Establishing Continuous Business Improvement Processes for the U.S. Coast Guard

Case Study - Change Readiness and Management - Continuous Process Improvement - Digital Transformation - Experience - Human Experience - Performance Optimization - Program and Project Management - Strategy and Transformation - Systems Transformation - Training and Technical Assistance

Establishing Continuous Business Improvement Processes for the U.S. Coast Guard

Posted on 12.17.22

CG-761 needed to streamline operations across all directorates

An RMO is a structured way to manage requirements and specifications and coordinate organizational function. The existence of an RMO demonstrates organizational maturity and assures stakeholders and customers that their capability requests will be handled efficiently and professionally. For example, CG-761 primarily focuses on communication capabilities and experienced lengthy requirement and procurement processes that resulted in technology becoming obsolete in the time between the original request and fulfillment. An RMO would help establish repeatable business practices and reduce capability procurement time.

CG-761’s first objective was to assess the U.S. Coast Guard requirements practices, identify capability gaps and then determine solutions to fill those gaps. CG-761 is a relatively new office with several smaller offices under its purview, and each of these smaller offices performed similar tasks differently. As a result, CG-761 wanted to unify its approach and ensure everyone operated similarly and efficiently. Long term, CG-761 wants office performance to align with the rigors of a professional standard such as a Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) certification.

Part of improving business processes involves changing how staff are trained. Previously, it would take staff about a year to be fully trained on requirements documentation and to integrate the knowledge into their daily job. CG-761 wanted to improve training efforts so each staff member could be onboarded faster and understand the unified process. To accomplish this, USCG partnered with Aptive to implement a change management plan to create a unified approach with corequisite training.


Creating a new system with precision training for all staff: Aptive experts are experienced in change management, knowledge management and organizational system integration.

Program and process analysis and recommendations

To better understand existing processes and establish repeatable business processes, Aptive analyzed existing programs and processes, including command onboarding, operational analysis procedures and personnel assignments. In addition, interviews with stakeholders identified organizational priorities and opportunities for improvement. Together, leadership and Aptive developed an integrated master schedule to roll out process improvement initiatives and projects to guide CG-761 in its change management journey and establish defined performance metrics.

Part of the process improvement was building the office’s intake tool by implementing Office 365 capabilities as best practices for organizational development, knowledge management and training. Through reports, briefings and meetings, Aptive consistently updates CG-761 on progress, gathers feedback, and adjusts program alignment.

Continuous improvement training

All personnel needed to thoroughly understand what it means to be an organization with a culture of continuous improvement and what business improvement processes CG-761 adopted. Aptive developed and provided staff training about onboarding, federal procurement, the function of the CG-761 office and Lean Six Sigma (LSS) yellow belt training and certification.

This training is conducted in person, virtually and on demand through USCG’s Office 365 Teams environment, where all training materials are stored for organizational access. Training includes real-world examples from CG-761’s business practices, handouts and supplemental materials. In addition, a champion LSS course is available for unit leadership to better understand continuous process improvement practices within the organization. Finally, to ensure continued organizational success, Aptive conducted a “train the trainer” session for select staff to learn how to conduct future trainings for new hires.


Effective training for new personnel and leadership provides faster knowledge integration

Aptive’s efforts contributed to defining CG-761’s documenting processes and intake tool, creating an accompanying guide and providing staff and leadership training to align with new business improvement processes.

Training and staff alignment efforts:

  • Created the LSS certification program
  • Created yellow belt training material and facilitated training completion for 87% of personnel
  • Established champion training for 100% of CG-761 leadership
  • Reduced onboarding training and knowledge integration from one year to a few months

To accompany these changes, Aptive created one-pagers and guides with best practices, assisted with the transition to Office 365 and is developing a budget timeline tool to better track the entire budget cycle from proposal to project funding.

Aptive completed a new user guide and an intake tool that defines how CG-761 receives requirement requests, including automation processes to improve efficiency. Accompanying this guide is a knowledge management repository that holds all requirements documents and a complete register of all Coast Guard systems that identifies what each system tracks.