Enable our clients to optimize new and innovative concepts. Browse our capabilities to learn how we can best support your organization to achieve integration success.
Service Delivery: OPTIMIZED
Understanding exactly what services an organization provides drives all other actions related to people, process, and tools. We focus on helping organizations define their services, their service catalog, and the processes required to deliver those services to the satisfaction of the organization and the user of those services.
Sample Artifacts:Service Catalogs, Strategic Service Management Plans, Service Delivery Procedures and processes
The USMC along with other Department of Navy (DON) components were aligning to be consumers of an enterprise service provided by a DON program office. The utilization schedule, to include the number of users from each component and when exactly they would be using the system continued to change as development delays and requirement changes impacted the end users ability to migrate to the system.
The DON program office was not prepared to manage licenses across multiple organizations, each with their own requirements and processes for internal cost accountability for budgeting and utilization of licenses. Their operating process for development was based off a functional requirements document that did not even have a portion dedicated to Access Management. The need for license management had been a subject of discussion for at least 6 months with minimal to zero movement besides the acknowledgement that it needed to be addressed.
Hartwood Consulting Group documented the many discussions related to License Management and cost allocation from the functional representatives of all current and future service consumers and created a requirements list that would satisfy the needs for transparency of license utilization, and management of licenses at the appropriate levels within each DON component.
Hartwood was able to convert the notes from previous meetings into a complete license management plan that was presented to the functional community for review. After two special meetings, the license management plan was approved and utilized by the DON program office for the management of licenses. The plan also included the technical modifications required in the form of engineering change requests to allow for the implementation of the plan.
Process Definition and Re-engineering
Processes and procedures make any organization function. The state of maturity of those processes varies greatly from organization to organization and from process to process. Hartwood’s works with organizations to determine the state of process development and to identify incremental modifications where appropriate as well as large scale re-engineering efforts as required in support of innovation and transformational activities.
Sample Artifacts: BPMN Process Diagrams, Process Documentation, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Hartwood provides cyber security RMF process support, defensive cyber operation support, incident response, policy development, engineering, technical writing, and security training to assist system owners with FISMA, NIST, and all other applicable instructions, regulations, and orders. Hartwood also provides STIG implementations and assessments for Accreditation efforts and overall cyber hygiene.
Sample Artifacts: POA&M, Integrated Test Plan, Implementation Plan, Dataflow Diagram, System Security Plan (SSP), System Requirements Traceability Matrix (SRTM), STIG Checklist (.ckl).
At the heart of all organizations is the need for ensuring that across the organization the appropriate skills and knowledge is developed to allow the appropriate resource to support the organization in the most effective manner. Hartwood designs, creates and implements Organizational Training plans that support organizational change as needed for new or revised Services, Processes and the supporting Information Technology.
We support training for individual projects and groups with training materials, post training support guides, and training sustainment plans as the tools and processes continue to evolve. Hartwood also works hard to ensure that training is not an isolated event but is integrated into the overall organizational culture to the degree required to maintain the skills and knowledge at the appropriate level within the organization.
Sample Artifacts: Training Plans; Training Materials; Desk Side Guides; Toolbox Tips; Instructor Led Training; Training Records
The USMC realized based on end user analysis that remote training would need to be provided to assist with the migration of the Marine Corps Action Tracking System (MCATS) user based from the legacy system to the new DON TRACKER.
The Hartwood Consulting support contract for the migration from MCATS to DON TRACKER did not include any funding for training nor was training included as part of the SOW. When examined, the contract being used had hit the ceiling and so no further modifications were allowed to potentially add training and ODCs. It was also determined that the prime DON TRACKER contractor did have training as part of the sustainment contract but due to delays in getting the sustainment contract awarded, they did not have enough time before the migration to hire, train and coordinate a training team for the USMC.
Hartwood Consulting Group worked closely with the client to present an analysis of the options and from that, we created a schedule to perform all training within the Jan 4th to March 14th timeframe with most commands being visited and all others provided with options to attend trainings a nearby locations. We then worked with the DON TRACKER prime contractor to work out a sub contract that would allow them to meet their training requirement and satisfy the needs of the USMC.
