New Orleans District Corps personnel honored for innovation at annual 2022 LEAP award ceremony

Published Sept. 11, 2023

At an award ceremony held Sept. 6, 2023, team members from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District (MVN), were recognized during the 2022 Lean Six Sigma Excellence Awards Program (LEAP) for their innovation in helping to improve the DPMAP process throughout the New Orleans District and Mississippi Valley Division of the Corps of Engineers.

The intent of the Lean Six Sigma Excellence Award Program is to recognize Army organizations and practitioners who demonstrate excellence in development, sustainment, and employment of business process improvement capabilities that can be applied Army-wide.
The New Orleans District team received the Process Improvement Project Team Excellence Award Non-Enterprise Level (Green Belt) for their outstanding non-enterprise project called “Increase Frequency and Reduce Time to Complete DPMAP Status Report.”

According to Sabine Faltenbacher from MVN Quality Management, DPMAP stands for Department of Defense Performance Management and Appraisal Program, which is a performance management system that covers the majority of Department of Defense employees.

She and the rest of the team were awarded for creating the MVN DPMAP Status Dashboard, an automated dashboard to enable leaders and supervisors to ensure each employee covered under DPMAP receives a performance plan, mid-year review, and appraisal on time. The dashboard was praised not only for its ability to provide supervisors daily updates, but to streamline the status update process in DPMAP while quickly identifying any employee may need improvement in their performance.

The team designed the dashboard to be user-friendly with easy data upload capabilities, and to ensure that it could be easily replicated for use at other Corps districts. A such, use of this automated dashboard was replicated region wide across the Mississippi Valley Division, resulting in an estimated annual cost avoidance of $200,000. Additionally, the intent was to replicate use of this MVN-developed dashboard across the Region, to include USACE Major Subordinate Commands and five other districts, with a potential cost avoidance of $1M in Future Years Defense Program funds across the Region.

According to Faltenbacher, the team began working on the dashboard in October 2019 and finalized it for use in MVN by April 2021. It was then adopted as a USACE enterprise-wide solution by the Corps of Engineer Directorate of Human Resources in February 2022.

“I am so grateful that we were recognized for this achievement, which is a true reflection of our New Orleans District Team Spirit and greatness,” said Faltenbacher, stressing the importance of teamwork in creating the dashboard. “What I am most proud of is that we were able to create the dashboard and improve this process during the COVID lockdown times, and everything was coordinated remotely via email, WebEx, and Microsoft Teams.”

MVN personnel who mainly worked on the project included Faltenbacher, John Eblen, Paul Landry, Ozzy Orwick, Kevin Fuqua and team leader David Ulm.

Ulm echoed Faltenbacher’s gratitude over the team receiving the award, adding that, “It also gives us great satisfaction that we were able to use an available software tool to create the dashboard that now allows district supervisors to analyze the DPMAP data easily and simplifies the entire process.”

Ryan Labadens