FEDTECH: How will having an optimized payroll system help the Army as an organization?
McNULTY: Gen. James McConville, the vice chief of staff of the Army, talks about this program doing three big things: It’s going to allow us to do talent management; it’s going to allow us to do total force integration across the three components; and it’s going to give the Department of the Army the ability to be audited. We also bought some things to support audit, like GRC — governance, risk management and compliance — software. It’s a huge investment. You can’t just flip the switch on a new ERP. It’s 200 different systems out there, and you have to take down the legacy environment in a way that doesn’t disrupt operations.
FEDTECH: What are the plans for rolling out IPPS-A?
McNULTY: You’ve got to get the core human resources straight before you try to tackle payroll, because just about all the drivers of pay are HR-related — your rank, your duty location, your years of service, your special badges and awards, where you’re physically located, your state taxes elected.
Our first step is to bring the Army National Guard onto a single HR platform. Then we do the same for the active component and then the Reserve. Once you get the entire Army on a single integrated core human resources platform, then you move on to payroll. You want to make sure that you work out all the kinks, and we’re also making sure we’re doing all the right things in the areas of auditing, cybersecurity and performance.
FEDTECH: Are there any culture-related challenges in this project?
McNULTY: We keep a close eye on demographic metrics, and we’re very human-centric in our design approach. The youngest two generations in the Army, which make up more than 80 percent of the Army, are the millennials and Generation Z. They’ve had these mobile devices in their hands since they were in a car seat.
I’m taking down all the cubes and letting people sit in completely open areas, and I let people wear jeans, so we’re kind of off the charts around here. I’ve gotten a few looks from some officials when they come through here and see a bunch of guys running around in jeans. And I say, “Hey, you tell a young millennial who’s a hotshot developer that they have to wear a coat and tie to sit in a cube to do software development.” It’s a very competitive technical marketplace.