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Case Study: Federal government

Optimizing hybrid telework at CBP through expert program and project management services

The client’s perspective

In an effort to reduce real estate costs and increase productivity, the Federal Government introduced an Act requiring agencies to establish telework policies. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) took up the challenge and initiated its first telework program in 2013. Understanding the importance of creating a sustainable and flexible approach, CBP sought to incorporate Eagle Hill Consulting’s expert program and project management services to optimize their hybrid work environment.

A new view

CBP brought in Eagle Hill Consulting to fully maximize the telework environment’s potential. Our work focused on program and project management, process improvement, change management, and strategic communications support. We conducted an in-depth initial assessment where we listened to client perspectives and consulted with various stakeholders to create an innovative telework approach. The feedback we received became the basis for a sustainable, flexible approach to support CBP employees when they work remotely and when they work in the office.

We started by developing a deep understanding of CBP’s Mobile Workforce Logistics (MWL) team. This team was designed to provide logistics, operations, and strategic support to sustain the mobile workforce environment, and served more than 500 employees across six Enterprise Services (ES) offices.

The goal was clear: teleworkers should be able to accomplish daily tasks effortlessly, whether they are in the office or working remotely. This vision had to adapt due to the unforeseen challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, robust virtual communication channels became not just beneficial but essential. However, MWL had already laid down the building blocks for an effective telework system, which made the transition much smoother than for other organizations.

Key accomplishments

Streamlining customer service.

Before optimization, MWL grappled with more than 1,000 service requests each month through a single email mailbox. With the application of program and project management services, Eagle Hill designed and implemented an automated Help Desk. This system, initially based on SharePoint and later transitioned to Microsoft Power Apps, has been pivotal in enhancing user experience and increasing transparency in service request tracking.

Documenting processes and policies.

Our team facilitated the development of the Mobile Workforce Logistics Handbook. This interactive, up-to-date online resource comprehensively details telework processes, guidelines, workspace protocols, and more. We also converted this tool from a static PDF to a webpage, which allows CBP to easily update the handbook as telework policies shift. Paired with a comprehensive communications plan to roll out the handbook, employees stayed informed and could easily access telework policies and procedures.

Enhancing communication strategies.

Our services extended to revamping MWL’s overall communication approach. The shift involved adopting digital formats like videos and timely blogs, which dramatically improved employee adoption and effectiveness.

Unconventional consulting—and breakthrough results

Eagle Hill’s unique approach to program and project management services has empowered MWL to increase awareness about its capabilities, build robust relationships with stakeholders, and find the perfect balance between operational and strategic imperatives.

The success of the program offers important lessons for agencies looking to develop federal telework environments:

01

Engage employees from the beginning through integrated project management services.

02

Make plans flexible to adapt to organizational change and evolving needs.

03

Establish a leadership liaison group to strengthen connection with customers.

04

Use project management services to prioritize and act on stakeholder needs.

05

Always anticipate and prepare for changes.

As CBP’s telework landscape continues to evolve, MWL is well-prepared to flex and pivot to sustain a leading mobile workforce environment.