USPS OIG Audit: DRIVE Initiative 25 – Improve Customer Experience

In fiscal year (FY) 2011, the U.S. Postal Service established 36 Delivering Results, Innovation, Value, and Efficiency (DRIVE) initiatives to improve its business strategy. DRIVE aims to reduce the reported $20 billion gap between revenue and expenses by FY 2016, through strategic initiatives with measurable outcomes.

DRIVE Initiative 25 – Improve Customer Experience consists of three projects aimed at developing new systems, tools, and processes to anticipate customer behavior and predict future needs. The goals are to achieve 90 percent customer satisfaction by 2019 based on how complaints and inquiries are resolved and build brand loyalty and revenue.

Our objective was to determine whether the DRIVE Initiative 25 used established DRIVE project management processes.

What The OIG Found
DRIVE Initiative 25 managers did not follow DRIVE project management processes when planning DRIVE Initiative 25 goals. Specifically, Consumer and Industry Affairs management based project goals on daily business operations in the Consumer and Industry Affairs group instead of identifying goals to improve business performance. In addition, DRIVE Initiative 25 is intended to measure call center operations and customer satisfaction, but managers did not develop processes to enhance the Postal Service brand and increase loyalty and revenue.

In FY 2014, the Postal Service established a 2-year contract for about $3.3 million to administer customer call center surveys. Although 14 different surveys were designed to improve the customer experience, management only used one of the surveys to support DRIVE Initiative 25 and has not realized a significant change in that area. For example, in FY 2015, the Postal Service planned to achieve 80 percent customer satisfaction with complaint and inquiry resolution, yet the results are less than half of the goal. The Postal Service could put about $6.6 million to better use over the next 4 years by not renewing the customer survey contract. We also found inconsistencies with data reported in the Technology Management Office System and changes made to project goals without proper authorization.

These issues occurred because the Strategic Management Office did not ensure DRIVE Initiative 25 managers followed governance and documentation procedures. They believed other controls in place could ensure accurate reporting of goals and project contributions toward overall program goals. As a result, DRIVE Initiative 25 might not positively impact the customer experience and the Executive Leadership Team cannot accurately evaluate the initiative.

What The OIG Recommended
We recommended management ensure that DRIVE initiative goals improve business performance. Management should also expand DRIVE Initiative 25 to rely on all surveys to improve the customer experience or allow the customer survey contract to expire, monitor reported results in the Technology Management Office System for accuracy, and complete all appropriate forms and obtain all necessary approvals when changing initiative and project goals.

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Source: U.S. Postal Service’s DRIVE 25 – Improve Customer Experience | USPS Office of Inspector General

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