Aminad Expertise Spotlight:
Jonathan Selter and Workforce Modeling
Aminad was awarded a contract with a large defense organization to perform Workforce Modeling across their Contracting organizations. In an interview, Jonathan Selter shares some of his background and experience in this area and why this organization and others choose to have Aminad support them in these critical initiatives.
What’s your current role at Aminad?
I am a Managing Director, and I oversee all of our client engagements and client-facing work.
What’s an example of a recent Aminad success that you’ve been a part of?
We recently launched an effort with a large defense organization’s contracting organization to create a flexible workforce model that will accurately estimate the workforce that contracting as a whole, or individual contracting offices or detachments, need to execute a specific volume of workload (e.g., number and types of contract actions and other types of workload). Once the model is fully developed, anybody within the contracting enterprise can change the model’s inputs (e.g., adjust the number and type of contract actions) and receive a real-time estimate of workforce needs, including FTEs, grade levels, etc.
How will this effort help make an impact for clients?
In general, the contracting organization is lacking a mechanism to quickly, accurately, and consistently determine workforce needs for a given volume of workload. More specifically, though, the model will support a variety of use cases for the organization. They can determine if its various contracting offices are staffed appropriately and either adjust resourcing across offices or shift workload from one office to another. They can accurately determine the workforce required for a portfolio of contracting work and, for example, determine the resourcing that is required to support another area of the organization that brings contracting workload to them. They can estimate the impact of contract strategy changes, including category management strategies and the creation of new, centralized vehicles that eliminate standalone, customer specific contracts. As the model is fielded, users will likely develop new use cases, but overall, the workforce model allows them to scenario plan quickly and effectively.
Are there any Aminad service offerings that you’d like to highlight? What relevant experiences do you have in this area?
Our workforce planning capabilities are a personal area of interest for me. A lot of factors contribute to the development of a high-performing organization, but organizations that have the right workforce, the right culture, and the right organizational construct can generally overcome any other barriers to success. On the flip side, without the right workforce, even the best IT systems or a perfectly documented process may not lead to high performance. I have worked on lots of different types of projects, but in my experience, workforce planning efforts have tended to have the highest impact on mission success.
How does this service offering help clients achieve mission success?
Federal and private-sector clients alike often believe that workforce planning and organizational design are qualitative disciplines, and although there is certainly an art to workforce planning, a lot of science can be brought to bear as well. Using quantitative analysis and rigorous thinking to inform organizational structure sharpens a client’s thinking on organizational issues and unlocks a host of new capabilities. The large defense organization contracting workforce model is a perfect example. Without some type of quantitative model, the contracting organization would need a separate, standalone analysis for each individual workload scenario. Very few, if any, agencies have the time or resources to perform this type of analysis every time they need or want to examine a specific workload scenario. Workforce modeling opens up new scenario planning capabilities that may not otherwise be possible.
Considering this service offering, what are the most significant improvement opportunities available to government agencies?
There are many aspects of workforce planning that government agencies can get started on to drive immediate impact. Quantitative workforce modeling, akin to the contracting model, is one example. Competency modeling is another important aspect of workforce planning that can be improved in many Federal organizations. Having an organization-specific or mission-specific competency model lets agencies figure out what competencies they have in house and where there are gaps. This type of centralized view of workforce competencies can support hiring processes, training programs, and any requirement for support contractors. In most cases, though, I’d recommend a quick workforce planning diagnostic so that agency leaders can understand where they have gaps in workforce planning capabilities and make informed decisions on where to get started.