The Army’s Business Process Reengineering (BPR) Center of Excellence (CoE) has been helping transform and modernize many of the Army’s business processes to reflect best practices in industry and overcome significant operational challenges. In 2019, one Army organization engaged the BPR CoE with a challenge: a mission surge meant needing to hire more people, but current hiring practices and limited staff resulted in bottlenecks and slower hiring process times. Using the Army Standard Approach for BPR, the COE was challenged to shorten the length of time to hire and accommodate an influx of hiring actions with existing staff.
The team quickly got to work gathering data on current hiring process steps and lead time. Analyzing data from the three previous years revealed that while 54 percent of hiring actions were completed in under 50 days, well within the defined threshold of 80 days, there were quite a few cases that significantly impacted the average hiring time. In fact, nearly 14 percent of hiring actions took 150 days or more to complete. It was clear that some measures must be taken to reduce those longer lead times and ensure that all hiring actions are completed in a timely manner.
During a workshop with subject matter experts from all facets of the process, including hiring managers and human resources personnel, the team explored the various challenges that contributed to the slower hiring process times and their root causes. Among these challenges were a lack of visibility into the process queue, a one-size-fits-all approach to different types of hiring needs, too many approval layers, and lack of understanding how to execute process steps in a timely manner.
After identifying these challenges, the team worked with the subject matter experts to design solutions that would enable more end-to-end process visibility, enhance information sharing between the hiring manager and human resources personnel, and enable more flexibility in how hiring is executed depending on the specific requirements for a given position. The team developed a data tracking solution, refined the hiring policy, and developed a Hiring Guidebook to better educate all parties on the process steps and available options to explore in order to hire more quickly.
Since these changes were initiated, the organization has improved the number of completed actions in under 100 days by 10 percent, despite total hiring actions having increased an average of 22 percent each quarter. That means with the process changes put in place, the organization was able to hire significantly more people in a shorter amount of time, even with the same number of resources supporting the process. These changes eliminated non-value added activities from the process,
empowered decision-making and knowledge at the working level, and best of all, did not add additional requirements or cost to the process.
This example shows just how powerful BPR can be.