The analysis and plan was so well thought out and executed that Hartwood was able to not only meet the required 5 locations and 24 training sessions during the 12 weeks but for the same cost, were able to train at 15 locations and conducted 48 training sessions. Over 850 trainees attended remote training sessions during this time which exceed the total planned trainees for all locations of 760. The prime contractor asked us for permission to extend the training contract to allow for support with future Navy User training.
The USMC was the first of a series of organizations scheduled to be a consumer of an Information Technology (IT) service being provided by the Department of Navy (DON) and they needed to ensure that the USMC end users were trained prior to deployment of the service. There was also a need to ensure that there was post deployment supporting training materials available.
The DON as the service owners had told all potential consumers of the new service that training materials were available within the system, and that there was an approved User Manual for the new system. When the USMC reviewed the “embedded training materials”, it was obvious to the entire team that the materials was too focused on screen by screen utilization of the system and not appropriate to meet the needs of the USMC. As a new system, there were no subject matter experts within the USMC that they could turn to with the knowledge to create training materials and there were no lesson’s learned from previous users of the systems on how to best create a training package.
Hartwood Consulting Group took up the challenge and focused on what we did know and that was the legacy system. We were able to identify how the legacy system was being utilized and then focused on creating training materials that would show the same user base, how they would perform the same activities in the new system. The training materials also focused on highlighting the differences between the two systems including the improved functionality that was expected to make it easier to manage task actions within the USMC.
The Hartwood training team was able to put together a complete training package that included a MS PowerPoint for instructor led training, four (4) hands-on practical application scripts for trainees to perform within the training site, and an alignment of the old system functionality to the new system functionality that assured the trainees that they will be able to perform their job responsibilities in the new system better than they had in the old system.
Promoting collaboration, building awareness, and educating organizational change stakeholders by a proactive and targeted development of key messages for delivery has been proven to provide any change initiative a greater chance for success. From the communications plan generation and the identification of the stakeholders to the creation of the communication products through to distribution we support organizations with all their strategic communication requirements.
Sample Artifacts: Strategic Communications Plan, Awareness Plan, Activity Matrix, Communication Materials (News Articles, Bulletins, Mass Emails)
A major change was coming that would impact the entire USMC all at once with a tail end of 10 to 15 years of continued influence. A new Department of Navy (DON) application was scheduled to be deployed to replace the legacy Marine Corps Action Tracking System (MCATS) that has been around for almost 20 years. The replacement was scheduled to occur at one time across the Corps creating a huge organizational change.
The Hartwood Consulting Group needed to figure out how to effectively reach out to the stakeholders, determine what resources were available, and hope to establish a communication effort that would provide awareness, continual updates and at the same time set the stage for pre-deployment and post deployment collection of concerns and issues related to the projected deployment schedule.
Hartwood Consulting Group worked closely with the client to generate a strategic communications plan that was comprised of multiple avenues of communications. Hartwood first presented a plan that was filled with objectives but was light on activities due to the lack of knowledge available on options for communication. Over the course of the 8 months preceding the deployment of the replacement system, Hartwood worked to complete the strategic communications plan with over 6 different versions being reviewed, modified, and then accepted.
As the plan matured, a multi-pronged communications plan was approved, implemented, and tracked that allowed for members of the Hartwood team to conduct over 55 Customer Engagements in person via VTC, 2 Corps wide Town hall meetings, the generation of MARADMINs for distribution and the creation of a Pre-Deployment Communication Package that was distributed to POCs established during the customer engagements.
The United States Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment (WWR) was in charge of hosting the 2020 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games. The 10th annual adaptive-sports competition was set to take place in San Antonio, Texas. The games highlight the exceptional physical skills and mental toughness of wounded, ill and injured active-duty and veteran service members. Men and women from the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Army, and U.S. Special Operations Command are joined in competition by representatives from allied nations for a variety of adaptive sports ranging from archery to wheelchair rugby.
The Marine Corps WWR was tasked with putting together a media campaign to unify the messaging, themes, and branding elements for the 2020 DoD Warrior Games. Each year, the torch is passed to a different service branch to host the DoD Warrior Games and develop a media package to advertise the games to raise awareness about adaptive sports competition benefits for the wounded, ill, and injured service members and to increase attendance/viewership for the upcoming games.
