Aptive helps VA develop standardized governance practices and accompanying materials to implement those processes, including briefing decks, dashboards and templates. The project team is creating a system in which the meeting intake process, calendar items, action items, tasks and notes can exist within an automated process. With this process, information will flow automatically from council or board to the executive board as long as employees enter the information.
Governance forums and communications
VA implemented enterprise-wide governance forums that address policies, processes and related subject matter, including the:
- VA Executive Board (VAEB)
- VA Operations Board (VAOB)
- Evidence-based Policy Council (EBPC)
- Investment Review Council (IRC)
Each board has a leader, starting with the VA Secretary. Aptive works with them to optimize processes, capture decisions and discussions for official record keeping and facilitate information flow. The project team developed an operational model for the VAEB and is customizing the same operating model for the other boards.
For each governance forum, Aptive prepares monthly and annual reports, plans communication around the new governance processes as they mature and monitors changes as stakeholders adapt to the new processes.
OEI-EGM and Aptive are creating a library with a knowledge management system for automatically archiving information. This system will reduce the movement and potential loss of papers. With an electronic system, a user can view exactly where a document is within the process. With faster input and feedback, processes can progress more efficiently.
The project team also created an email and phone line employees can use to seek guidance about process changes.
Decision rights and board charters
To streamline decision-making and information flow, each board and council needed to determine which decisions they could make independently and which ones the executive board would need to be make. The objective is to allow boards and councils to make decisions at the appropriate level, which means defining each group’s threshold regarding what they can approve and which topics should be elevated to the next level. In addition, having councils and boards with decision rights speeds the decision-making process and eliminates unnecessary involvement of multiple boards.
In addition, each board is developing a charter that defines guidelines for how it should operate. Currently, the executive board and operations board have passed charters and Aptive is defining charters for subordinate boards.