The Client’s Need
The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Management and Budget Office was experiencing challenges with consistently applying standard operating procedures (SOPs) across its divisions. A study led by the Office of Budget and Travel (OBT) identified a major cause to this inconsistency was due to missing, out of date or incomplete operation procedures on budget execution activities. To achieve consistent execution of the budget program while staying compliant with policies and procedures, OBT needed support in standardizing its SOPs and desk guides. The AG Team was contracted to conduct a comprehensive review of key OBT’s SOPs to identify further areas for improvement, greater efficiency and clearer process visibility. The AG team also developed new SOPs and desk guides for OBT.
Our team followed a structured approach for creating and updating the SOPs and desk guides, which focused on several budget execution activities: reimbursable and payable agreements, requisition reviews, miscellaneous obligations, and budget planning and budget load. To improve consistency and standardization, we also incorporated our SOP Documentation approach and best practices.
- Standard Operating Procedures. Based on our understanding of the requirements and current processes from conducting a thorough ‘As-Is’ analysis, our team created new SOPs for budget load and execution, OBT’s requisition review process, and miscellaneous obligations. We also updated existing operating procedures.
- Policy Review. We reviewed and used data from all official policies, legal codes, and applicable regulations on the budget execution activities. Within each SOP, we identified each official policy, legal codes, and other regulations that related to the SOP and incorporated links to sources that are available on-line or via the OBT SharePoint library.
- Desk Guide Support. The AG Team also created streamlined desk guides to supplement the SOPs. We included screen shots and other visual aids to illustrate the process, step by step. The desk guides provide a transaction- and tools- based focus so that staff had a practical reference to know exactly what to do and how to be most effective in performing their jobs.
Our team developed and delivered a total of seven SOPs along with seven corresponding Desk Guides during the course of this project. All reviewed deliverables were provided on time and received full acceptance by our clients. The new and updated SOPs will provide value to both the existing staff and any new hires who must learn new processes and systems. This is especially true where documentation did not exist before or processes were inconsistent between Analysts. With follow through in implementation, OBT will achieve increase transparency, efficiency, and operational agility.