Tom Allin

  • VA innovation engine revs up hundreds of new ideas from employees

    One year into a pilot with the Veterans Affairs Innovators Network, the department has made investments into 38 projects and ideas that teams of VA nurses, doctors and other rank-and-file employees have developed at eight medical centers around the country. More than 40 other VA medical centers submitted applications asking to join the Innovators Network.

  • VA changing customer service frame of reference with new framework

    Tom Allin, the Veterans Affairs Department’s chief veterans experience officer, developed an approach that lets employees take a different perspective when developing customer service initiatives.

  • Letter: Veterans Affairs leaders oversimplify problems

    In 1946, General Omar Bradley stated, while Administrator of the Department of Veterans Affairs, ‘We are dealing with veterans, not procedures; their problems, not ours.’ The VA long ago lost site of this aptly stated goal of the VA.”

  • Veterans Affairs’ new customer-service credo: Make employees happy

    Starbucks calls its employees “partners.” Disney has “cast members.” The Ritz-Carlton has “ladies and gentlemen.” The VA’s new Chief Veterans Experience Officer Tom Allin says the department also needs to see its workers in a new light.

  • VA’s ongoing problems started at the top, and they can end there

    Taxpayers pay for two Veterans Affairs Departments, says Federal Drive host Tom Temin. There’s the good VA, which reduces its backlog of disability claims. The bad VA continues to struggle with management problems.

  • Veterans Affairs to launch a solution to its 1,000-website problem

    The Veterans Affairs Department launches Vets.gov, a digital doorway to help organize online resources for veterans.

  • McDonald’s VA Web concept reveals real customer service challenge

    Exclusive: The Veterans Affairs Department Secretary’s idea to create “Veterans.gov” is so good, the Labor Department already did it.

  • Phil Carter: Simpler is better for VA customer service

    Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald says most veterans don’t know what Blue Button, E-Benefits or MyHealtheVet are and what each of those services can do for them. He wants his new Veterans Experience Officer — Tom Allin — to consolidate the department’s websites into one. Phil Carter is a senior fellow and director of the Military, Veterans and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security. He tells In Depth with Francis Rose why simplifying everything could be an even bigger challenge for the VA.

  • VA wants to make itself more customer-focused, starting with its IT systems

    Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald says he’s baffled by the way the federal government tends to separately brand each one of its IT offerings, especially its public-facing ones.