Name: Robert E. Soto
Organization: J62B Enterprise Capabilities Portfolio
Years of Service: 13 years, 8 months in government service and 25 years in military service (U.S. Marine Corps)
What is your job title, and what do you do, specifically?
I am a supervisory program manager with J62BO, Business and Analytics Platform, and I am responsible for the Enterprise Platform (ServiceNow), Development Security Operations (DevSecOps), and Business Management Office personnel, also referred to as the Digital Service Center. I’m responsible for supervising day-to-day activities. These teams are highly focused on supporting capabilities that support J62’s IT transformation strategic goals and initiatives.
As the Enterprise Platform manager, I oversee a dynamic enterprise platform government team comprised of a platform lead, platform engineer, platform architect, and business analyst (training lead). We manage the ServiceNow capability, which has roots in IT Service Management (ITSM), business management, human resources, integrated risk management, financial management, project and portfolio management, and low code/no code abilities. The benefit of ServiceNow is that these capabilities are provided on one common platform and tightly integrate workflows, enabling DLA teams and programs to rapidly develop and scale within the platform using agile methods.
As new capabilities are identified, these platform team members assess requests to seek viable solutions to solve IT problems. ServiceNow and DevSecOps are crucial to transforming the agency and moving to a more agile organization. I am proud to lead these efforts and hardworking team members.
What is your background, including experience and credentials? How does your background help you be successful in your current role?
I’m currently certified in AWCP Program Management Level 3 and Risk Management.
My government background includes serving as the program manager of the DLA Digital Service Center, where we prepared Enterprise Platform and DevSecOps courses of action and status briefings, and acquired and implemented these capabilities at the J62/enterprise level; as the platform manager within the Enterprise Capabilities portfolio, where we technically assessed and onboarded new applications onto the ServiceNow platform; and as the deputy program manager of the DRAS2 effort, where I was responsible for directing, planning, coordinating, and overseeing program activities. I served as the IT project manager and senior program analyst at Marine Corps Systems Command, where I managed an eBusiness portfolio of systems for organizational messaging, paperless acquisition, the Defense Travel System, and legacy applications, information systems and capabilities. In my industry experience, I worked as a project manager and senior technical specialist overseeing teams that supported C2 system applications and future combat system studies. I also served 25 years in the United States Marine Corps, where I achieved the rank of Sergeant Major (E-9) and served in aviation supply and logistics, where I worked with Shipboard Uniformed Automated Data Processing Systems.
What aspect(s) of your current job gives you the most personal satisfaction? Why?
I enjoy working with dynamic platform professionals and senior leadership that understand the needs of the program and listen to challenges to aid when needed to solve issues. This is important to me because it allows leaders such as myself to work harder to support customers and develop new platform capabilities to solve their business needs. It is exciting to see the work that we do as a team from start to finish (starts as idea/initial requirement, then is developed/released as a viable solution).
What are some of your passions outside of work?
My passion includes spending quality time with all my family. That’s important to me, as it allows me to decompress from normal work stresses, especially during these pandemic days. I also like to take on projects such as implementing stereo and security technologies, as well as small home improvement projects. I’m always looking for something to keep me active.
What advice do you have for DLA employees?
My advice to other DLA employees is to continue to seek self-improvement by looking at ways to improve business processes and to learn new platforms and technologies. These skills are important for the agency and allow you to gain skillsets that will make you invaluable!
What other self-initiated efforts have you worked on?
In 2020, I received temporary access to Microsoft Office PowerApps low code platform, which allowed me to develop and pilot low code/no code automated processes to track select data.
Also, while at DLA, I worked on automating management processes by migrating requirements kept on spreadsheets into tools such as HP Quality Center to better manage, track, and update customer requirements to leverage automation.
Earlier in my career, I built large budgeting spreadsheets (while in service and industry) with complex macros to sustain, track and generate data-related reports.