What great FSO’s read!
Tons of info today. Hold on tight!
30 Ways in 30 Days
We are taking a break from our normal tasks and scheduling events for a little encouragement – we can all use that from time to time, right?
Here’s a few ways to go from zero to hero in thirty days:
Day 1) Clean Up Your SMO! In preparation for DISS (the system that will replace JPAS), all FSOs should be cleaning their JPAS Account. Get the instructions from this guy!
Day 2) Determine the security goal you want. Do you want no vulnerabilities? A higher rating? Better reporting from your team? More support from your management? You can’t hit a target that isn’t there. Get clear about what you want to see.
Day 3) Share this goal with your leadership, business departments, and compliance
teams. Get everyone aware of what you want to achieve in your security
- Clean up your JPAS SMO!
- Audit your personnel training files to make sure you have the Insider Threat certificates. We are one year into the program!
- Send courtesy reminders to any pending training.
- Log into JPAS and any other timed data base so you don’t get locked out.
- Remove any personnel who should not be in JPAS by out-processing or contract ending.
- Check on your open investigations to ensure things are moving smoothly.
- Get your “Defensive Travel” training ready. June – August sees a lot of travel!
- Update your passport.
- Do at least ONE of the 30 Ways Action Items! Your program will thank you for it!
30 Ways in 30 Days
Day 4) Now – work backward. For instance, if you want a higher rating, you need to look at your LAST rating and find what it will take to take it to the next level. (We can help with that if you need ideas.)
Day 5) Less is more when it comes to Enhancements. The NISP Enhancements are usually not done because of the time and cost involved, but they don’t have to be expensive. There are lots of low-cost ideas to enhance your security program. Start with zero budget ideas such as silly office games like voting on a favorite security awareness poster or some video shorts from CDSE.
Working backwards is easy. Just start from the end and keep going
until you at the beginning
Day 6) Quality over Quantity. There is a LOT of information available on the CDSE website. It would be easy to
overwhelm your personnel with it. Take a good look at what would make your company better from a security
perspective – start off simple but strong.
Day 7) Pick one item and make it better. Need more self-reports? Need to be better at JPAS? Need to understand
what all the annual requirements are? Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you can get better each day.
Day 8) Build it for the long term. Don’t just send out emails asking for things, start building policies and procedures
that will ensure you have the support you need for: how to obtain a clearance for personnel, foreign travel practices,
how to report a security incident. Get everyone into best practices as an organization.
In all seriousness, we have gotten some great ideas from our great members, clients, and community. Talkin’ to you Dan and Shannon and Amanda and Cynthia and Bryan and so many others! You inspire us! If I left you out email this guy.
Day 9) Don’t compare but share! Every FSO has at least one great idea. Don’t look at what others are doing and feel bad about what you do. Share what awesome idea you have, and they will share it back. Some of our newsletter readers send us some GREAT ideas. We share them with our Members Club and subscribers and we are all better for it!
Day 10) Embrace criticism. Yeah – we hate getting criticized too. Especially if it comes during an SVA from our DSS Rep … but, be honest. It makes the program better – once you get past the pain of it, the criticism makes your program better.
Day 11) Find your style. Here at FSO PRO, we like to take NISPOM compliance efforts and emphasize it with humor
and things we find fun to talk about. We are not likely to be invited to speak at the National Convention or brief
the Director – but we have fun and we learn. Learn to work with your style and not someone else’s.
Day 12) Get out from behind your monitors! Oy, this one is hard for me. You have to get up and talk to your team – follow up with foreign travelers, speak to managers, look at your security program from objective eyes, observe what people are doing and follow up when you send out security information. You can’t be the best FSO if you never leave your desk.
Day 13) Help the organization understand the importance of security. Security compliance protects the nation. A security program helps your organization obtain more classified contracts. Security compliance assures your government customer that you are doing what is best for the contract. Being an FSO fits into the organization’s goals and this is a message you will need to communicate.
If I only had one more monitor, THEN I could be productive…
Day 14) Constantly share the goals. At FSO PRO, we have a goal to get our newsletter subscribers up to a certain amount this year. We share that goal with each other all the time. Do this with your team – share all your goals for higher ratings, more suspicious contacts, better reports, upgrading your clearance levels … everyone appreciates reaching a goal – get everyone invested in what you want to achieve.
Track your progress. Track your notes. Track your events. Track your tasks. Track your ex. Scratch that last one. Unless your ex is that sweet NISPOM handbook. Don’t judge.
Day 15) Track Everything! If you are going to do it – track it. Are you reading a section of NISPOM each week? Track your progress. Gave a foreign travel briefing? Who attended? Are you talking with the personnel about security, even randomly? Make notes of it. Did you present the goals to executive management? Note it! It all counts and points the way to a better program.
Day 16) Make mistakes and correct them quickly and humbly. Okay – this obviously does not mean deliberately do a security violation. It means you may be procrastinating something you don’t know how to do because you are not sure how. It’s okay – experience is a hard but excellent teacher. Make a subDD254 and show it to your DSS Rep to see if you did it right. Try using STEPP for other classes. Submit that security nomination packet. You may get it wrong and the correction may be no fun (see # 10) but you will learn and get better and better.
