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CHIPS Articles: Modernizing and Securing Navy’s MPTE Environment … and Winning a DON IT/IM Excellence Award

Modernizing and Securing Navy’s MPTE Environment … and Winning a DON IT/IM Excellence Award
MPTE Enterprise Information Management (EIM) scores a hit for the Navy
By EIM Team and Sharon Anderson - April-June 2013
In an initiative that began in 2006 to improve the quality of data for force shaping and critical decision making, the Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education (MPTE) Enterprise Information Management (EIM) team developed a data roadmap to transform data management and integration. Then in fiscal year 2012, MPTE formally set out to further improve the quality of military human resources (HR) data and establish better rules regarding its use in Navy business decisions. While much of the work is transparent to Sailors on the deck plates, according to the MPTE EIM team, it will also result in better safeguarding of Sailor personally identifiable information (PII), and improve human resources business processes.

The scope of the challenge is huge because data resides in every MPTE system across the Navy and affects every Sailor throughout his or her Navy career. To say the MPTE domain is complex — is a vast understatement. The MPTE domain consists of approximately 66 systems, 887 applications and an estimated 240,000 data elements that have evolved over 40 years, according to the Sea Warrior Program (PMW 240), the primary information technology acquisition agent for non-tactical business operations addressing MPTE systems across the Navy.

According to BUPERS Command Information Officer, Stephen Hubbard, BUPERS, Navy Education and Training Command (NETC) and PMW 240 are full partners in the MPTE data transformation effort. This MPTE effort organizes resources — people, processes and technology — to meet the goals associated with the following 10 data management functions, according to Hubbard:

  • Data Governance;
  • Data Architecture Management;
  • Data Development;
  • Database Operations Management;
  • Data Security Management;
  • Reference and Master Data Management;
  • Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Management;
  • Document and Content Management;
  • Meta-data Management; and
  • Data Quality Management.

Because data management was not a core competency in the Enterprise Information Management program, the team leveraged Gartner Research and the Data Management Association (DAMA) to plan the project, according to Hubbard. DAMA International is a non-profit, vendor-independent, global association of technical and business professionals dedicated to advancing the concepts and practices of information and data management. The team used DAMA for training and certification of the EIM Team.

A data consolidation effort was vital to the success of the project because there was no one single authoritative data source. This situation evolved over time and was exacerbated by the promise of the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System (DIMHRS), a joint HR service delivery system that never fully materialized.

The team initiated MPTE’s Authoritative Data Environment (ADE) project to implement the new Navy data governance standards, which included gathering data definitions, researching laws, regulations and policy, and identifying authoritative data sources. The effort is focused on establishing a single operational environment of quality personnel data that is authoritative, verifiable, and easily accessible to authorized people and applications.

The EIM team also began standardizing data elements for various Personnel/Pay Modernization Business Process Initiatives, such as the Navy Performance and Appraisal Reporting System (NPARS), Record of Emergency Data/Dependency Application (RED/DA) and Enhanced Drill Management (EDM).

Additionally, the EIM team was instrumental in implementing the MPTE EIM data transfer and compliance program aimed at controlling access to Sailor data by revamping the request process and information system access to raw HR data.

One of the greatest challenges, according to Hubbard, was getting customers to understand the need to control who can access data, and once they have it, to be able to properly controlsystems, resulting in increased security of Sailor data.

Implementing large scale, complex data environments requires specialized skills.

"In June 2010, we were able to recall Navy Reserve Capt. Mike Rominski to active duty for three years to work on the project,” Hubbard said.

Capt. Rominski has experience as a civilian working with large scale data environments for a Blue Cross Blue Shield provider in the Midwest.

The cross-functional EIM team is made up 28 government and 12 contractor personnel supporting the data interest of each of the lines of business and cross-functional integrators. Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Personnel, Education and Training (OPNAV N1), BUPERS, NETC, Navy Personnel Command (NPC), Commander, Navy Recruiting Command (CNRC), Navy Manpower Analysis Center (NAVMAC) and PMW240 have all provided subject matter experts known as data stewards. Data stewards work with a technical advisor; enterprise, business and data architects, data custodians and a team of 12 data analysts to execute the various activities of data management.

Through monthly meetings and collaborative communication the team addresses data issues, projects and activities across the MPTE domain promoting a holistic point of view of the data requirements that support Navy HR business processes and decision making.

These modernization efforts are actually shrinking the IT infrastructure and could reduce costs, according to Chief Data Steward and BUPERS Information Resources Management (IRM) Branch Head (BUPERS 072), Scott Pavelec.

Pavelec explained that the employment of an enterprise service bus will actually facilitate movement of data between the myriad pay and personnel systems. An enterprise service bus is a software architecture model used for designing and implementing the interaction and communication between mutually interacting software applications in a service-oriented architecture.

