Background

The U.S. Postal Service originally established 36 Delivering Results, Innovation, Value, and Efficiency (DRIVE) initiatives in fiscal year (FY) 2011 to improve its business strategy. DRIVE aims to reduce the reported $20 billion gap between revenue and expenses by 2016 through data-driven programs and effective project management. DRIVE initiatives are supposed to be bold and aggressive and have measurable outcomes.

DRIVE 42 – Market New and Existing Services, is one of five marketing and sales DRIVE initiatives, aims to increase revenue by $16.65 billion by FY 2017. The objective of DRIVE 42 is to retain and grow shipping and mailing services through five projects. These projects aim to increase shipping revenue; retain and grow profitable mail revenue; increase online revenue and online customer satisfaction; increase gift card and greeting card revenue; and support growth through brand health reporting.

Our objective was to determine whether the DRIVE 42 initiative used established DRIVE project management processes.

What the OIG Found

DRIVE 42 managers did not follow DRIVE project management processes when planning and evaluating overall project metrics and revenue goals. For example, management established a revenue goal of $5.2 billion for the shipping revenue and profitable mail projects without a system to accurately measure achievement. Also, the goal for increasing online revenue is not aggressive, as it calls for growth that is 50 percent less, on average, than that of the 3 years prior to DRIVE 42. Further, the cumulative goal of DRIVE 42 was $8 billion less than the combined goals of the five underlying projects. Consequently, management and evaluation of DRIVE 42 are based on inaccurate information.

We also identified $3.4 billion in unsupported increased revenue which management claimed for the shipping revenue and profitable mail projects. These issues occurred in DRIVE 42 because there is no independent audit process in DRIVE to promote accountability and ensure that goals are measurable, realistic, and accurate.

What the OIG Recommended

We recommended management include goals that can be accurately measured and that reflect the $24.6 billion total of the projects. We also recommended requiring that initiative leads follow established criteria to set bold and aggressive roadmap goals beyond past performance.