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NEWS | Feb. 28, 2018

Feedback Report Helps 88th RD Prepare for Future ACOE Competitions

By Zachary Mott

Success is something the 88th Readiness Division has enjoyed four separate times in the Army Communities of Excellence (ACOE) competition since 2011.

It earned the top prize for the U.S. Army Reserve in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. When an organization wins, it is not eligible to win the following year. However, the 88th RD continues to submit a competition pack each year in an effort to continuously improve its service to its customers: the Soldiers and families of the U.S. Army Reserve.

In non-competing years, the 88th’s packet is reviewed and feedback is provided. That report was discussed during a presentation by Dr. James Foot, senior analyst/strategic planner, Army National Guard Business Transformation Office, February 28, 2018, at the 88th RDs Fort McCoy, Wisconsin headquarters.

The ACOE program is based off the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Program criteria and the feedback provided relates to that criteria.

“What I try to do on these feedback reviews is to interpret the feedback that’s presented in one language to something that means something to the organization,” said Dr. James Foot, senior analyst/strategic planner, Army National Guard Business Transformation Office, who provided the briefing to the 88th RD Soldiers and staff. “I give some examples and some guidance on what the feedback report is telling the organization they need to do to get better.”

Foot has been providing feedback reviews for the 88th staff for several years. Additionally, he provides training for future ACOE committee members to help them understand the intricacies of the Baldridge criteria. Foot has been working with the ACOE and utilizing the Baldridge criteria since the mid-90s. He said he sees first-hand the improvements the 88th continues to do.

“What we have seen is that the key business processes that the 88th uses have continually improved. They’ve been identified, the performance metrics that are associated with each of these processes, continue to go up,” Foot said. “They distinguish themselves in that they are applying a broad, integrated approach to business development.”

The visit is always welcomed by members of the 88th ACOE team as Foot provides insight that helps advance the goals of the organization and to continue to improve.

“It’s always a fantastic opportunity to be part of his presentations because of the wealth and breadth of knowledge that he brings to this program and helping this organization achieve excellence,” said Gary Talbot, a member of the 88th RD ACOE team.

As the 88th continues down its path from Regional Support Command to a Readiness Division, the Baldridge criteria will help guide that focus.

“Readiness is getting units ready, but there is a business aspect to producing readiness. That’s what this all about is taking those cherished resources that Congress gives us, that the American people give us, and converting that into as much readiness as possible,” Foot said. “We do this by becoming better at what we do, faster, more efficient, more effective. That’s the whole crux of the Baldridge criteria.”