THE CLIENT’S PERSPECTIVE
The Bureau of Public Debt (BPD) is a small agency within the Department of Treasury with a huge job: to borrow the money the federal government needs to operate, and account for the resulting debt. BPD’s job had grown increasingly complicated over time, and its legacy organizational structure was less than optimal.
Not only was the retail savings bond program changing, but the BPD’s responsibilities had grown to include an Administrative Resource Center providing shared administrative, financial management, and information technology services to other federal agencies. What’s more, BPD wanted to be ready for a rumored consolidation with the Financial Management Service.
Compounding BPD’s challenges was the issue of an aging workforce. As one of the top five places to work in the federal government, BPD was seeing an unexpected result: the average age of a BPD worker had shifted to the late 40s. BPD needed to ensure it had enough people to manage the business as people retire, and to provide the right incentives for enough people to retire to create space for the next generation of BPD staff.
BPD reached out to Eagle Hill Consulting to help them answer the question: How do we manage our business for the future when we need wholly different skills than we had in the past?
A NEW VIEW
We began working with BPD to define options for realigning their organization structure to reflect new realities and get ready for the aging demographic issue. The Eagle Hill team looked to best practices from the financial services industry and beyond to more closely reflect the current BPD business: wholesale, retail, and other related businesses, including the Administrative Resource Center.
The team then took a two-pronged approach. We interviewed key people throughout BPD—from the commissioner down to the staff level to understand the organization’s mission, objectives, structure, processes, and performance measures.
Simultaneously, we organized a series of working groups by functional area, bringing in key people to represent their unique view in brainstorming sessions to refine our solution ideas. These sessions happened over the course of several months, and when combined with the results of our interviews and analysis, not only led to several workable options, but also engaged and empowered the people who would be affected by change.
We then outlined key working assumptions, guiding principles, and priorities to develop a high-level change management approach, obtaining leadership commitment, creating detailed designs, planning implementation, and conducting gap and impact analysis.
UNCONVENTIONAL CONSULTING—AND BREAKTHROUGH RESULTS
As the project neared its conclusion, Treasury confirmed the pending merger of BPD with the Financial Management Service. At that point, BPD saw a new dimension of value in Eagle Hill’s organization evaluation and strategic design work. The Eagle Hill team’s recommendations now became an important input into streamlining BPD operations in anticipation of the merger activity and the future beyond.
By analyzing BPD in concert with all the management levels of the organization, Eagle Hill introduced a new way of looking at the scope of change and the potential risks to be managed during the transformation. BPD valued our work so highly that we presented our findings and recommendations to the head of the new Bureau of Fiscal Service.