Waiting for IPPS-A? Just like army personnel pros

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The Army’s new human resources platform faces another delay, but the service’s senior personnel leaders reiterated their commitment to the beleaguered platform and its need for personnel in phone interviews with Army. Times.

The Army’s new G-1, Lt. Gen. Douglas Stitt, pointed out that the lagging of the Army’s integrated personnel and pay system has so far “no lag” on initiatives to army talent management. He also explained that HR professionals need the platform to leverage talent management data and help troops reach their full potential.

The general and his senior enlisted counterpart, Sgt. Major Mark Clark said existing platforms for talent markets can continue in the absence of the permanent solution that IPPS-A is meant to provide.

“We have the workarounds [for current initiatives, but] how can we achieve transformation [capability]asked Stitt. “When [a general] walks in and says, ‘How many people in the division today speak Ukrainian…and have ever served in Eastern Europe?’ It’s a simple question…but it currently requires us to enter three different systems to answer it.

Stitt noted that the IPPS-A, when fielded, can improve the Army’s data analysis, which in turn can help the service’s human resources professionals “become predictive.”

The hypothetical question about Ukrainian speakers in American uniforms could be fully answered by reports from the new platform, Stitt said.

The general said HR training courses are reorienting to push literacy and data analysis in preparation for the increased capability that IPPS-A will provide.

” Inasmuch as [Adjutant General] Corps, we’re kind of at an inflection point – we need to make that transition now to not just be data diggers,” Stitt said. “Now we can extract the data and give a solid analysis of what we see.”

Stitt argued that the future success of the Army “depends on our ability to … provide proper training, capable [HR] professionals who … will know how to “imagine” and anticipate the future talent needs of their respective training courses and take measures to ensure that they will be met in time.

But it is still unclear when the platform will be launched. Service officials touted the program as a cornerstone of the Army’s data and talent utilization goals.

A limited version of IPPS-A, which will replace the constellation of aging HR systems currently serving the active duty Army and Army Reserve, is already live for the Army National Guard.

But the next version of IPPS-A has been pushed back multiple times now, and there has been no publicly acknowledged timeline for its launch after the latest delay.

The first target launch date was December 2021, but officials scuttled that plan when they realized difficulties integrating data from the old HR system meant the platform would only be 80% functional. .

Senior leaders, including Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth, pledged to improve oversight and complete the program.

The Army then promised a September 20 launch date, but canceled it less than two weeks in advance due to ongoing issues with the platform’s ability to sync with major databases. accessions and benefits.

Meanwhile, systems integration contractor CACI has pocketed more than half a billion dollars for the project so far and received a no-competition extension that could earn it another $500 million, according to a newspaper. commercial. Washington Technology and one GAO Protest Tracker.

Despite the hesitant progress, the military seems to view the project as too big to fail.

Army Civilian Director of Information Raj Iyer told the Army Times that the IPPS-A debacle helped inspire technological modernization reforms aimed at improving contract oversight of complex systems, as well as than a fundamental change in philosophy.

“We are starting to make progress…but [with] decisions that have been made in the past, where we have too many sunk costs, it becomes a much more difficult problem. And that’s the bucket that IPPS-A falls into,” he said. “We will change our acquisition strategy and take a different path.”

Iyer said future plans will aim to take a more phased approach, if possible.

But at this point, the military made its bet on IPPS-A. Will it pay? That remains to be determined.

Davis Winkie is a senior reporter covering the military, specializing in accountability reports, personnel issues, and military justice. He joined Military Times in 2020. Davis studied history at Vanderbilt University and UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a master’s thesis on the influence of the Cold War-era Department of Defense. on Hollywood films of World War II.

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