Federal agencies continue to prioritize modernization initiatives to improve operational efficiency, adaptability, and effectiveness. However, in my career supporting the diverse technology needs of federal financial agencies for more than 20 years, I have witnessed the significant risks and challenges that large‑scale technology modernization efforts inherently pose to the overall organization. Complex systems of people, processes and advanced technology, coupled with limited in-house expertise and budget constraints, leave many federal IT leaders challenged when balancing innovation with compliance.
I recently sat down with Maximus’s Rob Ragano, Federal Financial Advisory Council Lead, and Mona Henby, Federal Financial Technology Council Lead, to discuss how these councils can serve as invaluable resources during complex modernization initiatives, as well as understand how they are guiding federal financial services agencies, like the IRS, toward successful enterprise transformation.
Darryl: Rob, can you explain what Maximus’s Federal Financial Advisory and Technology Councils are and describe why they are essential for advancing federal modernization efforts?
Rob: First and foremost, our councils are comprised of seasoned business and technology professionals attuned to the pulse of our customers’ operations. We leverage this knowledge to help our customers navigate the complexities and opportunities of modernization efforts, providing them unbiased and objective guidance at every step of the transformation journey. As trusted partners to our customers, our councils find new and innovative ways of approaching other business and technology challenges to ensure the continuous improvement of operations, driving greater impact for the mission and citizens.
Darryl: With the rapid evolution of technology, many federal agencies understand that modernization is not an end-state, rather, it’s a continuous journey. Mona, can you discuss how Maximus’s Advisory and Technology Councils help solve immediate customer challenges while aligning with their long-term goals?
Mona: We are always considering the ‘art of the possible’ to address agency needs which not only helps us to solve our customers’ current challenges, but also identify new areas of improvement. Frequently, addressing a single problem in one part of the business can often lead to solutions for various other business units. By viewing the enterprise holistically, we can propose solutions that can be implemented in an incremental fashion, allowing our customers to strategically move toward their future vision. This not only aids the customer in optimizing resources, time, and expenses, it also guarantees uniformity and standardization across different programs. We believe this strategic approach provides real-time benefits that ensures the most feasible technology solutions address agency challenges and opportunities.
Darryl: How do Maximus’s councils ensure agency customers can fully benefit from their expertise in technology and business operations, especially as the modernization journey evolves?
Rob: We continue to share the existence of the councils with our program customers, offering our services to analyze, assess and make recommendations on relevant technology and business operations issues. Where there is potential value, we can continue to leverage the Advisory and Technology Councils to ensure consistent and proven modernization approaches are implemented. Thus, the on-going participation, expertise, and regular engagement with our councils ensures our customers can address challenges and identify potential issues in a proactive manner.
Darryl: Mona, can you explain the ultimate mission outcomes achieved by partnering with the Advisory and Technology Councils?
Mona: It’s important to note that our councils take a strategic view of agency objectives, challenges, and desired impact on its mission, which ultimately helps build credibility and trust with our customers. Members of both the Advisory and Technology Councils bring broad expertise from across industry and government. Through close coordination and collaboration across our teams, we can explore tactical solutions and make recommendations to agency leadership, delivering continuous value to users and stakeholders. With the establishment of these councils, it is our objective to improve coordination among the vendor ecosystem that supports the agency. Overall, the focus is on delivering the priorities of the customer support organization. We take a holistic view of experiences, leveraging data and human-centered design to understand taxpayers’ needs while providing secure solutions that empower a better employee experience to create seamless and secure government and citizen interactions.
Learn more about how our approach to IT modernization, Agile methodologies, and robust technology capabilities help federal financial agencies, like the IRS, deliver on its mission: maximus.com/IRS.
About Rob Ragano, Advisory Council Lead, Maximus
Rob Ragano spent nearly 30 years serving in key IT leadership roles within the IRS, including Associate CIO of Applications Development where he led over 2,000 software professionals and routinely engaged with Business Operating Division leadership, which afforded him a thorough understanding of enterprise programs, objectives, and opportunities. Upon retirement from the IRS, Rob has served as an executive consultant helping organizations, including the IRS, with their IT transformation efforts.
About Mona Henby, Technology Council Lead, Maximus
Ramona Henby supported the IRS for over 30 years delivering large-scale modernization programs. During her tenure with IRS, Ramona led the implementation of the first IRS Digitalization, SCRIPS, that used image character recognition software and hardware. In addition, she established the Web Apps PMO and Agile Delivery Model for IRS’s Individual Online Account service, as well as the first Individual Returns on Modernized eFile.