Five Ways the Department of Commerce Improves Operational Excellence


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Secretary Pritzker with Commerce Employees for Public Service Recognition Week
Secretary Pritzker celebrating Public Service Recognition Week with eight Commerce employees.

Through its 12 bureaus, the Department of Commerce creates the conditions for economic growth and opportunity on both a domestic and global scale. As the voice of business in the President’s Cabinet, Secretary Pritzker has spearheaded the Department of Commerce’s “Open for Business Agenda” Strategic Plan and focused on five strategic goals: trade and investment, innovation, environment, data and operational excellence. Today, June 26, is Secretary Pritzker’s two-year anniversary and each day this week we have been highlighting one of our strategic pillars by recognizing recent achievements.

The Strategic Plan’s Operational Excellence pillar calls for strengthening organizational capabilities to drive customer-focused, outcomes-driven mission performance across the Department’s agencies. It also highlights our commitment to “deliver better services, solutions, and outcomes that benefit the American people.”

Here are five important accomplishments, under Operational Excellence, since Secretary Pritzker joined the Commerce Department:

  1. Department receives A+ Rating for Commitment to Small Businesses: On the two-year anniversary of when U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker joined the Department, SBA announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce received an A+ rating. The A+ rating is a first for the Department, and is awarded based on the Commerce Department’s commitment to supporting small businesses through procurement contracts with smaller enterprises.
  2. DOC Ideas tool: - Earlier this year, Secretary Pritzker announced the inaugural launch of the Commerce Ideas Tool – an interactive, cross-bureaus online platform that allows employees to share their innovative ideas. The Ideas Tool also gave Department employees an opportunity to vote and comment on ideas submitted by others. In support of the Strategic Plan, the DOC Ideas Tool was designed to bring in new ideas to help solve Departmental, including cross-bureaus, challenges. This reflects the Secretary’s and her senior leadership team’s commitment to hear employees’ ideas on how to implement the Strategic Plan and meet the Department’s mission requirements together. Roughly, a quarter of the Department’s 45,000 employees visited the Ideas Tool during the 7-week campaign. This included about 12,000 intranet users; the submission of 385 ideas that generated 6,028 votes, and 429 comments.
  3. America is Open For Business Strategic Plan – Fiscal Years 2014-2018: Shortly after the Secretary joined Commerce, she engaged in a nation-wide listening tour to hear from the Departments customers, stakeholders, and employees. She gathered ideas on “how we can all work together to set the conditions for more and faster economic growth and job creation.” The inputs were used to help develop Commerce Department’s Strategic Plan. Its broad foundation for economic growth and opportunity is focused on five key pillars: Trade & Investment, Innovation, Data, Environment, and Operational Excellence. This plan reflects her commitment to lead a Department that is “responsive and nimble, constantly adapting to the fast-changing needs of the U.S. private sector in the 21st century. A further update of the Department’s Strategic Plan is expected to be released soon.
  4. Senior Executive Service (SES) Summit: The SES Summit provides a forum for collaboration between members of the Departments senior executives. It provides an opportunity to enhance understanding of employee engagement and share best practices. It also allows members to focus on the relationship between emotional intelligence and employee engagement.     

The outcomes from last year’s leadership forum were:

  1. Engage and empower our executives by determining our Shared Culture and Values, creating insight into both what we have in common and appreciation of core values of others in the organization.

  2. Create a development framework for the Commerce Senior Executives that captures both common needs and mission unique requirements for both new and current SES that will allow them to achieve Operational Excellence.

The second annual Senior Executive Service Summit is scheduled on September 21, 2015, at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA. This year’s theme is Engaging the Commerce Workforce.

  • 21st Century Workspace Pilot: Commerce Department’s Herbert C. Hoover Building (HCHB) was completed in 1932 and once was the largest office building in the world. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A massive renovation is underway and enhancements include concept offices for group huddles that are conducive to forward thinking and collaboration; wireless environment, business center and pantry installations, and open airflow workstation arrangements. The facility upgrades reflects our commitment to operational excellence and helping our workforce be more creative, collaborative and productive.

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Last updated: 2015-06-26 17:23

Bureaus & Offices