US Army Corps Of Engineer Plan Review Chapter

Length: 12 pages Sources: 10 Subject: Business - Management Type: Chapter Paper: #93083088 Related Topics: Army, Keynesian Economics, Keynesian Theory, Welfare State
Excerpt from Chapter :

¶ … United States Army Corps of Engineers issued a report in 2012 that was known as the Human Capital Strategic Plan. It was meant to serve as a benchmark and projection for what was to come from 2012 through 2017. Of course, the United States Army Corps of Engineers is a public safety-oriented organization and their plan will be analyzed in terms of resource allocation, budgeting efficacy and overall quality. The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a very competent organization but no organization's plans, especially those organizations whose funding involves taxpayer dollars in whole or in part, is beyond reproach.

Strategic Plan Analysis

The author of this report has been charged with the analyzing the Human Capital Strategic Plan for 2012-2017 as issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in April 2012. The report is about fifty pages in length and will be analyzed cover to cover. As mentioned in the abstract, there will be a deep analysis of what is in the report, what might be missing from the report and what perhaps could be done better. While the Army Corps of Engineers is a very reputable organization, all government and government-oriented organizations should have their plans analyzed and assessed.

Analysis

The first printed page of the Human Capital Strategic is an introductory letter written by Meredith W.B. Temple, the apparent Acting Commander and Major General of the United States of America at the time that the publication was written. She notes in the report that the last three years prior to the report's issue had been very challenging. She specifically cites the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005 as well as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The author of this report recognizes the latter of those two as being the initial stimulus bill that was passed through the United States Congress in light of the nasty recession that ran from 2007 to 2009 and came to be known as the "Great Recession." Her mention of these initiatives is closed out by the idea that they were to be focused on the assessment of competencies, the identification of gaps and the establishment of plans to close the gaps mentioned prior. This is a good overall plan that the agency could and should follow so long as it is not just words and proverbial fluff (USACE, 2012).

The general then ties in the "building strong" motto that appears on the cover the report and states that the United States Army Corps of Engineers will focus on the prevention of talent loss, the shaping of the workforce for the future and winning the war for talent. She closes out the page by saying the "right people with the right competencies equals success." Indeed, this is a prescient thing for the general to focus on because there is indeed a war for talent between the public and private sectors. In times of economic strife, budget cuts and malaise, keeping the good talent in the public sector can be a challenge and then some (USACE, 2012).

The table of contents for the report reveals the general strategies that will be undertaken. There is a summary of the human capital life cycle, overall research and findings, key drivers of employee engagement, the overall United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) human capital goals, the overall USACE human capital objectives. The table of contents then lists the four overall human capital objectives that are to be obtained. How progress will be measured is mentioned just before the conclusion and the report wraps up with the conclusion, references and appendices. Just looking at the structure of the report, it is simple yet complex enough to make the overall points that the USACE is seeking to make via the report (USACE, 2012).

It is noted on the third page of the report that the 2012 iteration (the report being analyzed in this report) is the first full revision since 2009. Three years is a bit of a lapse but is not a...

...

If the three years had been from 2006 to 2009 (the beginning, middle and end of the "Great Recession"), then that gap would take on wider and deeper meaning. Further it is heartening to note that the report says that "this update is based on our last three years of analysis, initiatives, accomplishments and lessons learned." This is indicative of an agency that knows they probably did some things right but they also need to assess and measure what they did wrong. This dovetails with the mention of "gaps" earlier in the report. The mission statement of the USACE is then mentioned. These main motto, of course, is to provide "vital public engineering services in peace and wear to strengthen our Nation's security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters…." The details of the mission statement are offered and then the vision statement of the USACE is given (USACE, 2012).

