IDC Talent Management

IDC Talent Management

Postby yoshi » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:31 pm

This thread is intended for as many IDC officers as possible. Recently received information related to a CRIC initiative to pilot a new way to detail IDC, and eventually, all Navy officers. I'll be attending a workshop in support of this effort and am trying to gather as many concerns/ideas and as much information as possible related to this topic in an effort to represent the IDC/my community as accurately as possible. Happy to provide the actual pdf announcement, just can't attach it here. Below excerpts are from that received information:

"The project is called Data Enabled Talent Management (DETM), and will be using the IDC to pilot a new detailing process that will be designed by the end-users: you, Commanding Officers, and the detailers. Essentially, through the CRIC, the project lead has the support of CNO to design and prototype an alternative to the current pen and ink detailing process that provides little authority to the gaining CO IRT who fills the billet. DETM is being piloted using the IDC due to the relative flexibility of the IDC as compared with the other URL communities and their specific milestones as well as the variety of skillsets that comprise the IDC cadre. We will be holding two human-centered design workshops to solicit fleet feedback to inform future requirements for an upgraded detailing process/IT capability. IDC COs will be interviewed to determine their appetite for more of a stakeholder role in the detailing process."

While I am curious as to the rational process for how this initiative is going to be executed (Duh - do we really need to interview COs to figure out whether or not they want to be a stakeholder in who comes to their command?!), the idea has merit. Even if it didn't have merit, we are headed in this direction because the (former) CNO said so. Already having the answer, we must figure out how to reap the benefit of the answer in as least destructive a manner as possible. Thus, the best outcome for the IDC and its communities (as we are the guinea pigs) is obtained via aggressive engagement in an effort to shape how it will be done. My opinion and experience: We already have someone (detailer) who looks at command needs/individual needs and figures out what makes sense. They do their best in a thankless situation. Commands are already stakeholders, but many never look at their missions and then correspondingly scrub the AMD to make the necessary and appropriate changes which better support their mission. We have commands running on AMDs which are basically decades old, and have had people sitting in NIOC billets but working on Fleet staffs simply because of deals made years and years ago. Its easy to blame the Commanders (there is some blame there), but their perspective is temporary. They are there and gone in 12-24 months, and besides, if the IDC idea ever became a reality outside of OPNAV (or is ever capable of pushing an operationally executable strategy through the communities to the IDC/community commands), it would obsolete the caretaking adjustments today's Commanders should make, anyway. The point is, I think our problems are systemic and a new talent management paradigm is not likely to fix them. However, there is some benefit to be had, particularly where personality matches and fostering culture is concerned. All this said, my primary concerns are provided below to 1) allow crowdsourcing to help me answer/refine/reject the points I'm pondering for input and 2) to eliminate redundancy of input:

-Does this lead to stove-piped skill sets within the IW community/IDC? (Every command wants certain experiences relevant for the position they need filled, so how do we ensure broadening of assignments over time to incorporate all facets of what each community desires? Would it lead to increased stovepiping of experience? If the detailers are the agents to ensure broadening and assignment diversity, how is that different than what we have now, other than extra work for officers and commands?)
-Is the IDC sufficiently analogous to the URL to provide reliable data for the Navy, writ large? (I don't think it is, given our under representation in the Fleet (one officer at platform TYCOMs, CSG staffs, etc). Also, it is a fallacy to assume the IDC is more "flexible as compared with the other URL communities". We now have specific milestones, as well, and they are no less critical (in fact I believe they may be more critical, as non-milestone holding URLs matriculate in rank better than non-milestone IDC personnel (example - SWO)).
-Fill priority is still quite a large question mark, as are joint jobs. Not sure the sample size at the O4 level will be large enough to produce reliable data once the fill priority, advanced education, and joint job considerations are factored in.
-Each community within the IDC is different, and the IDC commands (which continue to be community commands) are quite a bit different, as well. IW and Intel commands are fewer (relative to size of community) than IP/METOC commands. Not sure there are enough IW/Intel commands to provide adequate data spread (participation depending). Also, understanding employment of officers at some of these commands, are the commands sufficiently aware of what they need? Are they STABLE ENOUGH IN MISSION to ensure what they are asking for in a billet doesn't change, go away, or isn't used in some other fashion? How will the IDC evolve the missions and requirements of the commands under the cognizance of its communities (hasn't happened yet, but at some point it will (otherwise, what the hell is the point of IDC) and what is the Navy really learning from using it as a pilot?
-Does this work better at O-3 level? I suspect it may, as there is much more time for different experiences. As LTs enjoy a higher opportunity (%) for promotion than senior ranks and (traditionally) more time for less wickets, their slavery to timing and required experiences is far less oppressive.
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Re: IDC Talent Management

Postby COMEVIL » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:45 pm

yoshi wrote: -Does this lead to stove-piped skill sets within the IW community/IDC? (Every command wants certain experiences relevant for the position they need filled, so how do we ensure broadening of assignments over time to incorporate all facets of what each community desires? Would it lead to increased stovepiping of experience? If the detailers are the agents to ensure broadening and assignment diversity, how is that different than what we have now, other than extra work for officers and commands?)


