DLA innovator honored for integrating robotics into agency processes

By Michael Molinaro, DLA Information Operations

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A Defense Logistics Agency Information Operations employee is being recognized as one of the top 100 innovators in the federal government.

John Lockwood was selected for Federal Computer Week Magazine’s Federal 100 Awards, presented each year to executives in government, industry and academia who had the greatest impact on government information systems the previous year.

Lockwood is a program manager for robotic process automation. DLA is leading the Department of Defense in RPA, which eliminates repetitive, manual tasks so employees can focus on more complex, analytical work. Other benefits include greater task-focused productivity, improved compliance, and better standardization and consistency.

“It was good to feel my efforts are being rewarded,” Lockwood said. “I am implementing a game-changing program from proof of concept to sustainment. RPA will automate processes that will help our employees with their workload.”

The Kingston, New York, native and retired Navy captain has been with DLA for more than six years. He also worked in information technology for the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida, and Sun Microsystems in Silicon Valley.

Lockwood’s supervisor, John Felsted, nominated him for the award for quickly integrating robotic software into DLA’s IT processes. He said while other DoD agencies are still attempting to implement one bot, Lockwood has managed to get several running within a couple of months.

“[DoD] is watching how John is doing it and will likely adopt his implementation,” Felsted said. “He is frequently asked to attend, lead and speak at many DoD and federal government forums. If he attended all the forums he was invited to, he would never be able to move bots forward at DLA.”

DLA is focusing on innovation to stay ahead of broader DoD and Fourth Estate IT reform initiatives. Agencies such as DLA are looking for creative solutions to the technological and workforce challenges of supporting warfighters.

Lockwood said his favorite part of his job is finding positive solutions for DLA’s technical and administrative problems.

“The most exciting part is expanding the limits of what RPA can do for DLA and the U.S. government,” he said. “Right now we only understand a small part of the capability.”