Helping VHA Activate Important Legislation to Improve Veterans’ Lives

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Helping VHA Activate Important Legislation to Improve Veterans’ Lives

Posted on 03.22.24

Scaling up quickly to execute successfully on large and complex projects

OHT needed support developing standard guidance and tools for VHA to effectively implement legislation, as well as providing strategic direction and project management to implement specific, enacted legislation. The Office wanted a contractor that was able to scale up very quickly and execute successfully on a very large and complex contract with multiple pieces of legislation for enactment.


OHT partnered with Aptive HTG — which has extensive experience supporting very large VA programs and initiatives with many moving parts — to provide program management, strategic communications, legislation analysis and policy development to support legislation implementation offices in fulfilling legislative requirements.

Program and Project Management

Aptive coordinated daily, weekly and biweekly meetings to discuss specific aspects of the project, stay on schedule and identify potential risks to successful legislation implementation. We used action trackers and decision and risk/mitigation logs to transparently track work and progress on specific tasks.

Our team developed standardized tools, reports and templates for use with all recently enacted legislation. We also used MS Project to ensure milestones were transparent and progress tracked for the timely completion of deliverables.

To effectively manage tasks, the team used project artifacts within the Integrated Healthcare Portfolio Management project site, which included a placemat to ensure a clearly articulated project purpose, as well as communications, change management, operations and transition plans.

We also developed presentations and talking points to brief business owners and executives. In addition, our staff participated in meetings with executive sponsors, business owners and implementation stakeholders by developing agendas and materials, managing meetings and capturing key discussion and action items.

Strategic Communications and Change Management

Constant communication with OHT project leads and legislation implementation teams was a central part of our support strategy. We worked with OHT team and program offices to develop and execute strategic communications and change management plans to ensure stakeholders stayed informed of implemented legislations’ impact on Veterans, employees and VHA operations. We developed communications artifacts such as timelines, frequently asked questions and elevator speeches for major legislation implementation. We also helped the client create materials such as standard operating procedures and guidebooks for participating pilot sites.

Most of the tools, reports and templates we developed were used to facilitate communications with VA and VHA senior leadership, program offices, the VHA field and functional partners to ensure risks and mitigation strategies, as well as collective awareness of the status of pending and enacted legislation, were communicated.

Schedule Management

Together with OHT team and program offices, Aptive developed schedules based on legislative requirements and the VHA concurrence process to ensure timely delivery of Congressional Mandated Reports. We managed schedules for all recently enacted legislation that feed into the Legislative Implementation Team (LIT) dashboard, allowing VHA senior leaders to track implementation status. We also used the schedule and dashboard to elevate implementation risks to the OHT Team.


Pivoting quickly and adapting to frequent change

Aptive HTG has consistently met or exceeded the client’s quality objectives by ensuring deliverables are polished for delivery to external stakeholders and VA and VHA senior leadership. Our staff achieved this by working collaboratively with the OHT team to ensure all deliverables were up-to-date and consistent with the required style guides.

We measured customer satisfaction on this contract in two ways: through continuous feedback and team growth. Aptive demonstrated exemplary performance, flexibility and attention to detail through continuous feedback with OHT leadership. Although OHT leadership requirements changed frequently, our team was able to adapt quickly and pivot as needed with continuous feedback we obtained from meetings and relationships we built between OHT’s team and ours.

Throughout the contract, the client consistently requested that additional contractors with the same skills and performance records as current contractors join LIT. To date, our team helped implement eight pieces of legislation, with more anticipated.

Results at a Glance

  • Developed standardized tools, reports and templates for use with all recently enacted legislation
  • Helped OHT successfully implement eight pieces of federal legislation
  • Expanded the contractor team based on excellent performance of the core team