Hartwood Consulting Group created a brand guide that outlined the DoD 2020 brand identity and brand assets to ensure consistency, standards, and values. Hartwood worked with WWR’s CommStrat Officer and other Marine Corps entities to develop a campaign platform and were woven throughout the branding guide and messaging. The branding guide consisted of the official logos, military seals, color palette, fonts, event pictographics, taglines, and visual assets.
Hartwood was able to work with WWR’s CommStrat Officer and other supporting Marine Corps entities to put together a brand guide that was cohesive, professional, and represented the values of the Marine Corps, DoD Warrior Games, and warrior care community.
Taking the complex and making it simple is the core definition of Technical Writing yet at Hartwood we believe in just enough documentation at the time it is needed to allow our customers to deliver their services with the upmost professionalism and efficiency. In the rapidly changing technical and organizational realms, the method by which supporting documentation is generated, utilized and maintained is also changing. Hartwood incorporates technology as common as MS Word to more advanced integrated digital media management platforms to get the appropriate documentation at the appropriate level of detail to those who need it.
Sample Artifacts: Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), System technical specifications, Requirements Documentation, Integrated Help
Service Center Support
Providing personnel to answer the phone and reply to emails is a commodity. Hartwood supplies individuals that are trained to understand the services our customers provide, how the technology being supported supports the processes and people providing those services so our service desk support agents are able to more efficiency identify the service interruption, suggest options for work arounds, and accurately report the issue for resolution.
Every organization generates records that need to be managed in compliance with organizational policy for the protection of the organization, and in many cases, in compliance with federal regulations and laws. We help organizations define policy for the identification, collection, management, and disposition of records. For government organizations, we assist with email record management, artifact identification from organizational processes, and provide support with the collection of records across the organization into a compliant records management system. We have working relationships with many data analytic tool providers to assist with the proper identification of mass quantities of artifacts in support of the records disposition management.
Artifacts: Records Management Policies, Records Management Processes, Records Management Training, Disposition reporting
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) required that all government organizations be compliant with the capture, storage, and management of email records by 31 December 2016. The United States Marine Corps (USMC) was aligned to utilize another organizations compliant system but when that option fell through at the last moment, another option was needed within 3 months.
The USMC was able to get a 3 month storage arrangement that technically met the capture and storage requirements of Capstone but did not allow for the proper conversion into records or the efficient management of the records. Hartwood was asked to explore options for a low cost solution that would bring the USMC into compliance with the ability to provide coverage for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 24 months. Of course the solution would need to be able to be implemented within 3 months.
Hartwood Consulting Group reached out to other organizations across the USMC to determine if there were any existing architectures that could be leveraged to provide a short term compliant records management repository. Via this communication, it was discovered that there was an existing prototype architecture already on a USMC network that would be viable for the Capstone RM needs. Hartwood proposed 3 technical options that included different capabilities such as Deduplication, automated metadata assignment to assist with retrieval requirements, and of course licenses and support for the RM of the emails. We covered Information assurance requirements, storage requirements, and complete technical integration between software products.
After presenting the technical options, Hartwood was able to coordinate with the appropriate best in industry solution providers to align resource requirements, communicate across the USMC organizations, and provide full documentation of the extent of the work required to allow the USMC to acquire the funding, coordinate the contracting, and the management of the work. This included the complete lifecycle of the email from determination of Capstone officials to ensuring the ability to retrieve the records as needed to support the transparency requirements of the US government.
OMB-M-19-21 required all federal agencies to manage their records electronically by 31 December 2022. Prior to that, USMC’s Records Management (RM) policy and business practices were based almost exclusively on paper (textual) RM processes. There was no standardized methodology for maintaining an RM program at the command level—Command Designated Records Managers (CDRMs) typically created and controlled the organization’s file plan via three-ring binders and excel spreadsheets. Furthermore, Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC), specifically, the Records, Reports, Directives, and Forms Management Section (ARDB), had no way of verifying command’s RM compliance, outside of biannual IG inspections.
