In what appears to be an attempt to make federal budgeting more accessible to the everyday baseball fan, the Obama administration is using themes from Michael Lewis’s Moneyball to explain its approach to cutting government waste.The memo, from the White House Office of Budget and Management, explains how the administration has taken a “Moneyball approach” to identify waste and cut spending at federal agencies.
“There may never be a movie about the management of the federal government, but the Administration has been taking its own Moneyball approach to management, driving performance and, ultimately, saving money.
Like [Oakland A’s general manager Billy] Beane, who understood that his goal was to win games – not hit the most home runs, government agencies must learn to be clear about what they want to accomplish and not get stuck in the rut of doing what they have always done. That means setting real, achievable goals that align with agency mission, and sticking to them.”
It goes on to outline how the President has emphasised preparedness — preventing unforeseen costs — over broader process goals. The administration is also requiring federal agencies to use more in-depth analytics to identify critical spending and possible cuts, shifting focus from overall performance reports to increased use of performance data.
Admittedly, Moneyball can be used as an analogy for basically any scenario in which money is spent inefficiently — preparation and analytics are not new ideas. But spicing up budget memos with a Brad Pitt reference seems like a good way to get federal agency directors to fired up.
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