Focusing on “Nuts and Bolts” Strategy at NARA
Leona Spencer is comfortable with change. She joined Catapult in January 2005 as a Team Lead on a project helping the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) process a backlog of human resources documentation related to benefits, retirement, payroll, and other topics for what was then a new organization.
She moved from TSA to a contract with the Veterans Administration, working on a Business Process Reengineering (BPR) effort to help streamline the VA’s contact management system—upgrading how the VA’s customers—veterans, their families, and their representatives—interact with the agency.
Leona’s skill set is integral to the management consulting practice at Catapult, so it’s no surprise that she has been able to leverage her abilities from project to project. Coming off the VA, she helped with incumbent capture at the General Services Administration (GSA), as the agency consolidated a variety of contracts into the single GSA Infrastructure Technology Global Operations (GITGO) contract. Through incumbent capture, people who worked for other companies on these multiple contracts became Catapult employees.
Since 2007, Leona worked on a contract with the Small Business Administration (SBA), and had been there off and on as Catapult won new task orders with the agency. “We didn’t have continuous task orders there,” she says, “so I split my time helping with proposals and doing some internal BPR work for Catapult’s HR processes.”
Catapult won a contract with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in October 2010. “Leona’s outstanding project management skills made this project a perfect fit for her,” says Tony Myers, Associate Vice President.
NARA recently set up its National Declassification Center, which processes government documents. Every government document is declassified after 25 years. NARA follows the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), reviewing every document to redact—or remove—personal information before a document is made available to the public. (Personally identifiable information is never made public. For example, if someone’s name is mentioned in a CIA briefing that becomes public, the name is redacted.)
Catapult’s job at NARA is to help the agency integrate its systems and speed up operations. Leona explains that the agency was struggling with the fact that they have classified and unclassified systems, which are distinctly separate.
“NARA needs our help figuring out how to fold their systems into their business processes,” she says. “This is a classic management consulting project. The work is solid strategic planning. It’s the nuts and bolts of what Catapult does.”
Leona’s role is administrator of the contract. Chien-Wen Han, Senior Consultant, and Pam Chapman, Business Analyst, are the two Catapult veterans on the contract who, as Leona says, “are interested in the strategy to get results, and how we’re going to get those results.”
“This is an exciting contract that affords lots of opportunity for us,” she says.