Hartwood Consulting Group realized early on that, at both the command and enterprise level, the USMC had no way of identifying 1) records locations 2) their format (i.e., electronic or paper), or 3) the policy conflicts and/or logistical limitations that could prevent those records from being managed in an electronic environment. Hartwood also realized that in order to fully migrate to electronic RM (ERM), the USMC had to first take inventory of its current readiness posture, determine any training and policy gaps, and decentralize its cultural RM processes.
Recognizing the need for a standardized system, Hartwood developed CROSS—the Command Records Operational Support Site—to meet all programmatic RM needs. A sharepoint configuration, CROSS provides both CDRMs and ARDB an “at-a-glance” snapshot of a command’s RM readiness posture. It also standardizes the programmatic construct of RM programs across the enterprise and enables CDRMs to manage their unit hierarchy, Staff Section RM assignment, file plan, and IG checklist in one, central location.
Representing Phase I (of III) of the USMC’s ERM migration plan, CROSS has successfully taken the guesswork out of RM while allowing commands to tailor their programs to suit their individual business needs. It has also provided a level of transparency and analysis to ARDB and IG staff previously denied. As a direct result of CROSS implementation, CDRMs have not only received noteworthy inspection recognition for their RM programs, but they have also—some, for the first time—come to appreciate how a decentralized management model can improve collaboration and compliance.
An existing legacy Records Management Knowledge Site (RMKS) was developed by the incumbent contract staff, which focused on the registration and maintenance of Command Directed Records Managers (CDRM) appointment letters. After a couple years of utilizing the site to collect demographic information on CDRMs, we recognized that the emphasis should shift to commands/units, rather than individual CDRMs. HCG and various stakeholders, including the government staff, came to an understanding that, in order to facilitate a successful Records Management (RM) program for the Marine Corps, a new system would have to be developed, complete with a new data architecture in which the programmatic elements existing within the command structure were the primary elements.
The USMC employs nearly 600 commands and 200k+ Marines, civilians, and contractors that all (potentially) produce records. We therefore faced the serious challenge of collecting and maintaining large quantities of command file plans, electronic appointment letters, and rotating Staff Section RM personnel assignments—all within an unstructured environment and with limited-to-no policy/governance. Furthermore, the existing data structure did not support CDRM/RM staff turnover since personnel assignment/information is often dynamic in nature. In addition, RMKS did not provide any technical delineation between RM roles (i.e., Primary/Alternate CDRM, Staff Section RM etc.), allowing the same functions to be conducted by both command and subsection staff personnel.
Hartwood revamped the RMKS site initially into, what eventually became CROSS 1.0. The solution was ultimately moved over to its own site collection, at which point, we discovered just how much of the legacy RMKS solution was housing unnecessary and obsolete personnel data. After sanitizing the unnecessary data, HCG employed an Agile Scrum development methodology to develop and deploy CROSS to the new site collection, focusing on a command structure, rather than the individual RMs, as the key element. In addition, we focused on specific tenets of training and policy development to ensure the enterprise-wide adoption of CROSS. This in turn, made turnovers seamless, file plan updates readily available, and resolved ambiguity surrounding IG checklist compliance.
CROSS was met with overwhelmingly positive results and has now become an official RM application for the USMC. Due to its rising usage by commands, development of 2.0 is under design. CROSS 1.0 was focused mainly on data collection and functionality definition, whereas 2.0 will focus on pro-active utilization and inspection support capabilities.
Under new guidance from NARA, all commands were required to implement and begin utilizing an electronic records management program. This drove the necessity for an application package, MCTILM, that could be setup by non-technical personnel with minimal guidance. In addition, supporting documents had to be provided to end-users that outlined the entire deployment, usage, and maintenance of MCTILM.
Implementation efforts of the previous version of MCTILM were seen as cumbersome, and supporting setup documents were ambiguous. The previous version’s setup guidance steps were either highly technical or were dependent on the farm administrator’s discretion. In addition, the previous version was designed using SSICs, which soon after, were made obsolete by the implementation of record schedules. A solution package that could be deployed locally by non-technical personnel had to be developed to accommodate the new NARA mandates.
HCG developed a process application that is capable of being templated into a single file for deployment into any compatible SharePoint system, as well as instructions on the usage of the application. We first began the effort with a multiple document library architecture, but revamped the data structure after obtaining feedback from our first pilot program. The resulting documentation provides technical oversight of the application with all necessary data and functional components identified, which will provide for easier maintenance as they arise.
