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About VUE-IT

VUE-IT stands for Visualization to Understand Expenditures in Information Technology. VUE-IT is a tool to improve understanding of the annual Federal Government Information Technology investments made through the President's Budget. VUE-IT organizes IT investments by agency and bureau, as well as by the Federal Enterprise Architecture's (FEA) service groupings.


VUE-IT incorporates OMB's High Risk List (HRL) and Management Watch List (MWL), management tools used to monitor IT budget planning and project execution.


Through the integration of IT Investment, FEA, and IT management tools, VUE-IT provides greater transparency and enables increased understanding of the Federal IT portfolio.


So what can one accomplish by using VUE-IT?


The primary use of VUE-IT is to understand the Federal IT portfolio through the lens of the HRL and MWL. VUE-IT can also be used to identify opportunities to:

  • Improve mission performance through greater collaboration across investments with a shared mission nexus;
  • Realize cost savings or avoidance through harmonization of duplicative or overlapping investments;
  • Share solutions, services, and information; and
  • Leverage economies of scale and knowledge;

VUE-IT concepts and data


The tag line, transparency provided by the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA), refers to the use of FEA Business Reference Model (BRM) and Service Reference Model (SRM) service groupings in the agency's IT investment portfolio included in the President's Budget. The FEA is a tool used by agencies and OMB to plan and manage IT and IT-enabled investments. A key aspect of the FEA is grouping like with like across a range of dimensions to enable a cross-Government view of similar investments.


The BRM is a taxonomy (hierarchical classification scheme) that identifies the mission areas or Lines of Business (LoB) describing the functions of government that deliver services to citizens, support the delivery of services to citizens, or manage government resources. The SRM is a taxonomy that identifies the cross-cutting, organization unit independent, services that underlie the business functions.


Two key management tools used by OMB in the management of IT Investments and projects are the HRL and MWL. The HRL attempts to identify projects that are intrinsically risky for reasons such as being cross-Government in nature or politically sensitive. For example, all of the E-Gov initiatives are on the HRL by definition because they are cross-Government in scope. The criteria for inclusion on the HRL are published in Chapter 9 of the Analytical Perspectives Volume of the FY 2009 President's Budget.


The MWL identifies investments that have planning weaknesses. This assessment is made based on evaluation of agency submitted Exhibit 300s during OMB's budget review process, and through quarterly assessments of agency remediation activity. Criteria for assessing investment proposals are published in Chapter 9 of the Analytical Perspectives Volume of the FY 2009 President's Budget. Note major IT investments on the MWL for the entire fiscal year without remediation are automatically viewed as intrinsically risky and moved to the HRL.


The FEA mappings are primary mappings. While many investments have secondary mappings, for accessibility purposes we are limited to the primary mappings.


The investment details are based on agency reported information provided in their Exhibit 53s. The HRL inclusion criteria are based on agency reported information provided in each agency's quarterly high risk report to OMB. The MWL data comes from the OMB evaluations of the agency's supplied Exhibit 300s and any supporting information provided by the agency to remediate planning weaknesses. In some cases, agencies have been unable to report the precise linkage of projects on their HRL to the Exhibit 53 information. These are represented by OMB's column for "Unmapped HR" investments in the VUE-IT tool. OMB still provides the HRL details with exception to the IT spending amounts, as without a proper linkage OMB is unable to determine the estimated spending amounts associated with these projects.


Where is OMB going with VUE-IT?


That depends primarily on the feedback OMB gets from stakeholders, both internal and external to the Executive Branch. We are serious about making sure VUE-IT evolves based on stakeholder requirements.


Some ideas being developed in the FEA Labs include:

  • Cross-linking with agency program performance data;
  • Integrating more information on cross-Government (E-Gov) initiatives;
  • Linking to agency posted Information Resources Management (IRM) Strategic Plans, investment proposal details (Exhibit 300s), and Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs); and
  • Trending and benchmarking reports.

As OMB further develops the quality, timeliness, and validity of agency cost and schedule (earned value) reporting, we will look for opportunities to appropriately leverage that into future enhancements of VUE-IT. We are also exploring integration of FISMA-related information.


OMB is also exploring ways to increase transparency with the FEA:

  • Linking to agency posted Enterprise Transition Plans;
  • Overlaying agency-provided segment architecture data; and
  • Explicit identification of cross agency segment architecture collaboration.

VUE-IT Functionality by Release


As OMB receives questions, comments, or feedback from agencies or users, requirements will be identified and scheduled for future releases. Below is description of the functionality added to VUE-IT for each release.


VUE-IT 0.2 (beta)


Release Date: December 2008

Release Notes:
  • Includes the key elements of the High Risk List Principal Criteria - Are the following Principal Criteria not being met (agencies report this information to OMB on a quarterly basis as part of the regular High Risk List Reporting)?
    • Baseline with Clear Goals
    • Cost and Schedule Variance within 10%
  • Enable export of data in CSV files from the pages to better enable end user analysis

VUE-IT 0.1 (beta)


Release Date: October 2008


Organizes IT investments by the service groupings of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA), as well as by agency and bureau


Displays investment data for:

  • Development, Modernization, and Enhancement (DME) spending
  • Steady State costs
  • FY 2009 budget requests
  • Percentage contribution towards total investment outlays
  • Total aggregate investments
  • Unmapped investments (projects on the High Risk List that are not associated with a specific investment in the agency portfolio)

Provides a hierarchical, drill-down functionality for users to navigate between summarized data at the service group and agency level to more detailed investment data


Provides the capability to examine IT budget planning and project execution data through the lens of the Office of Management and Budget's High Risk List (HRL) and Management Watch List (MWL):

  • Users can apply data filters to reveal investment totals on the HRL and MWL
  • At the individual investment level, VUE-IT provides details on the rationale behind the inclusion of the investment on the HRL or MWL

Tables can be sorted interactively by users to display data in ascending or descending order for each data column.