Let's hope so! Stovepipe is one of those terms that will forever have a negative connotation. But honestly, almost every other community does it. For SWOs you have the AMPHIB or CRUDES crowds while aviators specialize in their specific platform. Why should IW be any different? I've written about this before on this bulletin board -- swim lanes that lead to your O-4 milestone. After that, you are open for general assignment. Who better to be a CSG CRC than someone with a national tour, experience at a FIOC, and Surface PCS afloat. The same can be said for NSW milestones and appropriate experience prior. There is your path, or stovepipe if you want to call it that.

As far as the CO's getting a vote, isn't that who they'd want to fill that milestone?

Here is a novel idea. Create some sort of system that tracks additional qualifications. Call them.......AQDs. Then match specific AQDs to each milestone job, sort of like pre-reqs. If you don't have the rights AQDs you don't screen for the job. If multiple folks have the right AQDs and line up timing-wise, let the gaining command get the final vote on who they want.

Of course, in our one Officer for one billet system, what to do with those left behind.....
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Re: IDC Talent Management

Postby yoshi » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:13 pm

Personally not opposed to career tracks, and I think that could ultimately wind up happening once this kind of a system is introduced. However, based on the guidance I have read in (what OPNAV and NPC call) our "community brief" and in various board precepts, assignment diversity is (allegedly) an important factor for promotion and screening boards. If that holds true on boards, staying in one career track would ultimately be detrimental, or at least be comparatively risky. Swim lanes are not damaging for LT and below, but the concern here is this pilot is done at the O-4 level for all billets. So, at what point do we need officers to extend their roots? If we need officers with a specific skill set/background - isn't that inherently why we have warrants and LDOs? Isn't there a difference between what we want warrants/LDOs to do and what we want our regular restricted line officers doing? Eventually, officers are going to have to learn another area outside of their comfort zone. Don't misunderstand, I'm not opposed to career tracks (makes for smarter officers), just pointing out career tracks are opposite of what leadership says we want at the O-4 and above level. Finally, if we had career tracks right now, not too sure any track other than cyber would matter, unless commands and billets were marked all the way up through O-6. This is the same problem with SWO and aviation tracks - it isn't a level playing field. Amphib and helo are second class tracks, DDG COs and non-helo pilots run the Navy (MAJCOMs, TYCOMs, and look at what we buy(!)).

This pilot, when combined with swim lanes through O4 milestone, seem to extend the swim lanes beyond the O4 milestone. The billet following the milestone is the issue: Numbered Fleets, for example, would probably want someone who has a CRC or IO background. Fleet Cyber probably would want someone who had a cyber milestone at an NCU. How do you ensure you are building officers with SIGINT, CYBER, and EW experience? On the other hand, we face that problem now with some of our officers promoting to CAPT with little to no (look at left name tape) experience, so it might not be any worse.

Absolutely correct on AQD, and will bring up at this conference. We just keep making more and more AQDs and they don't matter at all for assignment. The same is true of advanced education (p-coded billets), language pay ($3600/year for skills to go unused), and many other items. Based on reading one of the references they provided (a virtually same Army pilot ran a couple years ago), one of the potential positives is a better way to identify to the commands those skills a specific officer has. Presently, the commands don't know anything about who they are getting other than that which the detailer/placement provides. The commands know/care very little about the officer until they see a bio or ask around. If this pilot goes like the Army pilot (I suspect it will), officers will prepare a resume and post it for commands to see, and commands, in turn, will post a job listing describing what they are looking for in an officer. I'll send you what I'm talking about. So, the point is that the idea and purpose of AQDs, while not used with current detailing, could be filled with a resume/job listing process which is more responsive to both the Sailor and the commands once the middle man is cut out (NPC, which doesn't use AQDs to detail, anyway, at least not in our community).
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Re: IDC Talent Management

Postby Sum1 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:35 pm

yoshi wrote:Presently, the commands don't know anything about who they are getting other than that which the detailer/placement provides. The commands know/care very little about the officer until they see a bio or ask around.


