The office of the director (OD) at a large federal public sector health agency is responsible for overseeing a wide range of administrative functions across multiple divisions and offices. The OD desired a single, cross-cutting, electronic approach for handling business and administrative processes, including online form completion and routing, storage of documents and approvals, accounting, and tracking of budgets and personnel. The client wanted to create a system that facilitates data-driven decisions by developing a centrally governed administrative platform that provides consistent, traceable processes and outcomes.
Guidehouse was engaged to develop a future-focused operating model and platform by identifying opportunities to improve business processes integrating them with existing agency administrative systems and using human-centered design principles to create impactful business transformation.
Building the Administrative Platform
Development of the administrative platform included setup and configuration of secure server environments in coordination with the agency's chief information security officer. Following an Agile development methodology, sprint planning sessions were conducted for each development cycle, including retrospectives following each sprint, weekly co-design sessions with business owners and subject matter experts, and demonstrations of applications to a broader stakeholder group. Testing activities such as system integration testing, user acceptance testing, and performance testing were conducted upon the completion of design and development processes prior to deployment. Guidehouse established and supported technical platform governance for a shared ServiceNow instance and supported the agency with operations and maintenance for multiple applications.
Guidehouse established an operations support team to manage the agency help desk responsible for maintaining access control lists and user permissions, supporting end-users with troubleshooting, and coordinating with the development team to capture and deploy enhancements to the platform. Self-service portals automate major administrative processes including human resources (HR), budget spend plans, funding requests and financial management, and select administrative services used by over 4,000 employees and contractors across the OD.
IT Service Management
An end-to-end IT service delivery module was created with ServiceNow IT Service Management, adopting a standard IT infrastructure library framework and catalog items vital to daily operations. These catalog items enabled the deployment of automated workflows and notifications, status trackers, and reporting capabilities. The agency's employee and contractor repository was used to populate employee information and create security user groups and roles for each catalog item based on security requirements and business needs.
Budgeting and Financial Management
The project team designed, developed, and implemented multiple budgeting and financial management processes to centralize planning and financial management functions, including managing spend plans, funding requests, central services, and annual reporting and dashboards for hundreds of users across the organization. These processes were originally tracked in Excel spreadsheets, and sent back and forth via email, without a way to track changes or create an audit trail.
Guidehouse consultants employed human-centered design principles and worked with budget analysts and business process leaders to gather requirements and create the future state solution based on functionality, user experience, and intuitive design. Through this collaboration, the Guidehouse team developed multiple reference tables, metadata tables, and forms between the spend plan and budget setting processes to:
Guidehouse consultants conducted design workshop sessions involving super users, change champions, and financial stakeholders, which led to the creation of the spend plan budget application.
The Guidehouse team is implementing the ServiceNow App-Engine based HR Position Management application to automate, standardize, and streamline internal administrative processes across HR. This application will provide robust workflow automation and streamline capabilities for HR functions and processes. The first HR release includes:
Guidehouse led stakeholder sessions with HR leaders that identified the administrative community’s most desired goals outcomes; and most common use cases. Additional HR process areas in the first release will follow this benefits-led approach to gathering requirements and analyzing current state.
This project delivers the first integrated system solution for the agency's OD organization. The administrative platform improves efficiency, streamlines workflows, and enables the agency to track processes from start to finish. The agency now has the foundation to develop a fully integrated, cross-functional approach to business and administrative processes. As the single source of truth, the solution aligns budgetary data in a streamlined platform for day-to-day operations including budget formulation and execution, monitoring, reporting, and scenario planning. Budget exercises that were once siloed will now be interconnected, providing near real-time tracking while also retaining and consolidating historical data into one data repository for reporting and projections.
The new shared ServiceNow platform supports multiple applications built using the low-code technologies promoting further IT modernization and business transformation. In addition, the shared ServiceNow platform saves processing time by eliminating manual tracking processes via email and spreadsheets, empowering teams to better communicate and coordinate across offices.
Co-authored by Shantanu Datar, Katherine Rizzieri, Cindi Bassford, and Steve Reynolds.
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