MPS Congratulates VA Change Makers

Posted in Department of Veterans Affairs / Team Updates on October 06, 2016

I CareWe are proud to share a story of successful change within the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Product Platform Management (PPM) office. The PPM team recently received the VA’s I CARE award for outstanding service to Veterans and impactful change within VA Information Technology. This team, led by Dr. Alan Constantian, developed a series of IT product planning documents that analyzed IT needs across the VA to describe the technical product and resources needed to support the product. These documents were used to strategically plan product sets for VA programs for the next 5 years.

MPS consultants worked closely with PPM leaders and fellow contractors to design, develop, and implement this new planning artifact and process across OI&T. We congratulate the PPM team for this award, and thank our own team for supporting innovative change that benefits our clients, leaders, and Veterans.

Supporting change makers within federal agencies is a cornerstone of MPS’ mission and corporate identity. We believe in empowering our clients with the tools, practices, and support they need to create meaningful change.

Update: Department of Veterans Affairs

Posted in Department of Veterans Affairs / Team Updates on December 13, 2011

Department of Veterans Affairs sealM Powered Strategies assisted the government with closing out FY 2011 with a 3-day Lockdown and a draft of the FY 2012 Budget Operating Plan.  There are many constraints on the budget this year, which ranges from the continuing resolution, rescission from Congress, lack of FY 2012 Appropriation, to the reprioritization of the Presidential initiatives.

How successful were we?  Participants and sponsors in the room have repeatedly voiced M Powered Strategies’ success in keeping agenda and conversations on track.  M Powered Strategies has a proven track record of adding an environment of professionalism, having quick reaction time, and being effective problem solvers.

From a contract standpoint, the government granted us a 30-day extension ending October 5th and we are anxiously awaiting another 45-day extension ending November 18, 2011.  We are partnering with a prime called Exeter for the follow on work with ITRM.  As soon as the Task Order drops, we are in a good position to win the follow on work in the ITRM space!

M Powered Strategies has been supporting HPTI on the VRM PMO PCM contract.  In addition, we have supported the FY12 VRM Operating Plan development.

Mike holding Celtic SpearM Powered Strategies’ support has focused on acquisition planning, and assistance has been in maintaining the acquisition database and associated files of acquisition artifacts.  The maintenance of the acquisition status and awarded contract artifacts has allowed the VRM initiative executives to focus their attention on an acquisition strategy aligned to the business requirements.

M Powered Strategies’ support for FY12 VRM Operating Plan development has focused on providing OIT budget information and aligning the FY12 VRM Operating Plan workplan deliverable to planned FY12 acquisitions.  This alignment has proved vital in the FY12 budget prioritization process as it demonstrates the linkage between resource fulfillment and the delivery of needed business capabilities.

During the VLER IPT in Altoona, PA, the ISI Team along with the VLER AMPs attended a post-meeting gathering at VLER IT PMO Director Gerry Lowe’s barn (or what was once a barn and is now a bar).  The IPT was held several days before Gerry’s weekend-long Annual Celtic Fling Party which includes Highland Games.  Mike is pictured in the barn with the Celtic Spear that was to be used as part of the Highland Games that weekend.

The AMPP VLER team officially reconvened in October to continue their successful summer project. Led by Jenny Weng, Alexandra Reames and Rachel Brody are both working remotely while they finish their graduate degree programs to continue lending support and expertise in improvement for the contractor onboarding process. Since the end of the AMP Program, the VLER team’s work has progressed and become a wider Veterans Affairs policy as their contractor onboarding deliverables were used in the HR Lockdown in November.  Additionally, the team has again been invited to the VLER IPT conference in Park City, Utah and is looking to further support the initiative in other process improvement projects.

Update: Department of Health and Human Services

Department of Health and Human Services SealM Powered Strategies began working with the Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of the Chief Information Officer this past spring to provide meeting management and organizational design to the governance bodies responsible for Capital Planning Investment Control and managing the Enterprise Performance Life Cycle. With thoughtful, outcome-oriented planning and a custom information capture tool, we are driving clarity, increasing accountability, and improving communication between all stakeholders so that our clients are able to make informed decisions important to development of their organizations.

