USDA Farm Service Agency – Organizational Development Support

The Client’s Need

Apart from this one example of past performance, the AG Team has supported USDA agencies since FY11  across two multi-year BPA/IDIQ vehicles, mostly in Organizational Development, Business Operations Planning and Human Capital Support.  Our team has performed for more than 50 task orders as “prime”.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency embarked upon several initiatives to modernize its processes, organization, and workforce, including the reorganization one of the key mission areas for FSA, the Deputy Administrator for Commodity Operations (DACO). In order to ensure DACO better served its customers and achieved its mission, FSA engaged the services of AvantGarde over a period of two FYs to work as a partner providing the guidance and consulting bench needed for the DACO reorganization and recommendations to meet the future needs of the overall organization.

Our Approach

AvantGarde brought in a strong team of federal human capital and change management experts to develop a systematic approach to assist DACO:

  • Define the ChangeThe AG Team facilitated working groups with a cross-section of key stakeholders to develop effective implementation and communication plans.


  • Prepare Workforce and Document Current State. The AG Team assembled a Transition Team (TT) composed of DACO management and personnel to guide the TT through a SWOT analysis to assess DACO’s current state and identify strategic threats. The AG Team developed a web-based Workload Staffing Analysis Tool (WSA) to conduct a comprehensive survey of DACO’s workload trends, areas of risk, workload capacity and staffing gaps. Support also included our senior HR Specialist team developing more than 100 new Position Descriptions for implementation on the re org as well as supporting the agency with the preparation of the 1010 Departmental package.


  • Communicate and Document Future StateTo foster transparency and minimize confusion, the AG Team developed communications that were released with the WSA survey and created a DACO Communications Guide that ensured clear, consistent messaging about the organization’s restructure.


  • Operationalize, Measure and Sustain. Each of AG’s deliverables helped to vision a “DACO of Tomorrow”—a durable organizational structure that best equips DACO to meet future challenges and capitalize upon strategic opportunities.

The Result

FSA leadership was able to identify the best course of action necessary to balance the organization’s workload. From the input and recommendations AG facilitated, the DACO Management team was able to see its way toward the optimal organizational structure of the “DACO of Tomorrow.” 

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