Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division talked with leaders from Army G-1 about IPPS-A, an online Human Resources (HR) system, April 25 inside the Multi-Purpose Auditorium on Fort Drum, New York.
"IPPS-A is a 21st century talent-management system that incorporates human resources and military pay into one authoritative data source," said Sgt. Maj. Chad Shine, from Army G-1.
The system will integrate more than 30 current administration systems and eliminate more than 300 administration interfaces.
Even many forms, such as the DA Form 4187, are going to become a paperless or an online process.
IPPS-A is also a fully auditable system. Actions taken by Soldiers, administration personnel and leaders are time stamped, which will provide transparency to Soldiers after actions are turned in to S-1.
"As a Soldier, if you send an action to S-1 right now, you have no idea where it's at," Shine said. "With IPPS-A, you'll be able to know where it is at all times. Whether it is sitting with the first sergeant, the commander or the S-1, you'll be able to know that. There's built-in accountability in the system."
One of the goals of IPPS-A is removing the commander from behind the desk, which will allow them more time to lead Soldiers more effectively.
"I can't have a commander in a system doing 57 clicks to approve something," Shine said. "We've got to make it very easy for them using dashboards and alert notifications. They need to be able to log on, take action and be done."
Commanders will also be able to accomplish administrative tasks while on the go.
If they have a few minutes of downtime and a CAC-enabled iPad, they can even access IPPS-A while in the field.
"Ease of use is a big thing that we are trying to get at," Shine said.
The Army is also trying to harness the power of analytics by using business-intelligent software. The goal is to take information that is ingested into IPPS-A, such as training, medical and personnel information, and then display that in a readiness dashboard tailored to what the commander wants to see.
"Some commanders want to see a certain set of readiness statistics that some don't," Shine said. "You're going to have the ability, if you're a brigade S1, to tailor that to your commander's needs. Then, you'll be able to track it and take action on it."
Another aspect of IPPS-A is talent management.
The Army currently bases its assignment decisions for enlisted Soldiers off a couple things, namely MOS and rank, he said.
By creating a job marketplace for enlisted Soldiers, using IPPS-A, units will be able to advertise positions and Soldiers will be able to apply for them.
"So maybe it's, 'they're looking for a 46S at CENTCOM,'" Shine said. "You can see that open position and say, 'I want to go to Tampa' then apply for it."
After a Soldier applies for a position, the unit would then interview the Soldier and use IPPS-A to view their job-related knowledge, skills and behaviors, he said.
"We can get to a better place of helping Soldiers find the assignment that best fits them."