Title 2 Agency on Capitol Hill
HR Operations and Organizational Solutions
The Client’s Need
Our human capital management support to this Capital Hill client’s needs started in FY 2014 providing operations support to the Human Resources office. The Human Resources office needed to improve client service delivery and wanted AG’s support to supplement their existing Federal team providing staffing, classification, workforce relations, policy and payroll support.
After learning their unique culture and becoming a consistent and trusted advisor throughout many years, in FY 2019 AvantGarde was contracted to engage an agency-wide Strategic Planning and Human Capital Management planning effort across the organization.
The agency’s top executives identified a challenge after changes in leadership, policies, and procedures culminated in a need for the alignment of functional units, workforce, and key performance measures to better achieve the agency’s strategic vision. Specific, measurable, actionable and time-bound goals and objectives were needed to support the reorganization and modernization efforts that the agency had initiated.
Human Capital Operations Support
AG provided a broad range of staff augmentation support for the Human Resources Office to help build an infrastructure, provide senior technical expertise to support critical processes, and handle hiring surge needs.
Policy and Process Development: To establish a sound HR infrastructure, AG experts created many policies and comprehensive associated materials including frequently asked questions, forms and applications, user surveys, and employee and supervisor toolkits and training. Our successful approach included understanding what policies and procedures were currently in place and the impetus for creating new or changing existing policies, researching applicable regulations and precedents, drafting the documents and identifying the appropriate related materials that would be most useful, and delivering complete packages for approval.
Deliver Senior Technical Expertise: To supplement the current Federal team, AG engaged highly experienced technical experts who could both provide advisory support to guide HR’s customers and senior HR leaders and act as teachers to junior Federal staff members. Their collective experience in staffing and assessment, compensation system design, classification and position management and complex payroll transactions were invaluable to shore up competency gaps and deliver high quality service.
Hiring Surge Support: To meet mission-critical high-volume hiring demands, AG customized our support to meet the Agency’s needs holistically. We redesigned hiring processes to remove bottlenecks and barriers that impeded efficiency and created marketing strategies and outreach partnerships to increase applicant pools. We also deployed experienced dedicated HR Staffing Specialists to manage the customized vacancy announcement process and meet workload demands.
Strategic Planning and Human Capital Management Planning
AG’s understanding of the client through many years of providing Human Capital support facilitated meeting the client’s need to driving an agency-wide strategic vision. AG provided a team of experts in Organizational Development, I/O Psychology, and Human Capital Management to identify new approaches, refine existing practices, and develop a customized Agency Strategic Plan and Strategic Human Capital Plan that integrated goals for multiple organizational units.
Strategic Plan Research: Research activities were incorporated into the development of the strategic plans to guide leadership’s identification of the agency’s top priorities. An internal agency scan included the review and analysis of various reports, studies, audits, and surveys including Congressional testimony and budgetary documents. Environmental scans provided insight into external factors that could have a direct impact on the agency such as economic, social, and technological forces.
Focus Group Facilitation: To address the need for a tailored approach, AG hosted “think tank” sessions with the agency’s management and executives to develop goals and objectives that were important to the core of the agency. Through breakout sessions, data was collected to further craft goals and actionable objectives that would create buy-in throughout the agency. All individual suggestions were considered in the development of the final agency strategic goals.
Inter-office Collaboration: AG Consultants worked closely with all offices affected by the Strategic Human Capital Plan in the development of key performance indicators (KPIs), metrics and milestones included in a Human Capital Operational Plan. The plans and roadmap will further assist with cross-organizational performance and serve as an accountability measure throughout the implementation phase.
Key Performance Indicators and Metrics: Once the strategic plans were in place, the AG team constructed operational plans that included an Implementation Roadmap and Scorecard metrics to provide the agency with a clear plan to achieving their goals. The roadmaps were equipped with KPIs that mark progress as steps are completed towards each goal. The Scorecard provided metrics and guidelines for status setting, measure frequency and data sources. Due to the dynamic nature of the agency, each was designed to be updated on an as needed basis.
Based on AG’s on-the-ground talent, HR operations service delivery greatly improved. Streamlined and repeatable HR processes were developed across the organization, vacancy backlogs were reduced, and transactions were processed timely and accurately. The HR Office is regaining respect for its technical acumen and responsiveness. The AG team has become such a valued partner that a new 5-year contract was issued to continue and expand our relationship!
As this agency’s strategic planning efforts remain ongoing, AG is working closely with the client to move into the implementation phase of the process by continuing to provide advisory consultation; assessing ongoing progress towards achieving strategic plan goals and recommending strategies for continued success. With a five-year lifecycle to allow for the full range of activities and metrics to be completed and assessed, a strong foundation has been set for future collaboration within the agency as a result of the facilitated strategic planning focus groups and companion efforts of the Strategic Human Capital Plan.
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