Update: Department of Energy

Posted in Department of Energy / Team Updates on August 03, 2011

Department of Energy sealRod Witschey and and Ed Adelman are knee-deep in exhibit 300s, using the processes they have developed and honed over the past five years. They have been meeting with the federal project managers to assist in streamlining operations.  We are looking forward to building stronger communication channels the newly-placed PMO. As a result of good teaming, relationships and partnerships, the contract has been extended through August.

Update: Department of Veterans Affairs

Posted in Department of Veterans Affairs / Team Updates on August 03, 2011

Department of Veterans Affairs sealThe Information Sharing Initiative (ISI) team has transitioned to a subcontract with Systems Made Simple (SMS). The subcontract falls under the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) Program Support contract that SMS has with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Information and Technology.  The ISI team is looking forward to working with SMS and to having a successful pilot in September.

The HPTI subcontract team, with assistance from M Powered Strategies’ facilitators, supported the VA’s Unified Communication Strategy meeting in San Jose, CA. Andrew MacDonald and Nic Turrentine provided assistance in crafting the meeting’s content, conduct, as well as tools for capturing meeting outputs. The HPTI subcontract team has also been assisting in the development of the FY 2012-2014 Veteran Relationship Management (VRM) Operating Plan. Inputs on total planned obligations, obligations scheduled, and project information have been provided to VRM leadership.

The FY 2012 Non-Pay Lockdown Round was a success. Clients and supporting organizations reviewed project requirements within their funding targets. Requests exceeding the funding targets for FY2012 where categorized as unfunded and not executable.

Overall, M Powered Strategies has made great strides in streamlining the lockdown effort from 5 days to 2.5 days. Our role starts with project managing the sequence of events, brief preparation with DAS, reporting the financials into one consistent view, developing and managing the SharePoint site, meeting management, and logistics. The premise behind planning and prepping the client for the ‘BIG DANCE’ has really paid off and things fell into place in a systematic fashion for all participants. At the end of August, Lockdown Round II will close out the budget execution process and the CIO will review and approve the final budget request before it is presented to Congress.

The VA Team is pleased to announce the arrival of our AMPs, Mark Buckley and Aryn Ehlow. They engaged in IT Budget Execution activities within IT Resource Management (ITRM).

Update: Department of Energy

Posted in Department of Energy / Team Updates on April 25, 2011

Department of Energy sealExciting times at the Department of Energy! It seems that transition and change are frequently happening and both our CIO and CFO teams are faced with new environments and different requirements on a daily basis. In true M Powered Strategies style, anticipation and agility have persevered and we continue to be successful in supporting our clients and their initiatives including program management, marketing and strategic communications, and cyber security. We would also like to welcome back Shannon Schreiber from maternity leave, new mom extraordinaire.

Update: Department of Veterans Affairs

Posted in Department of Veterans Affairs / Team Updates on April 25, 2011

Department of Veterans Affairs sealFor the current fiscal year, Congress has passed five stopgap spending bills. The uncertainty has slowed down or enforced cuts in spending. The Department’s IT organizations are undergoing budget execution reviews to determine the funds that have been obligated thus far in the fiscal year. Equally important is the failure to execute, will empower the CIO to cut funding or pause the effort. Trends to watch within VA where M Powered Strategies has an active or supporting role are the prep and post meetings for the CIO weekly meetings, upcoming Lockdown preparation and support, examining the portfolio of IT projects line-by-line to ensure the most important investments are provided necessary funding, and budget formulation.

In addition, one of our long-timers, Carl Crampton, will be transitioning off our VA contract to embark on his full-time Engagement Manager role supporting the VRM contract under HPTi. In turn, we have acquired a new face. M Powered Strategies would like to welcome Carlos Vasquez (1099) to VA. Carlos brings a wealth of federal and private sector consulting experience to the team.

The M Powered Strategies team at VRM-ISI is currently focusing on planning for the ISI Pilot. As such, we are holding meetings with VA and DoD leadership as well as the ISI Participating Programs.

