little guy tackling a big, big bureaucracy.

Paschane, 44, is director of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a small, SWAT-like team within the VA's Office of Information & Technology (OI&T). The group consists of Paschane, two junior staffers and two contractors.

A performance engineer by training, Paschane's motivating vision is to transform heavy bureaucracies -- where organizational structure controls the people -- into what he calls "light enterprises," where structure is there to serve the people.