MeriTalk: VA Official Details Behind-the-Scenes Efforts to Boost Service Delivery

“The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is often spotlighted for its veteran-facing modernization efforts aimed at better service delivery, but as Undersecretary for Veterans Benefits Paul Lawrence explained, the agency is also making numerous internal changes to speed its transformation.”

“At a Jan. 24 National Academy of Public Administration event, Lawrence spoke about sustaining performance improvements at VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). He said the agency was overwhelmed with the backlog of veteran claims, and that it lacked efficient business procedures when he first came into his role in 2018.”

“’I spent a lot of time figuring out what goes on in each business line that veterans care about,’ Lawrence said. ‘Each one of those business lines has metrics around it of delivering benefits to veterans. Everybody who processes claims has performance standards every day. Underneath this is tremendous thinking as to what goes on.’”

“VBA codified business line information into ‘essentially a spreadsheet’ that leaders discussed each week and analyzed ways to improve performance. Lawrence said this process worked to get all business lines up to par, and now the managers haven’t had to have these meetings in a ‘long time.’”

“As VBA streamlined its processes, it was also important to the undersecretary to find ways to reward employees for their hard work…” Read the full article here.

Source: VA Official Details Behind-the-Scenes Efforts to Boost Service Delivery – January 24, 2020. MeriTalk.



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