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News | June 15, 2017

Land and Maritime review identifies efficiencies to improve overall agency productivity

By Craig M. Rader DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

A team of subject matter experts completed an intensive, week-long internal review at Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime to identify best practices to apply across the agency.

The June 5-9 review covered operations across myriad functional areas, including human resources, readiness, finance, training, acquisition management, strategic planning and others.

Earlier this year, DLA Headquarters implemented an enterprise-wide initiative known as the Agency Management Review program to conduct comprehensive, cross-functional evaluations of Primary Level Field Activity compliance with laws, regulations, policies and procedures of the organization.

"The AMR is truly an opportunity for each PLFA to get an independent assessment of how they’re doing with key business and operational activities,” said Hellion Flowers, a process integration division chief at DLA HQ and AMR team lead. “It's not a ‘gotcha’ session. It's done more in the collaborative spirit and gives both the PLFA and headquarters an opportunity to see where improvement is needed in our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and policies and execution of those."

The program is led by DLA Logistics Policy and Strategic Programs and covers multiple areas that allow HQ senior leaders to identify areas of vulnerability to improve overall program and operational performance.

The program also aims to isolate trends and identify best practices across the agency to strengthen DLA’s overall performance. The review provides a mechanism for DLA to isolate and respond to critical operational concerns to ensure sustained auditability.

"I've been very pleased with the receptiveness to feedback from top leadership at the PLFAs we've visited thus far,” said Elaine Applegate, DLA systems analyst and AMR team lead. “It's been evident in the willingness of all parties to work through findings to meet the intent of the review while being aware of the needs of the warfighter."

She added that the reviews are a critical part of ensuring compliance with established DLA policies, procedures and processes throughout the Agency.

The reviews are also beneficial to the agency in a number of ways that align with DLA’s strategic mission. They contribute to process excellence by identifying the best qualities of each field activity, then implementing those practices across the enterprise when applicable. DLA also draws on AMR conclusions to improve its focus on people and culture by identifying areas where training can be strengthened.

Land and Maritime Commander Navy Rear Adm. Michelle Skubic told the review team during the June 9 exit conference she appreciated their input during the review and flexibility throughout the busy work week.

“When I read over the comments and feedback from the daily meetings and ‘hot wash’ review sessions, it reminded me why I’m such a fan of DLA,” Skubic said. “Our ability as an enterprise to have this kind of collaboration and positive conversation lets us adjust and improve the organization – this is what makes this agency so great.”