IPO Case Study – VA/DoD Inter-Agency Program Office

From 0 to 125 people in 30 days

The challenge:

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense created an Inter-agency Program Office (IPO) to develop and deploy projects that benefit service-members and veterans. A major IPO project is the integrated Electronic Health Record (iEHR), which provides a single comprehensive medical record of a Service-person, from active military duty to Veteran status. Knowing that this effort would take significant program management support, the IPO awarded Technatomy a contract to assist in managing the iEHR from a technical perspective.

The first activity on order for this project: staff the 125-person IPO in 30 days.

Our approach:

Technatomy immediately initiated a dedicated staffing team, led by our CTO. This team applied our MARQ.PMO methods to systematically discover and recruit the proper individuals for the contract.  The approach utilizes a scrum-like process, typical to Agile, which incorporated things such as rapid results, iterative review sessions, and daily stand-up meetings.

Technatomy first developed the parameter requirements that detailed the boundaries of this effort: number of positions, type of positions, brief position description, skills required, years of required experience, education, and any other pertinent information necessary to provide the best results in identifying the right candidate.   Once we identified the scope of the work, we identified the team who would enable this effort to be achieved. This team was comprised of the IPO Program Manager, Human Resources, Corporate Recruiting, and key senior level technical managers to be part of the interview team.

The goal of these interviews was to ascertain not only if the candidate could do the work needed, but would the group of candidates work well together. Typically, this second detail is overlooked in rapid recruiting and can result in high personnel turn-over later in the project. Resumes were submitted for review at the rate of 25 to 50 per team member, per day. In parallel, interviews were being scheduled in 30 minute intervals to maximize the number of candidates being interviewed each day. Using the 30 minute interval, one interviewer could conduct 16-20 interviews per day.  The interview questions we asked were developed to determine the candidates’ technical ability, as well as to get an impression for who they were as an individual.

Throughout this activity, the team had quick, 10-minute stand up meetings and the beginning of each day to set the pace and discuss what rolled-over from the day before. Refinement or adjustments were made daily to ensure that we maintained a constant pace to achieve the goal.  Daily stand-up meetings were held with the team to discuss these changes and adjustments with minimal, and often no, impact to the daily goals needed to be accomplished.

Five days into this effort, we had mastered the process that allowed complete accountability of the metrics that needed to be reached daily.  If the candidate was selected for hire, HR would immediately begin the hiring process from making the offer to the candidate orientation day to Technatomy and to the IPO project.

Our approach to this recruitment effort was very successful. We found the right people and built a great team, offering the IPO the best and brightest in their field. We also achieved our goal to staff, badge, and orient 125 new employees, 5 days before the 30 day deadline.