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Feb
16
2021

Building the Plane as You Fly It -- How to Implement Pilot Testing in your Improvement Project

By April Resnick

Did you know that birds flying into airplanes cause $1.2b in damage to commercial aircrafts each year? And that, in order to evaluate the results of such a "bird strike" on an aircraft, engine manufacturers employ a test involving throwing dead birds into test engines on the ground with a so-called “chicken gun”– a large-diameter, compressed-air cannon? It's not great news for the chickens, but it should bring some comfort to air travelers, knowing that airlines are going to great lengths to understand what works and what doesn't.

This is just one (pretty gross) example of an element of the Pilot Testing process -- trying to "break" the process in a safe environment and collecting information to understand how to mitigate that risk. In this final post in our Journey Mapping the Personnel Vetting Process blog series, we will cover the key elements of bringing your improvement project to a successful launch...and then what happens next:

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Feb
08
2021

Air Freshener Isn't Going to Help: Why Root Cause Matters

By April Resnick

Imagine you're in the kitchen, and you've just gotten a whiff of a bad smell -- a very bad smell. You sniff around, not sure where it's coming from. Maybe you spray some air freshener and crack a window, leave the room and hope it goes away. But when you come back, it's still there; maybe it's even gotten worse! You thought you could get away with masking the smell but alas, you have failed because you didn't take the time to figure out what was causing it. This same concept can be applied to any problem in any process; we'll look at how it can work for the personnel vetting process as we continue our Journey Mapping the Personnel Vetting Process blog series. In this post, we discuss how to identify the root cause of a problem, and then how to come up with ways to solve it. 

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Jan
24
2020

Understanding Stakeholders in the Personal Vetting Process

By LaShawn Douglas

In a recent blog, we published steps to journey mapping the personnel vetting process customer experience and included illustrative examples to help capture a more accurate picture. A customer journey map is a visual representation of the process a customer or stakeholder goes through to achieve a goal, and typically works best for scenarios that describe a sequence of events.

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Nov
08
2019

Applying Journey Mapping to the Personnel Security Vetting Process

By LaShawn Douglas

In our last blog, we examined the government’s definition of customer service, and identified ways for the Government to transform both the process and experience of personnel vetting. We suggested starting with a better understanding of stakeholder goals, expectations, and touchpoints with service providers. You can accomplish this by conducting interviews as well as observing stakeholders as they work (or, “fly-on-the-wall” observations”). As a next step, we recommend documenting all findings in a customer journey map.

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Sep
24
2019

Challenges and Improvements in the Personnel Security Requests Process

By LaShawn Douglas

In our previous blogs, we’ve discussed the concept of processing personnel security requests and the stakeholders involved. As government seeks to improve processing times for personnel vetting, we also have an opportunity to improve the customer experience. The June 2019 OMB Circular No. A-11, defines Customer Experience (CX) as:

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