The "lines of effort," or LOE's, for the USACE from the December 2011 draft of the Army campaign plan are mentioned next. Those lines of effort include the following:

Integrate requirements determination, allocation and the resourcing process that helps identify civilian workforce capabilities

To improve the civilian workforce life cycle strategy, planning and operations so as to enhance overall mission effectiveness

To establish an integrated level of management systems to support civilian human capital decision making and allow leaders and employees to perform their roles more efficiently and effectively in support of the Army's overall goals and missions

Define and align the Army civilian leader development requirement thresholds

The reformation of the civilian hiring process

The integration of Civilians into the Army profession

When looking at those LOE's, there are a few things that spring out in terms of capital management and planning efficacy. First of all, a refined and perfect hiring process is indeed a good thing to have because there needs to be a person to culture fit that exist between the person hired and the agency doing the hiring. Not everyone is cut out for the kind of work that the USACE needs done and people that are unfit or unwilling to do the necessary work (at the right quality) should not be hired by the USACE. Second, it is important that it is recognized that there is a big difference between a standard civilian job and a job like that in the USACE. Indeed, even civilian employees in the USACE need to understand that the USACE is not a private sector endeavor and that the employees in the USACE will be held to a higher standard than might be expected in many private firms (USACE, 2012).

Next up is the USACE Campaign Plan Strategy Map as shown on the bottom of page four. The four goals in question are as follows:

Deliver USACE support to combat stability and disaster operations through forward deployed and reach back capabilities.

Deliver enduring and essential water resource solutions through collaboration with partners and stakeholders

Deliver innovative, resilient, sustainable solutions to the Armed Forces and the Nation

Build and cultivate a competent, disciplined and resilient team equipped to delivery high quality solutions.

There is a lot to like in those goals as well. First of all, supporting both the Nation at large and the United States Armed Forces (USAF) are obviously the overarching goals of the USACE. The header at the top of the campaign plan chart asks the question "What will YOU do to make USACE great?." This is akin to what John F. Kennedy said when he asked people to consider what they can do for their country rather than the other way around. This is an idea and motto that government servants in particular need to keep in mind. They should not be in a job at the USACE to get big riches and fame. Rather, they should be there to serve their country in an ethical and honorable fashion. Given that the safety of the public and the Armed Forces are in question, absolutely no less than that should be demanded or required. However, there are challenges in doing that, as mentioned on page 6 of the report, when it says "external drivers include current and anticipated future economic constraints and requirements levied by the Department of Army (DA), Department of Defense (DoD), and Congress as well as the regulatory and legal authorizes exercised by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Office of Management and Budget." Indeed, being funded by taxpayer dollars means both a high standard to meet and limited budgetary constraints within which those things must be done and completed. There are times and situations where getting extra money might not be all that hard. For example, there were clarion calls to expand the funding and operations of the USACE in light of what happened with Hurricane Katrina. However, the Great Recession proved to be the antithesis of that because budgetary line items were being reduced…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

CDC. (2015). Products - Vital Statistics of the U.S. - Homepage. Cdc.gov. Retrieved 5 June 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/vsus.htm

Census.gov. (2015). FFF: Hispanic Heritage Month 2014: Sept. 15 -- "Oct. 15. Census.gov. Retrieved 5 June 2015, from http://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2014/cb14-ff22.html

Kessler, G. (2015). Do 10,000 baby boomers retire every day?. Washington Post. Retrieved 5 June 2015, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/07/24/do-10000-baby-boomers-retire-every-day/

Krumrie, M. (2014). How To Incorporate Diversity Hiring Goals and Strategies. ZipRecruiter. Retrieved 5 June 2015, from https://www.ziprecruiter.com/blog/the-right-way-to-incorporate-diversity-hiring-goals-and-strategies/
Michaels, P. (2015). Sustainability Is Too Expensive - BusinessWeek. Businessweek.com. Retrieved 5 June 2015, from http://www.businessweek.com/debateroom/archives/2011/12/sustainability_is_too_expensive.html
OPM.gov. (2015). Feedback is Critical to Improving Performance. U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved 5 June 2015, from https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/performance-management/performance-management-cycle/monitoring/feedback-is-critical-to-improving-performance/
Time. (2009). Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - TIME.com. TIME.com. Retrieved 5 June 2015, from http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1941102,00.html
WSJ. (2015). Employee Retention -- " How to Retain Employees - Small Business - WSJ.com. Guides.wsj.com. Retrieved 5 June 2015, from http://guides.wsj.com/small-business/hiring-and-managing-employees/how-to-retain-employees/


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