Once every ten years the Census Bureau faces the daunting task of counting everyone in the United States. It is a massive operation requiring the hiring and training of thousands of employees across the country as well as coordinating with state and local governments and mounting an extensive communication campaign in many different languages. The logistical challenges of managing so many people and different operations across the United States are formidable.
“Line of Sight played a critical role in the success of the 2010 Count Review Program (CRP)… The CRP project evolved a great deal from what was first envisioned. Line of Sight did an excellent job of adapting to the shifting scope and parameters of the program. I would not hesitate to recommend the firm to any organization needing project and process management service.”
Line of Sight was selected to develop the processes, design the systems and manage the project for an important element of the 2010 Census. The Count Review Program is very visible operation and highly sensitive component of the Decennial Census. The Count Review Program provides the structure and process for representatives from each state to assess whether they believe census operations are properly accounting for their population. Given the $400 billion in federal funds and congressional seats that are at stake, accuracy of the population count is of great importance to the states. It was Line of Sight’s challenge to design and develop an approach that would meet the needs of the Census Bureau and the states.
Line of Sight was selected by the Census Bureau to support the 2010 Count Review Program in August 2008, about one year later than the program manager wished the effort had started given the amount of work to be done. The pressure built in November 2008 when it became clear in working with key representatives from the states that what Census had envisioned for the 2010 Count Review would not sufficiently meet
the program’s goals and objectives. At this point Line of Sight’s capabilities proved their worth. By mid-‐December Line of Sight had designed and mapped out a new process incorporating GIS technology advocated by some state representatives. This new approach became known as the Housing Unit Address Review.
The plan was to perform the Housing Unit Address Review two months earlier than the rest of the review activities. This plan had to be sold internally at the Census Bureau and coordinated with many other interdependent operations. The good news: Line of Sight successfully helped sell this new approach. The bad news: the review would start four months earlier than anticipated. With less than a year to go the project kicked into high gear. A system to process and map over 100 million housing units across the US had to be developed and the processes and procedures for performing the review needed to be developed from scratch since this approach had never been done before. Project management was a particular challenge given the short schedule that required so many tasks to be done in parallel.
Despite the odds… SUCCESS! When the first state representatives arrived we were ready. Line of Sight trained Census employees as experts in the system and in the techniques for an effective review. Line of Sight also developed and delivered training to the state representatives so they would be using the system for their review within the two hours of the first day of the five-‐day review. The outcome of the effort was a very successful review. The first of its kind, it proved very effective. The states were very pleased with the results and the support we provided them. The CRP Program Manager and his Division we thrilled that it came off successfully and accomplished its objectives. And the people who didn’t think it could be done took note.