(Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.) On 7-9 May, 2019, the Pennsylvania Army National Guard hosted the first of a series of State-to-State trainings at Fort Indiantown Gap, PA. The week-long training event focused on preparing future Fielding Groups for the deployment of the Army's next generation HR and talent management system, known as IPPS-A, or the Integrated Personnel and Pay System -- Army.
In attendance were representatives from fielding groups 4 and 5, including: Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and West Virginia. These states are currently migrating from the Standard Installation and Division Personnel Reporting System (SIDPERS) to IPPS-A. The training included key question and answer sessions which allowed Soldiers and HR professionals to ask critical questions about IPPSA's deployment.
The training provided all parties the ability to see IPPS-A's capabilities firsthand and better understand its functionality, including system navigation and specific workflow functions like assignments and promotions. According to Staff Sgt. Rachel Ellis of the Maine Army National Guard, the real-time aspect of the training is the biggest benefit for each Fielding Group.
"Through listening to Pennsylvania's lessons learned and being able to ask questions, it sets up other states for success," Ellis added.
Aside from IPPS-A's workflow overview, other topics covered included: enlisted personnel management, the enlisted promotion system, business intelligence, accessions, and separations. One of the breakout sessions, led by Staff Sgt. Gerald Schilling of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, focused on how to create a separation order. To summarize how much easier IPPS-A has made this process, Staff Sgt. Schilling stated that creating a separation order takes two minutes less in IPPS-A than the time it took for him to explain the process.
Further illustrating the improvement IPPS-A provides in HR processing, Staff Sgt. Schilling held up a folder of paper and said, "This is the problem, right here," to help emphasize automated workflow and de-centralized promotions systems as ways to eliminate legacy, paper-driven business processes.
"With IPPS-A, key leaders are able to see and understand what they will be coming into with IPPS-A," said Sgt. Savanna Smoker of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. "This experience will ease the process of conversion when they go live."
To learn more about IPPS-A and the changes that are coming to the Total Force, please visit www.ipps-a.army.mil.