Our V.E.T.S. Program: Investing in One of America’s Greatest Untapped Resources
The Backstory – Why We Brought Our Veterans Aboard
“It’s the next generation of young people. Why not give them a chance? They raised their hands and some of their friends never made it back. So what do you do with that? You commit to them as they committed to us.” – Karen Ross, Sharp Decisions CEO
For 25 years, Sharp Decisions has been providing strategic business and technology consulting services to a variety of sectors. This enables us to respond to the ever-changing needs of our clients effectively and efficiently by utilizing skills and combined expertise from specialists throughout our corporation. This versatility has enabled us to gain momentum and, as need for talent in the IT field has increased, we’ve filled the void with an innovative new service capability employing returning military veterans.
Under our V.E.T.S.™ (Vocation, Education and Training for Service members) Program, we hire tech-savvy, post-9/11 U.S. armed forces veterans and train them in Quality Assurance, Software Testing, Business Analysis and Project Management, among other specialties. Our veterans are fully salaried/benefited employees while undergoing, boot camp-like, project oriented technology training. We operate our program without any government assistance and do not touch the veterans’ GI Bill benefits.
We are the first in our industry with a business solution that provides intensive IT training and then deploys veterans in squads to clients. We leverage the skill sets that our veterans already have, while training them in specific QA Software Testing capabilities.
Hiring veterans is a smart business investment. Their work on the military’s most cutting edge technology has prepared them to perfectly match the needs of the technology industry. And by training our veterans, we absorb the risk by bridging the gap between their military skills and the needs of private companies.
Our veterans are trained in teams to take advantage of their military experience working together. Once training is complete we deploy our veterans to clients in squads of three or more.
This business solution is grounded in the military’s most treasured and timeless principle – teamwork – and serves as a tri-fold benefit in the marketplace: providing immediate, measurable and cost-effective benefits to our clients’ bottom lines and creating promising career opportunities for veterans, while being the first program of its kind to bring Quality Assurance/User Acceptance Testing jobs back to America that have long been outsourced to overseas vendors.
Our Approach Works
“These guys come to us already trained and in teams that have already worked together. I would say that they are actually more effective than many of our college hires because they are more experienced, focused and they already know exactly what they need to learn. Bringing on a new squad was the easiest business decision I ever made.” – Tim Snyder, Vice President and Business Technology Officer at Freddie Mac.
Clients have taken notice of the benefit our veteran consultants have provided their IT teams, saying that 2-3 months of the V.E.T.S. on the job is equivalent to having 2-3 years from the average consultant.
V.E.T.S. has demonstrable value for the bottom line of our clients, as our veterans have been highly successful in varying geographic and diverse accounts such as Experian (LA), Freddie Mac (DC), and EmblemHealth (NYC). These early adopters of the program took a chance on veterans with only 2-3 months of experience, and it has paid off tremendously:
- V.E.T.S. QA Analysts were integrated into Freddie Mac’s IT team testing the Operational Data Management system to update non-functional requirements. The test team was able to complete the project nearly one month ahead of schedule.
- At EmblemHealth, V.E.T.S. QA analysts began in support of the reporting process, but quickly assumed full responsibility for the QA reporting functions. Through a combination of techniques they were able to reduce individual report generation time from an average of 45 minutes to less than one minute per report.
These clients, along with several others, report that their squads deliver completed projects on budget and, at or ahead of schedule, consistently outperforming their civilian counterparts.
Furthermore, costs are competitive with offshore/near-shore rates and we provide an experienced Subject Matter Expert to the team at no additional cost to the client. In an industry where offshore turnover rates are nearly 65%, our program’s retention rate is 94% and services are immediate and local.
Learn more about the immense success our V.E.T.S. teams have at our clients in this NBC segment.
V.E.T.S. Is a Value-Driven Business Model
“EmblemHealth has enjoyed a huge degree of success working with Sharp Decisions and their V.E.T.S. Program. The individuals in the program and their accomplishments at Emblem have far exceeded our expectations. Specifically, the V.E.T.S. team demonstrates dedication, attention to detail, and a strong desire to ‘get it right’ in all of their work. These traits are hard to find in the workplace; however, through our relationship with Sharp Decisions, we are able to access these high quality resources.” – Tom MacMillan, Senior Director at EmblemHealth.