FLTMPS ... Every training officer, admin officer, and probably most other officers should have access. Your profile includes NOBCs, AQDs, education, past assignments, etc. If commands are using that tool then they're behind the times.
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Re: IDC Talent Management

Postby yoshi » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:19 pm

FLTMPS is an option for those commands interested in learning about their arriving personnel - ie, those who already have orders. Commands have to know in advance of the orders being written who is being considered for the job in order to involve themselves. Sometimes this happens (which kind of brings the utility of the pilot into question), but most of the time it does not (primarily because the command isn't involved/doesn't care). There are phone calls made in advance of the decision/orders, but they are to the detailer and placement. There isn't information exchange between the command and the officer, unless either the command or the officer initiates it (the smart ones do, by officers interviewing the command (most XOs are amenable to talking with people interested in their command) or commands recruiting talent they want). We gripe about a centralized detailing system, but it's really only centralized because officers and commands choose not to decentralize it (just let it happen) by taking sufficient initiative to learn what they need/want to know (make it happen). Better to be a make-it-happen than a let-it-happen type; they get more done and enjoy more latitude/influence.

Also, even if FLTMPS were consulted, does that data really make the command aware of what that officer is like, strengths, weaknesses, actual skills - those things an interview brings out?
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Re: IDC Talent Management

Postby COMEVIL » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:40 pm

yoshi wrote:Personally not opposed to career tracks, and I think that could ultimately wind up happening once this kind of a system is introduced. However, based on the guidance I have read in (what OPNAV and NPC call) our "community brief" and in various board precepts, assignment diversity is (allegedly) an important factor for promotion and screening boards. If that holds true on boards, staying in one career track would ultimately be detrimental, or at least be comparatively risky. Swim lanes are not damaging for LT and below, but the concern here is this pilot is done at the O-4 level for all billets.


I would assume (bad word, I know) that if leadership approved this change then precept/community brief guidance would change as well. I see value in specializing up until your milestone tour as it properly prepares you for that job. I personally hate the well-rounded approach. Our focus should be on what is best for the Navy, vice what we think is best for promotion.

yoshi wrote:So, at what point do we need officers to extend their roots? If we need officers with a specific skill set/background - isn't that inherently why we have warrants and LDOs? Isn't there a difference between what we want warrants/LDOs to do and what we want our regular restricted line officers doing? Eventually, officers are going to have to learn another area outside of their comfort zone..


We have misused Warrants and LDOs for years. Why send a career CTI who promotes to CWO2 to a CG to be a DIVO? How about making them a master linguist? There is a role for them, and LDOs, but our community has been miserable at determining what that role should be.

yoshi wrote: Don't misunderstand, I'm not opposed to career tracks (makes for smarter officers), just pointing out career tracks are opposite of what leadership says we want at the O-4 and above level. Finally, if we had career tracks right now, not too sure any track other than cyber would matter, unless commands and billets were marked all the way up through O-6. This is the same problem with SWO and aviation tracks - it isn't a level playing field. Amphib and helo are second class tracks, DDG COs and non-helo pilots run the Navy (MAJCOMs, TYCOMs, and look at what we buy(!)).


This could happen...one track could be preferred over others. But that doesn't make them any less important to the service. Case in point is your example of DDG COs and non-Helo pilots running the Navy. It might happen with us. So be it. Again, it can't always/shouldn't always be about advancement.

yoshi wrote:This pilot, when combined with swim lanes through O4 milestone, seem to extend the swim lanes beyond the O4 milestone. The billet following the milestone is the issue: Numbered Fleets, for example, would probably want someone who has a CRC or IO background. Fleet Cyber probably would want someone who had a cyber milestone at an NCU. How do you ensure you are building officers with SIGINT, CYBER, and EW experience? On the other hand, we face that problem now with some of our officers promoting to CAPT with little to no (look at left name tape) experience, so it might not be any worse.


Want and need are two different things. Many of our post-milestone jobs (DH, XO, Major Staff) can be filled by anyone. Some might need specific experience, but I doubt that is the case across the board. At some point, we will send a generalist.....sort of like we already do.

yoshi wrote:Absolutely correct on AQD, and will bring up at this conference. We just keep making more and more AQDs and they don't matter at all for assignment. The same is true of advanced education (p-coded billets), language pay ($3600/year for skills to go unused), and many other items. Based on reading one of the references they provided (a virtually same Army pilot ran a couple years ago), one of the potential positives is a better way to identify to the commands those skills a specific officer has. Presently, the commands don't know anything about who they are getting other than that which the detailer/placement provides. The commands know/care very little about the officer until they see a bio or ask around. If this pilot goes like the Army pilot (I suspect it will), officers will prepare a resume and post it for commands to see, and commands, in turn, will post a job listing describing what they are looking for in an officer. I'll send you what I'm talking about. So, the point is that the idea and purpose of AQDs, while not used with current detailing, could be filled with a resume/job listing process which is more responsive to both the Sailor and the commands once the middle man is cut out (NPC, which doesn't use AQDs to detail, anyway, at least not in our community).


Learned a bunch about FLTMPS in my new job. This includes looking at the background of incoming Officers. Seems like a process is already in place.
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