Sometimes It Takes Fresh Eyes to Solve an Agency’s Biggest Challenge

Sometimes It Takes Fresh Eyes to Solve an Agency’s Biggest Challenge

Sometimes It Takes Fresh Eyes to Solve an Agency’s Biggest Challenge

 “Doing more with less” seems particularly relevant today. Federal agencies face growing demands and smaller budgets. Given this climate, the tendency to address government’s biggest challenges with in-house staff is understandable. An alternative approach is to apply external resources to address entrenched issues. External experts with mission knowledge and experience set clear goals and provide a repeatable process to get there. Trusted consultants work hand-in-hand with clients to quickly set a path for success – what we call Speed to Mission.

So what are the critical elements in tackling obstacles?

First, get your hands around the issue with a comprehensive review.

  • What are the applicable laws, policies and regulations? Do they provide enough guidance, too much guidance? Often a seasoned professional coming in from the outside can more quickly identify gaps
  • Does the mission of the organization match with staffing or has the organization grown up around personalities? Sometimes this dynamic is more easily identified by an “outsider” with mission knowledge

Then, identify your stakeholders, internal and external, including employees, and gather as much data as possible through confidential focus groups, surveys and interviews. The consultant’s “outsider” role creates a safe space to voice fears, ideas, hopes, and even vent frustrations without repercussions.

Third, based on what you learned, develop a comprehensive change management and communications plan that keeps employees front and center. Never underestimate the impact change will have on your workforce. Plan ahead for this early and often.

Finally, be as transparent as possible, communicate often, and provide information regularly, even when you think you have nothing new to share.  Withholding information leads to speculation. Openly sharing information builds trust. Be honest about your goals, what you are trying to achieve, and how others in the organization can help.

Taking a Speed to Mission approach can provide a fresh set of eyes to tackle new challenges in the evolving homeland security mission, or old challenges that are difficult to overcome. 

Blog Speed to Mission

A Leader’s Most Influential Tool: Gratitude

A Leader’s Most Influential Tool: Gratitude

Gratitude is one of a great leader’s most powerful tools. It creates positive energy among an organization and the sense of appreciation permeates through the work the collective group is performing. Influential leaders listen to the needs of their colleagues and express gratitude. This helps them bring out the potential in the people they lead and inspire them to achieve what is most important to them and to the project.

The Design Era of Project Management

The Design Era of Project Management

Project Management best practices and methods continue to evolve to address the biggest challenges Government agencies face in today’s market. The increased use of Agile and the move from traditional waterfall methodologies is fairly common in Information Technologies. Projects use Agile methods such as Scrum or Kanban, and organizations invest a lot of time and effort to make this cultural shift on projects.

Data: Lost in Translation No More

Data: Lost in Translation No More

The rise of Big Data technologies and data-driven approaches of business functions has created a demand for data architects and scientists that is growing by as much as 12% annually. These highly technical resources and capabilities address part of the challenge, but organizations still struggle with how to effectively use the data they have to make timely and informed decisions to improve business and mission outcomes.

Great Meetings with IT Customers in an Agile World

Great Meetings with IT Customers in an Agile World

Meetings are an essential part of day-to-day work and collaboration in every organization. There are an estimated 37 million meetings every day in the United States, yet up to 67 percent are considered failures. Sources estimate the cost of unproductive meetings in the billions and say meetings may take up 15% of an organization’s collective time.

Not Made for TV: The Critical Behind-the-Scenes Continuity Mission

Not Made for TV: The Critical Behind-the-Scenes Continuity Mission

Back in the public spotlight for the first time since the Cold War thanks to the new ABC drama Designated Survivor, Continuity of Government (COG) is a lesser-known mission in the portfolio of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Federal Emergency Management Agency. As a concept, its origins lie in the dawn of the atomic era, when the new possibility of simultaneous nationwide devastation created the need for contingency plans for the worst cases imaginable.

General Services Administration Awards Arc Aspicio HCaTS Contract

Arlington, VA December 12, 2016 — The General Services Administration (GSA) and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) awarded Arc Aspicio the Human Capital and Training Solution (HCaTS) Small Business contract on December 7, 2016. This Multiple Award, Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) is a government-wide contract that was awarded to vendors in two different pools. Arc Aspicio’s contract is in Pool 2, which supports customized human capital strategy services and organizational performance improvement.