Pavan is a finalist for the 2021 Golden GOVIT Awards in the Individual Leader category.
Pavan believes in developing technology with which users will be absolutely obsessed. Recently transitioning from the retail industry, he is quite used to delivering innovative technology at a rapid pace to meet ever-changing business needs and customer expectations. He sees technology as not only support arm for the business needs, but also the driver that provides simplified user experience as a whole. He says, “My vision for the Office of Chief Technology Officer at FMCSA is to build trust & credibility with partners by delivering innovative technology that adds business value to the agency in a speed to market fashion”.
To accomplish this vision, he has established and achieved three main goals for FMCSA IT, all of equal importance in a very short period of time. In his words on the three goals: “The first goal is foundational technology. How do we transition from a reactive IT organization to a proactive one? From a firefighter to a fire marshal? The second goal, customer experience technology. How do we create the best customer experience? The tagline, here, is: “Moving them from a journey to an experience.” How do we move the agency ahead by 30 years when we have just a few (3-5) years to do it? Essentially, each year of work must move us ahead by eight or more years. And the third goal is our people: Understanding our talent pool and helping them achieve their professional goals by creating an environment where failure is not feared.”
Pavan focused on transitioning FMCSA to where IT was just reactively accepting requests from the business and delivering individual, stove-piped systems, to stepping back and building the ultimate, holistic platform. He often tells the team, “You should have a target architecture, but don’t expect anyone to fund it.” He focused on delivering near-term business value as the agency moved toward that architecture. If they do work that delivers near-term value but moves them away from that architecture, they have to raise their hand and say, “’This is an unnatural act, it does not get us closer to our architectural goals, but we are doing it anyway, and we will need to pay some technical debt to get back on path.” That’s how we keep ourselves honest and find that sweet spot between the extremes. This approach has saved millions of taxpayers dollars invested wisely and future-proofing the technology that reduces crashes and fatalities involving motor carriers.
In the very short 15 months in the role as FMCSA’s CTO, his strategies changed the mindset of federal government partners, industry partners and other state government partners to actually now believe in the FMCSA IT teams, where there was zero trust and credibility an year ago. He has enabled FMCSA to deliver 125+ new capabilities supporting various motor carrier safety initiatives, achieved 40+ millions in cost savings, automate Quality Assurance practices, bring Agile delivery with rapid development and delivery of software solutions on a bi-weekly basis and his vision has set the agency to successfully deliver many more capabilities in the next 12 months.