The U.S. Army Installation Management Command’s PW GFEBS eTraining, known as GeT, is helping garrison Department of Public Works personnel to stay updated on training and new developments in their field by using the G4 SharePoint site.
Jeff Michels, business operations division chief; Ward Nichols, IMCOM G4 chief, engineering systems; contractor Paige Rosen, and Kimberly Willard, engineering systems branch, business operations division, IMCOM G4, have collaborated on the project for much of the past year.
The goal was to make user-friendly, intuitive, standardized public works training available to all public works new hires and the 12,000 civilians, contractors and local nationals at sites worldwide. GeT allows DPW professionals to access training at any time, and is structured so they can immediately find the section they need.
In the past, PowerPoint training was developed for a specific audience, but slides were time-consuming to update regularly and new information would take time to trickle down to the end user.
The result: IMCOM project leaders developed a centralized SharePoint repository for GFEBS training and have been introducing it to garrisons in the past several months. The General Fund Enterprise Business System, or GFEBS, is the Army’s cloud-based financial, asset and accounting management system that standardizes, streamlines and shares critical data.
“GeT allows us to reduce defects and errors through education,” Willard said. “It contains almost everything they need to know to do their jobs. We can make changes to one SharePoint page, and the update is instantly available to all users.
“The installation buildings that people are working in, living in, we are trying our best to take care of them, along with the streets and parking,” she said.
Work orders included
Nichols said the previous method used PowerPoint decks for training and service orders for work requests, both of which can be handled more efficiently now through GeT.
“So often, training developed at the headquarters level is created from the perspective of the HQ officer who develops it, so they may not be considering the end users and what their needs are,” he said.
This year, the Army Maintenance Activity, or ArMA, is expanding to most facilities across each of the 73 installations IMCOM manages. Part of the Army’s modernization efforts, ArMA is described as a fence-to-fence system for submitting and tracking work orders.
“From a customer-service perspective, integrating training and DPW orders will allow our customers to see the relationships, as one thing builds on another. When previously separate and district things are integrated in a training platform, the organization as a whole gets interconnectivity,” Nichols said.
Rosen said one important aspect of the new system is the ability to revise pages in real time to provide garrisons with the most up-to-date information. “If everyone is learning from the same book, it’s easier for us to clarify. It’s harder to repeat and reproduce the same training time after time. This system should maintain its integrity over time.”
Willard said feedback from the field has been positive. “When we did working groups and the pilot project, we heard lots of good comments. Everyone seemed excited and interested in what we’re doing. There has been zero negative feedback so far.”
Patty Scharinger, management and program analyst, Business Operations and Integration Division, Directorate of Public Works, Fort Leavenworth, was part of a working group for the new process.
“This has been a long time coming,” Scharinger said. “When GFEBS went live, there were few standardized processes. Each installation did what they could to use it. Part of the problem with GFEBS was that things were initially done for us. We need to know ‘why’ we are doing something, not just ‘how.’ To fully use the financial system of GFEBS, you need to understand how all the pieces are interconnected.”