Formal Field Services Training Revamped!

Submitted by Arlo Midgett on February 4, 2019 - 2:15pm

Staff Development and Training (SD&T) has revamped the CORE training for Field Services staff! We have been looking at ways to retain staff AND it begins with a strong training foundation.

SD&T worked with Field Services subject matter experts to improve the delivery of training. In addition, Policy and Program Development has reviewed and provided recommendations to the draft training.

Remember, SD&T will travel to the requesting office to conduct training so new hires rarely need to travel to Anchorage for classroom training- SD&T comes to you! (more)

Happy New Year!

Submitted by Arlo Midgett on January 22, 2019 - 8:56am

As I mentioned in my Thanksgiving message, that was a time for looking back and reflecting. For me, I experience the exact opposite as I head into the “New Year” – This is a time of hope and action and looking forward not backwards. I don’t know about you, but I can’t hibernate, I need to invigorate myself during the shorter days. I experience an inner giddiness when the sun shines ever so briefly here in Southeast. I feel a renewed sense that spring is actually on the way and I can’t hide my excitement when we begin gaining even 2 minutes of light a day- change is in the air! (more)

Field Services Successful October and November!

Submitted by Debbie McDonald on November 20, 2018 - 4:09pm

Here is a snapshot of the successful accomplishments for our Field Offices during October and into November:

  1. Our Central and Coastal Regions rolled into statewide non-lobby (NL) work AND they have been able to clear their lobbies so they can contribute staff to our statewide NL efforts!  This is quite the achievement since they were needing to close their lobbies early prior to joining the statewide effort, and for them to already be contributing staff to our NonLobby work is a testament to what we can achieve as a team! DPA Field Services did several things to make this successful: we pulled together to do a lobby “reset” where staff from other offices inserted interviews from Gambell into their own office work; and you pushed really hard to complete all of Central and Coastal Regions’ recertifications for November which significantly decreased the lobby flow for November.  Lastly, with the assistance of our Information Technology (I.T.) staff, they brainstormed a solution for our slow Z drive issues. They tested a solution and then implemented it for us so the Z drive is performing faster so we could complete our work more timely- so THANK YOU I.T.!

Central and Coastal Regions move into Statewide work!

Submitted by Arlo Midgett on October 9, 2018 - 7:50am

On October 22, 2018, DPA will have all of our offices statewide working non-lobby work together as one team! YAY!

What this means:
Just like Southeast and Northern Regions, Central Region will begin with a clean slate on October 22, 2018. As a reminder, our Coastal Region transferred their backlog work at the beginning of this project so there isn’t any from their Region.

All offices will soon be working together to ensure our non-lobby work/clients are accounted for daily. This takes a tremendous amount of effort to appropriately staff the tracks within PathOs, so please continue to inform supervisors prior to 8am if you will be late or unable to make it for the day. Our managers arrive early so they can identify the work to be completed each day and match our staffing resources to where the client needs are the greatest. (more)

Creation of “overdue” teams

Submitted by Arlo Midgett on October 5, 2018 - 2:06pm

During the past two years DPA, along with Change and Innovation Agency (C!A), have worked to reduce and eliminate our backlog. As staffing levels and priorities change, so must the plan. Our goal is to not only provide clients their benefits in a timely manner but to also provide a structured and easily flexible work environment for all levels of field staff.

We developed a backlog plan with specific strategic steps and over the past several months we have had to enhance the plan due to staffing. This, along with our other strategies, will eliminate our backlog in 6 months. The Regional Managers met last week to fine tune the 5 pieces to this plan. The following changes started on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 and will be re-evaluated in 6 months, so these changes are temporary. (more)

Coastal Field Services has joined forces with Central Region!

Submitted by Arlo Midgett on August 15, 2018 - 12:05pm

In April 2017, the Coastal Regional Office in the Frontier Building in Anchorage permanently closed the lobby to customers so we could pilot the Virtual Contact Center with the Coastal Field Unit in the Frontier Building. (Unfortunately, the VCC product we were testing did not live up to expectations.)

Effective July 23th, 2018, our Coastal team officially joined forces with our Central Region team! Our Long-Term Care Unit continues to be located on the first floor in the Frontier Building and remains part of our Coastal Region team. When the Coastal lobby closed in 2017, we were able to press forward towards a plan to relocate the Coastal Field staff into Central Region (both Gambell and Muldoon offices). (more)

20 new Field Services positions!

Submitted by Arlo Midgett on August 7, 2018 - 9:38am

20 new Field Services positions and
8 Long-Term Nonpermanent Office Assistant (OA) Positions for Field support

When developing the budget for this fiscal year, we requested 41 positions so we could address the backlog and maintain same day service even with the increased caseloads. We were granted 20 positions with funding for 3 years. When we approach the end of the 3 year funding term, we will assess if the positions are still needed and request continued funding if warranted or determine which positions can remain vacant. (more)

Southeast Region “moves” into statewide work

Submitted by Arlo Midgett on August 3, 2018 - 3:26pm

Last week we continued the transition of offices to statewide non-lobby work! Southeast Region (Ketchikan, Juneau, Bethel and Sitka) has joined with our Northern and MatSu Regions (Wasilla, Kenai, Fairbanks and Nome offices = WKFN).

What this means:
Just like Northern Region did, Southeast Region began with a clean slate on July 23rd, began sharing non-lobby work, and processing all incoming work the same day. Yes, we are adding more to the backlog in a bundle--However, recent backlog is completed more timely by the unacted report clean up team and by following BPR principles, One and Done as staff are working everything associated with a client with minimal touches. (more)

DPA Backlog Initiative, March 2018

Submitted by Arlo Midgett on April 4, 2018 - 10:11am

The Backlog initiative is a quick – at a glance – document indicating the amount of incoming work and what our Field Staff were able to complete per region (please see attached).

FABULOUS JOB keeping the completion rate higher than 80%- WOW! This means that we are completing what we started 80% of the time and our customers are taken care of quickly. Additionally, the average transaction time 47 minutes- NICE! As a reminder to the Field Services Team and keeping with the BPR principles, just because the average transaction time is 47 minutes, we shouldn’t be setting an expectation to complete a specific number of actions per day. As we all know, every case is different and it depends upon what track staff are working in. For example, staff working in the Green track can’t be compared to those working in the Yellow track in terms of number of items completed. The daily numbers worked at the individual level will vary based upon the track they are working and if they have easy, difficult, or typical cases. The key here is to shorten what we have control over, our gap times, and take the steps to complete our cases so determinations are made for our customers. As Change and Innovation Agency has stated many times, we can’t complete our work faster without compromising our quality- and both are important, so we focus on what we can control by challenging our expectations of what we think we can complete in a day. Thank you for sticking with the process and assisting our customers!

Tammie and Aimee

March 2018 DPA Backlog Initiative Data

Northern Region “moves” into Statewide work

Submitted by Arlo Midgett on March 9, 2018 - 4:15pm

As we continue with the Backlog initiative, we wanted to inform DPA that the Northern Region (Fairbanks and Nome offices) will be joining with our MatSu Region (Wasilla and Kenai offices) on March 19th 2018.

What this means:

Northern Region will begin, effective March 19, 2018, with a clean slate, share non-lobby work, and process all incoming work the same day.