Federal Public Health Agency Develops Administrative Platform

Case study authored by Katherine Rizzieri

Challenge

 

The Office of the Director (OD) at a large Federal Agency focused on Public Health is responsible for overseeing a wide range of administrative functions across multiple divisions and offices. The Office lacked a single, cross-cutting, electronic approach to handling business and administrative processes, including online form completion and routing, storage of documents and approvals, accounting and tracking of budgets and personnel, among other items. The client wanted to develop a centrally governed administrative platform that would provide consistent processes, and accurate data to support informed decision-making and reporting. Guidehouse was engaged to identify opportunities to improve business processes, and integrate with existing Agency administrative systems to develop a future-state administrative platform operating model.

 

Solution

 

Building the Administrative Platform

Development of the administrative platform included set up and configuration of secure server environments in coordination with the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). 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 SMEs, and demonstrations of applications to a broader stakeholder group.  Testing activities such as System Integration Testing (SIT), User Acceptance Testing (UAT), and Performance Testing were conducted upon the completion of design and development process prior to deployment. Guidehouse supported the Department with observations and measurements (O&M), including overall system configuration, change management, as well as system security administration and maintenance.  

 

End-User Support

Guidehouse established an Operations Support Team to manage the Department Help Desk responsible for maintaining Access Control Lists (ACLs), user permissions, supporting end-users with troubleshooting, and coordinating with the development team to capture and deploy enhancements to the platform. Self-service portals automated major administrative processes including Human Resources, Budget & Financial Management, and select Administrative Services which are utilized by over 3,000 employees and contractors across the OD.  

 

IT Service Management

An end-to-end IT service delivery module was created with ServiceNow and incorporates catalog items that are vital to daily operations. These catalog items enable the deployment of automated workflows, automatic notifications, status trackers, and reporting capabilities. The Agency employee and contractor repository was used to populate employee information, and create security user groups and roles for each catalog item based on the security requirements and business needs of those catalog items.  

 

Budgeting & Financial Management

The project team designed, developed, and implemented five budgeting and financial management processes 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 worked with budget analysts and business process leaders to gather requirements and design the future state solution. Through this collaboration, the Guidehouse team developed multiple reference tables, metadata tables, and forms between the spend plan and budget setting processes to:

  • Streamline budgetary and financial data from legacy processes and integrations with the system of records
  • Automate workflows and calculations
  • Monitor and track spending, forecasting, budgeting, and projections

Guidehouse consultants conducted design workshop sessions involving super users, change champions, budget and financial stakeholders, which led to the creation of the Spend Plan Budget Application.  

 

Human Resources

The Agency has acquired the ServiceNow Human Resources Service Delivery (HRSD) application to automate, standardize, and streamline internal administrative processes across Human Resources (HR). This enterprise application will provide robust workflow automation and streamline capabilities for HR processes. The first HR release includes management of Department positions, employee profiles, onboarding, and offboarding processes. Guidehouse led stakeholder sessions with HR leaders which identified the administrative community’s most desired goals, outcomes, and common use cases. Additional HR process areas in the first release will follow this benefits-led approach to gathering requirements and analyzing current state.  

 

Impact

 

  • This project delivers the first integrated system solution for the Agency’s Office of the Director organization. The Agency now has an integrated, cross-functional approach to business and administrative processes. 
  • This solution serves as the single source of truth, aligning budgetary data in a streamlined solution for day-to-day operations, budget formulation, budget execution, monitoring, reporting, and scenario planning. Budget exercises that were once siloed will now be interconnected and historical data will be consolidated into one data repository for reporting and for projections.
  • The administrative platform improves efficiency, streamlines workflows, and enables the Department to track processes from start to finish.
  • The new platform saves processing time by eliminating manual tracking processes via email and spreadsheets, empowering teams to better communicate and coordinate across offices. 

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