We provided the resulting documentation to commands that agreed to two separate pilot programs with operational commands, which are currently ready for production deployment. The expected result is that we provide an end product that significantly reduces the time that it takes for commands to manage their records by automating the disposition process. Commands are no longer obligated to maintain internal spreadsheets, hypothesize on inspection outcomes, unit hierarchy and roles, or farm level dependence.
Knowing the right tool and the right utilization of the tool is how Hartwood has integrated our SharePoint development and administration into the overall organizational process management. SharePoint has many capabilities and features that can be leveraged to support organizations with business process management, content management, and unique workflows. Hartwood has years of experience providing guidance, development and administration of SharePoint in support of government organizations.
The USMC Sergeants Major Slating Process is a forum conducted by the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps with Force Level Sergeants Major. It was introduced in February 2000 to ensure the assignment of the best qualified Sergeant Major leadership and experience to General Officer (GO) level commands and to ensure all eligible Sergeants Major receive fair and equitable consideration for those assignments.
The process typically begins months prior to the actual slating board. Candidate packages are submitted through email to the Headquarters Marine Corps Manpower Management (MM) Office. Personnel from the MM office access multiple web databases to retrieve military records for each candidate and store them on local computers and shared drives. In preparation for each board, candidate packages are printed and consolidated into binders for review by the voting members. When the board convenes, all Force Level Sergeants Major around the world travel to Headquarters Marine Corps to participate in the slating process, expending resources to hold the event. In an effort to reduce costs and save valuable time for each voting member, the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps requested an online mechanism to hold virtual slating boards, keeping Force Level Sergeants Major in place during the vote.
Hartwood developers built a one-stop-shop, wizard driven solution for building and managing multiple, simultaneous virtual slating boards. The tool provides a fully functional dashboard, equip with web redirection technology to display only what is needed, depending on the permissions associated with the visiting user. The home page is configured with a communication mechanism, allowing for the posting and dissemination of all related board messages, and sends automated email notifications at various times during the board process. Global navigation links are utilized to bring forth a full directory (including photos, links to bios, and POC information) of all Sergeants Major currently serving in GO assignments. The tool streamlines the collection and tracking of packages, creating separate folders for each candidate, and providing drag and drop capability to quickly upload all required documents. At a pre-designated time, the tool creates a virtual board, pulling in all candidate packages and displaying them, in order, for voting members. Each voting member can vote in place, online, from their home office. Upon completion of each board, the tool provides a single-click mechanism for tallying votes, which are then displayed for voting members and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, who signs off on the vote. Board results remain on the dashboard for 30 days, then are automatically retired to an archived state with retention of up to 2 years.
Hartwood consultants presented the solution to the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps and received high praise for the effort and accuracy of the slating process, incorporated into the tool. He authorized deployment and requested the solution be presented with a full demonstration at the 2017 Sergeants Major Symposium.
With an ever-increasing flood of information, data, and digital content combined with a more transitory workforce, government organizations are struggling to deal with their organizational knowledge. Hartwood works with organizations holistically to determine what information is generated from their service delivery, what information is needed for their supporting processes, and how that information needs to flow within the organizations. Moving forward to working within the organization to modify the thinking about, the utilization of, and the identification of knowledge by creating a KM framework that integrates into the day to day operations of the organization. From these activities, we can identify supporting technologies, training requirements, and potential areas where existing knowledge can be leveraged to generate new knowledge for the customer.
Artifacts: KM Strategy, Integration Plans, KM Framework
Organizational Change Management
Organizations that are not moving forward are falling behind. This is true for government organizations, especially in this era of rapidly advancing technology and changing missions. With any movement, comes change and for change to be as efficient and least disruptive as possible, it must be managed via a combination of planning, communication, leadership, and other supporting factors. Hartwood supports organizational leadership with the planning, implementation, and follow-up for changes both big and small while ensuring that the disruption caused by the change is managed while allowing the organization to continue to perform its core day to day requirements to deliver services.
Artifacts: Change Management Plan, Impact and mitigation analysis, Communication plan, Training plan