Organizational Analysis Leads to Dissection of Recurrent Training Issues

Organizational Analysis Leads to Dissection of Recurrent Training Issues

Melanie E. Ross (Old Dominion University, USA) and Jill E. Stefaniak (Old Dominion University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8356-1.ch013


After consistently missing the contract's monthly-required staffing personnel requests, the senior director and senior manager of recruiting decided the day-to-day operations, procedures, and recruiting processes should be standardized within the recruiting section. The staffing department at Variant Data Systems, Inc. decided to move forward with instructional and noninstructional interventions to address incomplete biography submissions between the recruiters and the technical writer. This case study demonstrates how a layered organizational performance analysis was conducted to dissect recurring performance problems. The case also examines how an internal performance improvement consultant was utilized on the project to identify the performance issue and develop the expectations of the position, a communication plan, the formal instructional unit and knowledge management database, and accountability metrics to ensure it met the needs of the recruiting section in the staffing department.
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Organization Background

Variant Data Systems, Inc. (VDS) is an information technology (IT) services company focused on providing individualized, innovative professional services for the analysis, design, development, delivery, implementation, and evaluation of information systems and networks in worldwide locations. VDS, Inc. serves as an independent organization that supports many external customers utilizing full-time and intermittent employees in domestic and overseas locations. VDS, Inc. also strives for improving efficiency and effectiveness, resulting in optimum productivity through aligning the organizations’ IT strategy and goals to address the most important IT needs of ensuring the technology delivers what it promises.

VDS, Inc. is one of the United States leading information technology company’s providing information technology infrastructures in austere locations worldwide. Based out of Denver, Colorado, four personnel are credited with starting VDS, Inc. Since then, the headquarters location has grown to support 232 full-time personnel; the company employs over 1,000 contract personnel in locations around the world. VDS, Inc. offers a wide variety of services, including initial security assessment of networks, vulnerability scanning plans, firewall management, wireless networking, and 24/7 performance monitoring.

VDS, Inc. is made up of several departments including operations, contracts, pricing, legal, human resources, and staffing. A senior director governs each department with additional senior managers serving as direct reports. The senior manager of recruiting serves as a direct report to the senior director of staffing and is responsible for managing three team leaders; two team leaders oversee a total of ten recruiters who support the Data Encryption Services (DES) contract in Iraq. Each department is integral in onboarding candidates through the four-month process and deploying to the specific contract location.

Throughout its existence, VDS, Inc. views its departments and employees through a combination of the traditional vertical view and the windowless silos view of an organization. The senior director employs managers that manage several sub-departments independently of one another, yet are interdependent among one another (Rummler & Brache, 2013). These views were believed to be an appropriate way to manage the organization during its inception and beginning years because everyone knew everyone’s role and was able to work together cohesively to execute the mission.

Although VDS, Inc. has multiple departments that are interdependent of one another to onboard candidates throughout the lengthy process, the organization still functions in the traditional vertical view with windowless silos. This view severely limits the organization’s ability to mature because managers work against each other rather than together; meetings between departments become activity reports rather than engaging partners in the battle against competitors (Rummler & Brache, 2013). Because of this, managers are often removed from handling high-priority tasks and competitor concerns, as they are required to handle lower-level issues that arise between the sub-departments. The mentality of the organization under this view revolves around each sub-department doing what is necessary to meet their personal goals and blaming any shortcomings and pitfalls on its interdependent parts, all of which are necessary to accomplish the mission (Rummler & Brache, 2013).

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