M Powered Strategies is also working with HPTi to support Veterans Relationship Management (VRM) acquire the resources specified in the FY11 Budget Operating Plan by facilitating the completion of acquisition deliverables and maintaining acquisition status. We are also planning for the future by assisting in the initial draft of the FY12-14 VRM Operating Plan with preliminary program budget information.

The Latest in Facilitation Services

Facilitation Service Line at workThe first quarter of 2011 was a busy one for the Facilitation Service Line as it saw a new addition to the VA Team who supports the Office of Architecture, Strategy and Design (ASD). Alessandra Colia is supporting the planning, execution, and closeout of the many meetings, bullpens, and lockdowns that happen in the ASD-world.

On the flip side, the VA Team supporting the Office of IT Resource Management (ITRM) has begun supporting several key recurring meetings in an effort to help manage the execution of the FY 2011 Budget as well as planning for the FY 2012 Budget Operating Plan. Great work, everyone!

Update: Department of Energy

Posted in Department of Energy / Team Updates on January 26, 2011

Department of Energy sealWith the arrival of a new CIO and a Deputy CIO appointment, change is in the air at the DOE OCIO. M Powered Strategies looks forward to continuing to support the OCIO and the renewed interest in leveraging technology and partnership to move the Department forward. It is exciting to be part of a team that has evolved so much and to work under leadership who have not only set clear priorities, but also provided the tools to get the job done. An aggressive agenda for 2011 has been laid out, and we will continue to find ways to carry out these plans in an effort to drive change and fulfill the executive agenda.

Much like the OCIO, the OCFO is also facing retirements, transition and imminent change. Due to Ed Adelman’s diligence, the team is in a great position to continue its support of our clients and even potentially grow into new areas as our additional expertise gains recognition.

The DOE team finds that they see a future of continued value working with an 8(a) partner, as well as finding the opportunity to persist in the CIO space with a new team on the ITSS re-compete. The program support in divining the essence of policies, and in being key providers of marketing and communications is respected and sought after. The management team has identified new opportunities that push beyond the CFO and CIO constellations, as we reach for new offices and become sought after by new partners.

Update: Department of Veterans Affairs

Posted in Department of Veterans Affairs / Team Updates on January 26, 2011

Department of Veterans Affairs sealOur team is growing, and we look forward to expanding our services with their additional expertise in the New Year.

Our VA teams in IT Resource Management (ITRM) and Architecture, Strategy and Design (ASD) discover that, through their current work, they are positioned with clients and partners to bid re-competitions, new support solicitations and solicitations in outgrowths of our clients’ needs in no less than five new areas. Once again, our invaluable relationships with our clients and their staff have reinforced our corporate philosophy on core values. These clients acknowledge our support by name, both individually and corporately. Our M Powered Strategies support has set a precedent, and the client wants our repeated service offerings in the mission critical areas of lockdowns, operating plan financial analysis, programmatic oversight and IT budget execution front office support. And now, budget formulation and strategic executive services are two new areas of scope the client would like to add to our existing portfolio of service offerings. ASD has driven down the path of diversification. As the client focus and scope has morphed, so too have our services, increasing both our value and integration with the client. We have added new roles to the team, including on-staff meeting consultants and executive projects consultation. We have increased direct support of the two SES clients on the floor, support the Chief of Staff, broadened our footprint in EA in our older contract and our most recent win, and find ourselves being recruited by partners to respond to various solicitations related to the office.

The VA Information Sharing Initiative (ISI) project, possibly our most mission-focused work, continues to grow as the client and stakeholder success and involvement grow. This year, as we look to continue the stabilization of the contract, we find that the support and leadership we have provided with our contract partners has lead to an increased need to push the project harder, and to grow the staff needed for the work. ISI launches its first pilot this year with the planned exchange of authoritative data as a first step to alleviating some of the frustrations our nation’s severely wounded, ill, and injured Service Members and Veterans are experiencing.

And, we’d like to extend a final farewell to our longstanding client Mr. Scott Cragg, who left the Department of Veterans Affairs for a CIO position at Secret Service. Mr. Cragg helped M Powered Strategies form a niche and extend our alliances. We wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors.

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