OCIO’s “Team of Teams” | HHS.gov

Avery Q. Muse joined the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) as Executive Director of the Office of Operations (Ops) in May 2023. Prior to joining HHS OCIO, Avery worked in several senior roles, including Director Deputy Chief of Information for the US Capitol Police, Chief of Service Management at the US Marshalls Service, and Chief of Customer Service at the US Department of Defense Joint Staff, where Avery served under the command of General Stanley McChrystal.

Shortly after his appointment, Avery asked his Operations leadership team to read McChrystal’s 2015 book Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, in which McChrystal recounts his effort to reorganize the fight against Al Qaeda in Iraq. Each week for 12 weeks, a different member of the Operations leadership team led a group discussion on powerful lessons learned and key takeaways for leaders.

On Wednesday, August 30, 2023, the team gathered for an all-day operations leadership retreat where they began the day with a culminating discussion on how a more decentralized approach can be effective even in traditionally hierarchical institutions like the US government. USA

Darryl Washington, Deputy Director of Infrastructure Engineering and Operations, said: “…this book has been helpful in offering meaningful insights that help us understand how to improve our relationship with our customers by providing a comprehensive guide to change and challenging ourselves. to do the best. possible decisions for our workforce…ultimately adapting and evolving the business model to meet the needs of our customers.”

The traditional hierarchical organizational structure is a management approach that was developed in the early 20th century to address business efficiency in cycles measured in years. Today, cycles are measured in weeks or months, and agility is often used to describe our need for speed to adapt to constant change. While the traditional organizational model still serves an essential purpose, according to McChrystal, it is no longer sufficient as the sole means of organizing and executing work. To succeed in the new normal, organizations like OCIO require a new operating model built around teams and teamwork, organized to create and maintain value, rather than organized by function.

According to Avery, “OCIO’s team-of-teams operational approach is not intended to replace the existing organizational structure, but rather to enable dynamic, agile response across the enterprise by leveraging execution at the team level.”

When asked about his experience reading the book, Daniel Mills, Director of Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions, Telecommunications and Supplier Management, said: “The opportunity to build our future organization in an inclusive leadership environment is exactly what this team needed! Congratulations to Avery for engaging their leaders and expanding our culture.” Astria Newman-Weathers, deputy director of IT operations and services, said: “I learned a lot about each and every one of my colleagues and how they think.”

OCIO focuses on empowering individuals and teams within our organization to act quickly based on an aligned narrative, without overlooking the necessary security barriers that define the teams’ decision space. As a result of using this type of approach, OCIO has observed that employees are more productive, able to optimize their work, and are happier in their professional roles. We are also beginning to see this unified team translate into higher quality of service and products delivered to our customers, increased employee retention, and attraction of top-tier talent. The OCIO executive team remains steadfast in its efforts to help make HHS and OCIO world-class employers.

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