Oh, boy, Steve, what a topic! I've heard of HIPPO before but tend to forget about it. Working in state government as I do, HIPPO is the primary way decisions are made. And I suspect it isn't just state government, but municipal, county, and Federal government agencies are at least largely, if not primarily, making decisions using HIPPO. It's just the nature of the beast. Someone is elected to a position, they control the money that comes into your agency, you do as they say. It often is hard, because as you pointed out and the blog post you linked to said, there may not be any criteria for measuring how successful following a direction is, because they're set either by the elected official whose following their political/philosophical beliefs, or in response to a campaign promise, or occasionally (although I'd like to think infrequently) done as payback for political support. The way I've seen how accomplishing the goals set by elected officials is by determining how closely we've complied with what was asked, rather than the efficacy of doing what was being asked.
Occasionally someone will strongly disagree with some direction that the Governor or state legislator is asking for. That person will just wait until the Governor or legislator leaves office, then they'll go back to doing what they were doing before. This doesn't happen often, but I have witnessed it. This is normally done by long-time state employees, who've seen lots of people come and go.
I'd like to address the concept you brought up about DevOps, and in particular Azure DevOps and GitHub. I'm working on this very area currently. We have an old, out of support TFS server on-prem. I got stuck being the TFS Administrator back when the previous one left. For many years I advocated for moving away from our on-prem TFS to either Azure DevOps Services or GitHub. A lot of 2022 was spent in deciding which direction to go. I like to use both Azure DevOps Services and GitHub alternatively, so I understand the technology and issues of each. I am fine using either because I'm going to use Git in both cases, which both Azure DevOps and GitHub support. Unfortunately, although I am the expert at both platforms where I work, I wasn't consulted as to which I believe would be better for our organization. This year my boss told me that management has decided to go to GitHub. I've heard that GitHub's marketing team is more aggressive than the Azure DevOps team. I've been advocating adopting Git over TFVC for years, but I've also realized that there is a small, but adamently opposed group of people who will not adopt Git, ever. For them, the motto is, "You'll only take TFVC from me, from my cold, dead hands." Therefore, I would have advised us going to Azure DevOps Services, because that supports both TFVC and Git. I think everyone would have been happy. As it is, I'm sure we'll have some people who won't adopt GitHub at all. It's going to be interesting to see how they go about resisting the move to GitHub as I'm sure they will.
Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.