Finding Cyber/IT Workforce Management & Training Efficiencies: The Fundamentals of Workforce Planning
By Mary Purdy - Published, May 17, 2011
On a daily basis, Chris Kelsall, director of the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer Cyber/IT workforce management team, collaborates with federal and Department of Defense organizations to develop policies and initiatives to ensure the DON Cyber/IT workforce is supported and provided resources to enhance professional development. However, when the situation requires strategic review to effect change, the DON CIO has traditionally brought together subject matter experts to define and shape the enterprise transition.
In 1998, the DON CIO brought together Echelon I and II organizations to determine the totality of the IM/IT workforce and develop the first IM/IT Workforce Strategic Plan. In 2001, a DON CIO-sponsored workforce integrated process team (IPT) defined the process for civilians to transition to the Navy Marine Corps Intranet contractor workforce. In 2005, the DON CIO stood up the information assurance (IA) workforce working group to develop new processes and procedures for the implementation of the IA Workforce Improvement Program (WIP).
Now in response to tasking by the Under Secretary of the Navy and the subsequent DON CIO memo "DON IT/Cyberspace Efficiency Initiatives and Realignment Tasking" of Dec. 20, 2010, the DON IT/Cyberspace workforce and training integrated product team was established. This IPT will streamline current and planned Cyber/IT workforce management and training initiatives.
Mapping to the Strategic Plan: The DON CIO released the "DON Cyber/IT Workforce Strategic Plan FY 2010-FY 2013" in July 2010. The strategic plan establishes the DON's priorities for workforce excellence by identifying the goals and objectives that will allow the department to recruit, manage, develop, sustain and retain a talented workforce. Looking to the future to determine how the department needs to adapt, improve and find efficiencies, the recently established IPT will use the strategic plan as a cornerstone of its consolidation endeavors.
Cyber/IT Workforce Scope: The key areas of the cyberspace workforce are: offensive operations, defensive operations, information assurance, and operations and maintenance. This also includes the cyber law enforcement and counterintelligence community.
For the purposes of this IPT, the DON Cyber/IT workforce is defined as the military (active and Reserve components) and government civilians who:
- Are engaged in provisioning, operating, maintaining and defending classified, unclassified and proprietary systems and networks owned/operated by the Department of the Navy;
- Provide the workforce capabilities required to plan, budget, manipulate, control and archive information throughout its life cycle;
- Develop, acquire, implement, evaluate, maintain and retire information, information systems and IT, and the technology required to transmit friendly and influence adversary information and information systems; and
- Develop the policies and procedures required to manage and apply warfighting measures, policies and procedures to effectively optimize information, information systems and networks.
It is envisioned that the IT/Cyberspace workforce and training IPT will facilitate department-wide collaboration to improve enterprise policy, processes and tools that shape the DON's future Cyber/IT workforce. As the IPT endeavors to provide options for improving workforce and training effectiveness and efficiency, it will also strive to bring discipline to workforce management, providing resource funding justification through a valid "as is" and "to be" manpower foundation. Three critical elements are:
Strategic and Tactical Wins:
- Cyber/IT Workforce and Training Management: This includes those activities necessary to develop and maintain the Cyber/IT workforce baseline (work, roles, structure and manpower) to support workforce management, planning and programming. It also includes activities supporting training implementation. Areas the IPT will review include DON Cyber/IT Learning Management Solution and DON Cyber/IT Workforce Chief Learning Officer (CLO) Organization.
- Information Assurance Workforce: This includes those actions necessary to improve IA workforce training, certification and qualification, with specific emphasis on IA and operating system certification percentages, sustainment of current certifications, continuing education and IA WIP oversight. Areas the IPT will review incldue DON Cyber Range and DON Cybersecurity/IA Workforce Efficiencies.
- IT/Cyberspace Community Management: This includes actions taken to develop and maintain a closer relationship between DON, Navy and Marine Corps leadership and community managers (military and civilian) to provide an enterprise view of the total force to enhance leadership decisions regarding makeup, staffing and risk management. Area the IPT will review is the DON Cyber/IT Community Manager Community of Practice (COP).
The IPT will address key aspects of workforce management business processes in an enterprise manner. IPT subgroups have been established and have looked at both short- and long-term goals. Initial strategic topic areas for consideration are initiatives that will require additional research or collaboration to conduct a valid business case analysis. Strategic Areas include:
- DON Cyber/IT Learning Management Solution;
- DON Cyber/IT Workforce CLO Organization; and
- DON Cyber/IT Civilian Community Manager COP.
The IPT is prepared to address key areas and identify near-term "tactical wins" that support the improvement of the effectiveness and efficiency of the DON Cyber/IT workforce and training efforts. Tactical wins include initiatives that were addressed previously or need to be addressed out of fiscal necessity that have sufficient background information and maturity such that if the actions recommended are undertaken a tangible result can be achieved in the near term. As an example, the IA Workforce Improvement Program exists with known challenges and possible efficiencies. Tactical wins include:
- DON Cyber Range;
- DON Cybersecurity/IA Workforce Efficiencies;
- Training Support Agent (Navy); and
- DON Librarian.
The Cyber/IT workforce faces the challenge of expanding its cyber capabilities. Operating in and defending cyberspace affects both the department's inherent cyber warfare mission, as well as the other warfare domains. It is critical to define clear consistent workforce management, education and training objectives that will enhance the Cyber/IT professionals' ability to carry out their multitude of responsibilities. The IPT will find effective and efficient best practices so that every member of the Cyber/IT workforce engages in continuing professional education to stay ahead of and adapt to the flurry of technical advances.
Mary Purdy provides support to the DON CIO Cyber/IT workforce team.