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Scott Sadlon understands the meaning of transformation. He has to, as he’s Booz Allen Hamilton's program manager for the Air Force Office of Business Transformation work, an impressively far-reaching contract that hits some of the most complex organizational problems facing the service branch.
“We’re leading with confidence and changing the way the Air Force thinks about operating in a resource-constrained environment,” Scott says. “Transformation is a must, as the Air Force, like each of the other military service branches, is being asked to do more with less.”
“These are hard, complex problems—enterprise challenges. The Air Force is turning to us, and we’re bringing them the resources and experience to drive solutions they need. ”
- Booz Allen Program Lead Frank Lee
Through work spanning nearly 4 years, Booz Allen is tackling challenges that range from identifying gaps in care provided to airmen with post-traumatic stress to redesigning the budgeting execution process using tools such as targeted facilitation, continuous process improvement, change management, organization design, performance management, and training.
For Senior Transformation Lead Charlie Miller, the program represents “a dream project for a management consultant.” According to Charlie, “Business transformation isn’t easy, but we’re building relationships and creating resolutions for critical problems across the entire force, which is having a real impact.”
For Vice President and Program Lead Frank Lee, the idea of solving problems for a living is what first brought him to Booz Allen.
“These are hard, complex problems—enterprise challenges,” says Frank. “The Air Force is turning to us, and we’re bringing them the resources and experience to drive solutions they need.”
It takes many different skill sets, and lots of teamwork, to make the Air Force’s day-to-day operations run smoothly. It also helps that reach-back expertise is only a click or a phone call away—even if that ideal subject matter expert needs to have achieved a targeted certification coupled with niche experience in a specific field to extract waste from business processes.
At one point, “the Air Force called us asking for a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt with nuclear experience,” says Frank, describing a profile that’s rare even in Lean Six Sigma circles. “In less than 48 hours we had answered the call with someone at the Pentagon in meetings with the clients.”
The transformation project also includes some work with the Air Force Review Boards Agency—something our employees find especially inspiring.
“It’s an organization that helps America’s heroes get the benefits they deserve more quickly—months sooner in several cases,” says Scott. “It is one thing to be saying, ‘We’re helping the agency save money by doing this,’ but when our work helps someone who needs a certain service, that’s extremely rewarding.”
In order for the Air Force to meet and exceed its mission objectives, it must attract and retain the best and brightest.
Booz Allen is helping—by going into the squadrons, where most Airmen grow their experience—to get a pulse check, asking for personal opinions on what could improve their Air Force experience. That feedback will lay the groundwork for future enlistees, officers, and civilians – it has a total force impact.
To attract the best and brightest personnel, Air Force leadership must adapt—and Booz Allen is helping by communicating the needs of today’s Airmen.
What do they want? It could be anything from offering off-base activities to evolving communication methods. This often means finding ways to integrate mobile technology and new media.
“Younger generations are wired differently. What worked 30 years ago isn’t going to work today,” Scott adds.
“The Booz Allen team’s support has been phenomenal,” says Frank. “Since these are such critical Air Force missions—and of such significance—there’s an extra level of passion. We’re really trying to help the client make smart budget decisions, create solutions to advance their priorities, and apply best practices.”
This collective effort has a potential cost avoidance in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars, ultimately allowing Air Force leadership the ability to more strategically allocate vital resources.
Most importantly, the client is happy, describing our support as “trusted and instrumental.” And there’s an important business component, too—by working with new entities within the Air Force, we’re continuing to demonstrate that our mission and their mission are one in the same.