Our veterans learn and acclimate faster and work as a unit to complete tasks in a shorter time than the average consultant. In addition to Sharp’s BootCamp, the teams cross train one another to continuously grow, adapt and accomplish the changing mission(s) at hand. They can also enter a project and address a task at any point in the system development lifecycle.
Military skills make veterans ideal consultants to solve client needs: leadership, an unparalleled work ethic, discipline and rigor, creative troubleshooting and problem solving under pressure, hands-on experience with America’s most advanced technologies, and a respect for each client’s unique culture and chain of command. Our veterans bring a resilient approach to obtain results and have become trusted, indispensable assets to our clients.
Find out more about how valuable our V.E.T.S. consultants are to our clients’ IT teams in this segment on The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson on Fox News.
Comprehensive Training Equates to Paramount Quality
“In the military you need to accomplish the mission. We ask our managers for more work, we hold ourselves to a higher standard, demand more, and have a different level of enthusiasm.” – David Tejada, V.E.T.S. Program graduate.
The comprehensive and broad training curriculum is a critical component of the V.E.T.S. program. Our highly qualified veterans are taken through a training program that prepares them for client projects: teaching business processes, methodologies and best practices through hands-on training with commonly used tools in practical, project-oriented environments, tailored to the specific needs of each client.
We prepare them for the business needs of Quality Assurance & Software Testing, Business Analysis, PMO and Project Management, and Production Support. Our vets are ready to apply the necessary skills, methodologies, techniques, strategies and tactics, including:
- Agile and Waterfall methodologies
- Project Management – and PM tools
- Functional Decomposition and RUP analysis techniques
- Various pragmatic testing techniques (including White Box, Black Box, Smoke Leak, Unit Testing, Integration System and Regression Testing, and UAT Testing)
- Production Support – processes and tools
- Project Governance and Compliance
Once training is completed, the results for our clients are measurable. Our program produces highly capable, motivated teams who are readily integrated with the customer’s business. They provide on-site or locally remote flexibility, which often cannot be said for offshore/near-shore testing, consistently delivering paramount quality, contained costs and performance excellence.
Most importantly, our veterans bring additional levels of resolve and resourcefulness, allowing them to apply the appropriate mix of creativity and perseverance to overcome any obstacles and accomplish the mission.
Read how our program better positions veterans to accomplish the mission on every project, every time in Sgt. David Tejada’s OpEd on FoxNews.com.
The V.E.T.S. Program is an important extension of our company and aligns perfectly with the Sharp Decisions commitment to offering the best talent and solutions to our clients. Integrating our highly trained and disciplined armed forces veteran consultants into your organization is a smart business investment.
V.E.T.S. Program At-a-Glance
- Sharp Decisions hires and trains returning post-9/11 veterans in Quality Assurance, Software Testing, Business Analysis and Project Management, among other specialties, in teams to take advantage of their military experience working together. Once training is complete we deploy our veterans to clients in squads of three or more.
- By training our veterans, we absorb the risk by bridging the gap between their military skills and the needs of private companies.
- Clients notice the benefit our veteran consultants have on their IT teams, saying that 2-3 months of the V.E.T.S. on the job is equivalent to 2-3 years from the average consultant.
- Every project our veterans have worked on has been completed on time or before deadline and at or below budget, consistently outperforming their civilian counterparts.
- Costs are competitive with offshore/near-shore rates and we provide an experienced Subject Matter Expert to the team at no additional cost to the client.
- Our program produces highly capable teams who are readily integrated with the customer’s business. They provide on-site or locally remote flexibility, which often cannot be said for offshore/near-shore testing, consistently delivering paramount quality, contained costs and performance excellence.
- Hear from our V.E.T.S. team members, clients and third party advocates.
- Read the latest news on the success of our program.