Automated Workflow Project of the Year: COBRA

Brock Walker is the Acting Director of the Shared Services Program (SSP) at the Department of the Treasury. In this role, he manages a small team responsible for the direct corporate budget oversight over the $228 million Shared Services Program, a collection of over 30 shared service lines of business which provide services to the Department as well as over 30 external federal agencies and organisations. In this article, he reveals more about the work he does, and how his passion for the work he does has helped to drive their success.

As part of the Treasury’s mission, our job is to manage the U.S. government’s finances effectively. As such, the TFF provides Treasury Bureaus and outside agencies support services on a competitive and fully cost-reimbursable basis. Moreover, The TFF creates and maintains a business relationship and environment that promotes customer participation and satisfaction through delivery of quality performance, teamwork, and continuous improvement, both in service delivery and economic benefit. Through this process, the TFF achieves cost savings, promotes economies of scale, and increases productivity and efficiency in the use of resources by providing centralized services.

In terms of my experience, I actually started working at Treasury upon graduating from my undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. My early roles at Treasury allowed me the ability to learn about government and Treasury as well as to work across a broad spectrum of issues from a variety of leaders. Also, my experiences in the MBA Program at George Mason University have helped me learn from these leaders and apply various business principles directly to the job. I find that drawing on past experiences at Treasury and in the MBA Program help me to keep perspective with current issues and identify possible solutions to problems.

Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned is that passion, in anything, is a huge deal. By finding things that I am passionate in and focusing on them, I have found that my work is less of something I have to do, but more of something I really want to do.
Also, I’ve found that enabling passion in those around you can have significant positive effects for an organisation and is a constant challenge that excites me. As a team leader, I strongly believe in transparency and communication with my team and colleagues and strive to create an atmosphere that allows for collaboration and accountability.

To do this, I focus on spending time to ensure all team members understand the big picture as well as the small details that occur on a daily basis. The goal is that by identifying the small stuff and understanding the overall landscape, team members can fit the pieces together and feel empowered to act or make recommendations on solutions.

Looking towards the latter half of 2016 and beyond, I am confident that we will continue to succeed. Our team believes in what we do each day and want to continue attempts to add value to federal financial management. We hope to continue to build awareness for the success COBRA has provided to us and the benefits it provides to our customers so that we can pass on our lessons learned and potentially spread these efficiencies across other organisations.

Name: Brock Walker
Organisation: Shared Services Division
Office of the Deputy Chief
Financial Officer
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Telephone: (202) 368-6081