Dear DPA Team,
It comes as no surprise that DPA is under enormous pressure to handle the many families applying for services such as SNAP and Medicaid. In an attempt to serve these families, DPA staff have worked countless hours of overtime. Additionally, the Division has hired temporary staff to further back-stop our capacity. Unfortunately, this is not enough.
To regain our “hidden” capacity and put DPA on the road to timeliness, with the blessing of our Federal partners, we will be redefining our agency’s system of work. Over the next year, we will be working with The Change and Innovation Agency to assist us in redesigning DPA’s business process.
For those of you who were part of the LEAN efforts that began in 2009, you may recognize some of the initial steps that we took at that time. But the similarity stops there. This will be a comprehensive redesign and rollout of a solid business approach with profound benefits to our teams in the field. We will be drawing on the best practices from numerous states across America, but will implement these practices in a way that is appropriate for Alaska.\
Here is a snapshot of what we are planning:
- Develop a business process that is based on business principles used by all high-performing states in the country.
- Complete assessments for several office sites (Kenai, Ketchikan, Wasilla, Fairbanks, Coastal 1 & 2, and Gambell) to understand what is currently working and where opportunities await.
- Create a statewide process by staff members from across the state, not merely defined by a single location (representatives from every location will be chosen to assist in the planning process).
- Use a statewide business process developed by staff, not managers.
- Launch a workload management tool that complements our eligibility systems, designed specifically to measure workload, production and eligibility outcomes, allowing eligibility staff to remain focused on the work that is important.
- Use a process focused on Field Services’ needs exclusively.
- Use a redefined process management guide that is simple to use.
- Keep a consistent level of communication from leadership and the Planning Team so DPA staff and business partners know what is going on, as we wish to make this process as transparent as possible.
Here is what we ask of you:
- Please remain positive and respectful of the process. This is not “the same old thing.” It will take time and our work will change.
- If you have ideas, and I know you do and will, please share these with your site’s Planning Team representatives.
Aimee Olejasz, our Division Operations Manager, is the project manager for this Business Process Re-engineering. She will be working closely with Tammie Walker, Chief of Field Services, during this process.
Above all, know that your work is noble; it is important to thousands of Alaskan families each month. You are valued. It is an honor and privilege to be part of the DPA family.
Director, Division of Public Assistance