Enterprise Modernization at Work in Baltimore
One of the fastest growing areas within MITRE is the Center for
Enterprise Modernization (CEM), a federally funded research and
development center devoted to working on large and complex enterprise
modernization projects for our government sponsors. While sponsored
by the IRS, CEM supports several other civilian government agencies
including the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Homeland
Security, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Within
CEM, MITRE has designated a Healthcare Mission Area—the goal
of the HMA is to improve the quality of our nation's healthcare
through the transformation of healthcare enterprises.
MITRE's Caroline Miller is one of many information systems engineers
supporting the HMA's goal. She has been working for the Department
of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services (CMS) for several years, first from MITRE's New Carrollton
site. She is now one of approximately three dozen staff located
at MITRE's Baltimore, Maryland site, which opened in June 2006.
Supporting Government Health Programs
One of the primary objectives of enterprise modernization is to
implement business and technical solutions so that an organization
can improve performance and customer satisfaction while also responding
to changing business needs and technological advances. Miller has
been working on enterprise modernization for the CMS since she joined
MITRE in 2004. "Most of my projects have involved supporting the
Office for Beneficiary Information Services [OBIS]," she explains.
"My job primarily entails analyzing systems and processes to find
opportunities for improvement or cost savings. One of my recent
projects has been to work with the quality group within OBIS to
modernize their call-monitoring procedures for calls to 1-800-Medicare.
For instance, I helped them determine what data they need to collect
so that they could target training to weak areas. Now I'm working
with them to implement these new procedures in the call center."
MITRE's Baltimore, Maryland, site
Established in June 2006, MITRE's Baltimore site is
home to more than three dozen staff from MITRE's Center
for Enterprise Modernization FFRDC. Their work supports
the Department of Health and Human Services and the
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
She continues, "I enjoy knowing that my work will have some impact
on the government's ability to serve the population. For instance,
in working on quality monitoring for the call center, I know that
by helping improve this process it will help CMS to provide better
service to the population of elderly and disabled beneficiaries.
This demographic group needs to have accessible and accurate information
about their medical coverage available to them."
Fortunately for Miller, her degrees in mathematics and her previous
analysis experience have been helpful in her current enterprise
modernization efforts. "These types of projects require that you
think through problems logically and then be able to communicate
the ideas generated. In addition, it's essential that you organize
data and portray it in a way that others can understand and use.
"I also think it's important to ask questions and hear what people
are saying to understand whether the problem that MITRE has been
asked to solve is really the problem that needs to be solved," she
"Multi-Location" Balancing Act
Originally from the Washington, DC, metro area, Miller appreciates
the flexibility she has in choosing to work from the most efficient
place on a day-to-day basis. She explains, "When I have sponsor
meetings or working sessions I can go to the sponsor site and work
there. When I have MITRE meetings or working groups I can work from
the Baltimore office. And when I need to really focus on a task
that needs creative problem solving or concentration I can work
from home, where there are fewer interruptions. From any of these
locations, I can use technology such as teleconferencing, video
teleconferencing, and instant messaging to stay connected to my
colleagues. I think this flexibility allows me to be more efficient
Working in Baltimore has had other benefits for Miller. "I prefer
the Baltimore site simply because it is closer to my home and sponsor,"
she says. While she recognizes that there are benefits to being
on-site with the customer she also acknowledges the benefits of
a separate site. "Sometimes being co-located at a sponsor's site
can cause you to become too engrained in the sponsor's culture.
When you're too closely integrated with the sponsor, you can start
to lose your ability to look at their problems from the '10,000
foot level' and start experiencing sponsor issues the way the sponsor
does, instead of from the FFRDC perspective."
Miller is also grateful that the flexibility in her schedule and
work location allows her to have a life outside her work. "I think
that working at MITRE has given me the flexibility to pursue a number
of 'extra-curricular' activities, which have made my life much richer,"
she says. "I've taken dance and cooking classes and have rediscovered
the joys of playing the piano."
—by Kay M. Upham
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