ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Integrated Personnel and Pay System -- Army (IPPS-A) is revolutionizing Human Resources Management through modern technology that will subsume legacy systems and streamline disconnected Army HR capabilities into one comprehensive system.
One innovation IPPS-A is employing to achieve this is using Business Intelligence (BI). Business Intelligence refers to technologies, applications and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of business information. IPPS-A BI will enable commanders and leaders to have visibility into their formations and better understand the talents in their ranks.
"Under the Legacy Systems, when senior leaders want to know how many female captains are in all three components, it will take a considerable amount of time for all three components to get that info together," said Maj. Myron Bishop, IPPS-A Business Intelligence Analyst. "Once we are all in IPPS-A, we'll just go to a BI tool and have that information in seconds."
Better business decision making is the foundation of IPPS-A. Commanders being able to assess their unit's mission capability and readiness is part of this better business decision making ability.
"Consider mobilization or deployment of a unit as a typical real world scenario the Army deals with every day," said Bishop. "Let's say a signal company is needed to set up a computer network in three months. In order to put this unit on active duty, there are certain requirements their Soldiers have to meet. They need to be medically ready, complete specific training, etc. With the report commanders can generate in IPPS-A, they can visualize data on the number of Soldiers they have and how many are eligible for the mission."
Reports can be further refined to show the number of Soldiers with a specific Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) available or not available for the assigned mission. This can be accomplished by utilizing the Readiness and Manning tiles in IPPS-A. The Readiness & Manning tiles allow for a detailed analysis on Soldiers, which is why they'll be helpful when determining mission readiness.
The reports are known as the Human Resources Authorization Report (HRAR). Prior to IPPS-A, HRAR's listed Soldiers by name only. The new version has graphs and detailed charts to display unit readiness and manning strength to commanders. For example, the report will show the number of Soldiers a state slotted against authorized positions, with the additional number of Soldiers pending actions such as retirement or returning from deployment.
"It's real time data," said Bishop. "The charts can be sorted by grade level. IPPS-A is also developing readiness and manning analytics such as a new version of the Personnel Status Report. We can apply several filters such as authorized, assigned, deployable and non-deployable, or readiness indicators on every Soldier."
The Release 3 build, which is geared towards preparing the system for the Active and Reserve components is organizing IPPS-A into seven capability areas: acquire, develop, distribute, maintain, pay, foundation, and transition. Each capability area contains "epics." Epics are specific functions within IPPS-A.
For example, the develop and distribute capability areas contain the promotions and assignments epics respectively. These epics allow promotions to be entered, and the different assignments Soldiers have had throughout their careers tracked.
This is an extremely important aspect of the system, and partly what makes the system so revolutionary. BI will integrate those two capability areas into at-a-glance dashboards that provide commanders, leaders and HR professionals a common operating picture to see how different actions tie back together with each other.
"Promotions and assignments are specific epics within the capability areas," said Maj. George Johnson, IPPS-A Business Intelligence Analyst. "BI allows commanders and other senior leaders the ability to bring information from both of those epics together in one report."
Pulling information from multiple areas into one report instantaneously wasn't possible within the Standard Installation and Division Personnel Reporting System (SIDPERS). With SIDPERS, System Integration Branch (SIB) Chiefs would download the information they needed and then merged it with an access database.
With IPPS-A, this action is done with a BI tool. This capability will be extremely effective once all three components of the Army are live in IPPS-A.
"The efficiency of this system is a tremendous asset for the Army," said Johnson. "Army leaders will be very pleased with what this efficiency will allow them to do."