Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.28, No.2, 2012. pp. 199220

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Management Challenges of the 2010 U.S. Census

This article gives an insider’s perspective on the approaches used to manage the 2010 United States Census of Population and Housing during its operational phase and meet the challenges faced (in particular, difficulties faced in automating data collection). Six management lessons learned are presented: (1) the exchange and integration of information is key; (2) decision makers must stay abreast of information and be ready to make quick decisions, even if based on incomplete information; (3) formal program management processes proved valuable but to get full value they must be in place early; (4) care, consistency, and accountability in applying existing project management and systems engineering best practices must be taken in managing contracts; (5) there is a need for integration of technology with business and operational needs focusing on the insertion, acquisition, testing, and deployment of technology; and (6) the U.S. Census Bureau should carefully determine where its expertise lies and focus its resources there.

Program management, risk management, software development, data collection

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