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    Kristen Ibarra: CPI guru and BPO star

    Kristen Ibarra: CPI guru and BPO star

    Photo By Sgt. Jack Adamyk | Official USMC Photo read more read more



    Story by Laurie Pearson 

    Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow

    Qualified Recycling Program and the base’s hiring process are among the most recent Continuous Process Improvement projects tackled by Kristen Ibarra, lead CPI Analyst and a team aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, California.
    Ibarra has been in her current position since November 2019, but she has been working aboard the base for over 10 years, starting as a contracted Human Resource Assistant in 2009 for the Marine Corps Police Department.
    “I then moved to the Comptroller Department as a federal employee as a Management Assistant, then to the Business Performance Office as a Management Analyst,” she said.
    As part of her duties, this multitasker conducts Lean Six Sigma - Continuous Process Improvement projects, manages all base support agreements, coordinates Common Output Levels of Service, and disseminates DONTRACKER taskers. The QRP and Hiring Process projects resulted from needs identified by base Command staff.
    “Each project begins with an identified problem within a department,” Ibarra said. “Next, a Charter is developed that outlines the problem and goals of the project. Then, a team is created and meets weekly. The team works through a structured method for LSS process improvement and uses a set of tools to define, measure, analyze, improve and control the process. Lastly, the new improved process is implemented.”
    The QRP project took two months to complete and the Hiring Process project took two and a half months. Each of these projects had fruitful outcomes.
    “For the QRP project the Environmental Division was already doing some great things, but with the project we assisted with ways to bring awareness and increase revenue to the QRP, engaged with the community on potential partnerships, developed ways to increase the diversion rate, conducted inventory of all the base recycling containers, and compared prices for recycled material,” she said. “The Hiring Process was the most recent project to be completed and the improvements included training Hiring Managers and HR Personnel on position classification, developing a tracker to manage the update of all position descriptions, and restructuring of the Structure Management Board members. All of these improvements are done with the goal of a more streamlined process by reducing processing time, optimizing resources, and improving service quality.”
    Ibarra stands out in the field for many reasons to include her work ethic and skills, as well as her education, training and experience. She has earned the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification in order to lead CPI projects. She also has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and is close to earning her Doctor of Philosophy Degree.
    “I have also completed all coursework towards a Ph.D. in Public Policy,” Ibarra said. “I have yet to write the dissertation which is the last step towards completion of the Ph.D.”
    “Ms. Ibarra is a very detail oriented and meticulous manager,” said Lt. Col. LaBarron McBride, Operations Director and supervisor of the Business Performance Office. “She is extremely reliable and consistently produces results that meet and in most cases, exceed expectations. She was hand selected for her roles in these projects due to here unique perspective and keen eye for process analysis and improvement.”
    One of the things Ibarra loves about her job is finding new ways to save time and money, whether it’s through a LSS CPI project or a support agreement.
    “It could be time saved from an improved process, a new support agreement with the City for cheaper services, or receiving new funding for a reimbursed position from a tenant,” she explained. “Each of these may seem small, but combined they add up to a big win, especially if it means giving more to the Base and the Marines.”
    Her inspiration at work is all the military men and women who have made sacrifices to serve the United States of America.
    “They make sacrifices for our freedom,” she said. “I don’t take this for granted. So, you can’t help but be inspired by these people to work hard and be encouraged every day. In my personal life I am inspired by my children. I always want to be a good example to them. They give me the drive and motivation to always do my best.”
    “On another project, Ms. Ibarra has consistently displayed unrelenting resolve in her efforts to solidify a Memorandum of Understanding between Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow and Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton,” McBride said. “Despite encountering much delay and additional approval levels, she continued to meet timelines and meticulously review and revise our requirements. Her dedication to our organization and the mission at hand is nothing short of exceptional and it sets an example for others to emulate.”
    When asked if she had any advice for other federal employees, Ibarra recommends planning ahead and taking advantage of available services.
    “My advice would be to take advantage of the benefits offered as part of being a federal employee - such benefits as tuition assistance, leadership development programs, and contributing to the Thrift Savings Plan.”
    This busy wife and mother of two says she has little free time.
    “I am very busy with work (especially while our office is short staffed), family, and taking care of the home,” she said. “When I am not at work, I like to cook and spend time with my family.”




    Date Taken: 02.25.2021
    Date Posted: 02.26.2021 15:18
    Story ID: 390081
    Location: BARSTOW, CA, US 

    Web Views: 35
    Downloads: 0