As a software architecture model for distributed computing, it is a specialty variant of the more general client server software architecture model and promotes agility and flexibility with regard to communication and interaction between applications. Its primary use is in enterprise application integration of heterogeneous and complex landscapes — which exactly describes the Navy’s MPTE environment.

“We are moving toward an enterprise service bus which will reduce the point-to-point interface [between systems, Pavelec said. “It improves interconnection between multiple systems to exchange data. It acts as a traffic manager between the systems and ensures the quality of data and confidence in its authenticity and reuse.”

In January, the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer announced that the MPTE Enterprise Information Management Board and Team was awarded a DON IT/IM Team Excellence Award for proactively addressing enterprise management and governance of MPTE data assets, and controlling and protecting personally identifiable information while supporting business requirements.

The announcement stated that the team promoted data as an enterprise asset with assigned accountability and responsibility throughout its life cycle. The team educated MPTE personnel and instilled a culture of collaboration throughout the organization, inspiring confidence in data quality that results in greater trust in MPTE data when making decisions.

The team is not resting on its laurels; however, and efforts to continuously improve the accessibility and security of data are ongoing. The team is establishing a formal program for data management and drafted several policies on the handling and transfer of data. They have implemented a meta-data management tool/repository that will assist in the standardization of MPTE data assets and document authoritative data sources.

The team is also working on a data quality program that will establish standards and measurement of data quality in MPTE systems.

“We want the Navy to look to MPTE OPNAV N1 as the force provider of military HR data,” Hubbard said.

MPTE EIM Team members not shown in the photograph: Scott Pavelec (MPTE EIM Chief Data Steward, BUPERS-072), Nuria Hernandez (Enterprise Architect, OPNAV-N15), Rich Sweetman (Technical Advisor, PMW240 ), MPTE EIM Data Stewards: Deane Halvorsen (Workforce Development, NETC-N5), Larry Hoehn (Distribution, PERS-4), Glenn Stubbs(Distribution, Pers-4), David Hessling (Fleet & Family,OPNAV-N135), Terry Eisenhour (Personnel, Pers-3), Leo Metoyer (Personnel, Pers-3), Stan Keller (BUPERS-072), Karen White(Reserve Personnel, Pers-9), Robert Albritton (Reserve Personnel, Pers-9), John Nickle (Position Management, NAVMAC), Cathy Mills (Position Management, NAVMAC), Mary Naifeh (Recruiting Accessions, CNRC-N-6), Jeffrey Keating (Recruiting Accessions , CNRC-N-6), Teresa Price (Recruiting Accessions, CNRC-N-6), Gail Lile (NPRST), Tate Brown (NPRST), James Stuart (BUPERS-3), Bill Ragatz(BUPERS-3), Mike Hollister (PMO), Linda Jardine (PMO), Linda Freeman (Financial Management, OPNAV-N10), Edward Timko (Financial Management, OPNAV-N10), Tom Bonanno (Training Management, NETC-N7), Angie McDonough (Training Management, NETC-N7), EIM Team( BUPERS-072): Larry Francis, Mary Kay Levie, Mary Beth Novack, James Murray, Sam Shamblin, Thomas Curry, Wayne Hilburn, Robert Cross and Kathy Eisenhour.

Navy Personnel Command/BUPERS

Sea Warrior Program Office (PMW 240) manages a complex portfolio of information technology (IT) systems to support Navy human resource management, criminal justice, Fleet Support, afloat business applications, Navy and DoD porfolio management, DON administration, and joint aviation aircraft scheduling.

The PMW 240 Program is part of the Navy Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO-EIS), which develops, acquires, fields, and sustains enterprise network, business, and Fleet support IT systems for the warfighters of the Navy and Marine Corps. For more information, visit

MPTE EIM Team. Front row, left to right: Cmdr. Arjay Nelson (Data Steward, BUPERS-3) Colby Ritter (BUPERS Enterprise Architect, BUPERS-072), Teppi Dixon (EIM Team, BUPERS-072), Mary Buchschacher (EIM Team Lead, BUPERS-072), Kendrick Brown (BUPERS Enterprise Architect, BUPERS-072), Lauren Rummel (BUPERS Deputy CIO, BUPERS-07). Second row, left to right: Victor Kethireddy (EIM Team Data Architect, BUPERS-072), Bradley Friesen (EIM Team Data Modeler, BUPERS-072), Rebecca Robbins (EIM Team Contractor Lead, BUPERS-07), Cmdr. Michael Raymer (EIM Team, BUPERS-072), Joseph Gibson (EIM Team, BUPERS-072) and Stephen Hubbard (BUPERS Chief Information Officer, BUPERS-07).
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