Day 17) Create as you consume. You are taking in security information a lot. While it is fresh on your mind – turn it into an announcement, a newsletter, a poster or a quick training.
Day 18) Update your distribution lists and email once a quarter. Keep your cleared personnel list up to date for quick announcements, put the JPAS Call Center and DMDC on your phone, ensure you have your DSS Reps email, cell and your counter intelligence contact information handy in case you need quick information or actions!
30 Ways in 30 Days
Day 19) Express gratitude – a lot. Teamwork makes the dream work. Whenever you get a good report – thank the person and cc their supervisor and management. When your DSS Rep responds quickly – thank them and cc their field chief. Being a successful FSO requires great participation – give kudos and shout-outs for everything!
Day 20) Execution over motivation. You know, we are going to give you 30 days of motivation but doing just ONE of them is all you need to have something better today. Put any of these into action.
Day 21) Learn along the way. You heard of perfection paralysis? Some people want to be able to do it perfect
from the get-go. These people never heard me at my first piano lesson apparently. Don’t procrastinate because
you still want to “read up” first. Just get started.
His twin brother, Zag, was actually a bit of a downer. And that is why you never see his quotes against a beautiful background.
Day 22) Build a support system – keep asking questions! As an FSO, you will have the opportunity to be a Mentor, Peer and a Student. This subscriber list, your local NCMS Chapter and the FSO PRO member club is a great place to build a support system so that you can learn faster and better.
Day 23) Be a reference junkie! For everything you ask your personnel to do, there is a NISPOM Reference or regulatory guidance from DSS. Adding these quotes to your instructions and training will remind everyone that with Federal Privilege comes Federal Regulations.
Experimentation can be good. This FSO (above) is really into chemistry… and hopefully Shakespeare
Day 24) Don’t be afraid to try something that doesn’t work. I once tried a poster contest for the National Convention only to learn that our organization had an odd sense of humor and very little art skills. Still – we had fun and some of our attempts bring up lots of laughter at staff meetings. It is good to try something different.
Day 25) Do the Worst First. We all have some security task that we don’t want to do: writing up a policy, calling the PSMO to check on a clearance, taking a STEPP class, reviewing the contracts list, auditing personnel records – start with your least favorite task each morning and there is nowhere to go but up! Shout out to Mom for this one!
Day 26) Set up a Trello Board. I love this free software we use at FSO PRO called Trello – LOVE IT. I would marry it if my husband wasn’t so awesome – that is how much I love it. It is like an electronic bulletin board where I can create projects, pin up reminders, schedule events … pick a new software (this is a great time to be alive) that you love and use it to make your life easier: video maker, Canva -for flyers to social media, Camtasia to animate your training. There is so much good stuff out there – check it out!
This an example of a cool looking Trello board made by professionals. Yours will not look this cool. But it keep you very productive.
Day 27) Learn the Buzzwords! We put “terms” in all our newsletter explaining what we are talking about. NCMS and CDSE is another good resource for that. The more you know, the more confident your leadership will be in you when they turn to you and go “what’s an SVA?”
Day 28) Create a monthly operating procedure – work smarter. Run JPAS reports, check in with HR, review your monthly calendar, and set aside twenty minutes a day to review NISPOM or DSS materials. Create a strong routine to reinforce your plan.
Day 29) Be diplomatic. As an FSO, you will be dealing with government customers, Defense Security Service and your own leadership. Learn their goals and how to express yourself professionally on how you plan to support their goals. Take trainings on emails and public speaking as needed.
We want to help. We are good at helping. We know you like to do everything yourself but you are running in circles. Help us…. Help you.
Day 30) Help us, help YOU. Believe it or not, there is nothing we want MORE than to tell people that we help FSOs create strong security programs that solve problems and protect this great nation’s information. We can only do that if you tell us what you need. Last week, Dan – a subscriber – told us: “I need more FSO hacks”. As a result, we are actively looking and finding those hacks for Dan. We want to do this for all of you. Please let us know what you need by asking this guy!
Who is FSO PRO?
PO BOX 70095
Fort Bragg, NC 28307
Terms This Month:
SMO: Security Management Office. Everyone affiliated with your JPAS records.
JPAS: Joint Personnel Adjudicative System. FSOs system of record for personnel clearances.
NISP Enhancements – 10 Categories developed by DSS of above-the-baseline standards of events, education and best security practices that can lead to a positive security impact for your organization.
DMDC: Defense Manpower Data Center: who you call for issues with JPAS: 800-467-5526
PSMO: Personnel Security Management Office: who you talk to about personnel security concerns: 888-282-7682.
CDSE: Center for Development of Security Excellence: www.cdse.edu – where you learn!
FSO PRO thanks all the FSOs out there for everything you do to keep the warfighter safe. Even the smallest task is designed to keep our nation’s information out of the hands of those who would do harm. We, as FSOs, are doing our part to stay vigilant and determined to protect those who protect us, even in our own small way.
That is why we say how awesome you are. And thank you.