Meet Akilah, Business Process Lead

Meet Akilah, Business Process Lead


In our latest Day in the Life profile, we’d like to introduce you to Akilah, the Business Process Lead for one of Criterion’s Department of Energy programs.

Please describe your job: What do you do?

As the Business Process Lead, my job is to help my Federal customers document their processes while consistently working towards preparing the organization for quality management assessments. I provide recommendations for maintaining and implementing methods and procedures to enhance operational effectiveness and efficiency. I also develop and conduct assessments of the organization’s quality management practices and systems in line with the requirements and objectives of the governing quality management office. Findings from these assessments are reported to senior Federal leadership along with recommendations for improvement. I interface regularly with our Federal customers to engage them and their team in documenting their processes for the work that they do to meet the mission, vision, and goals of the organization. Furthermore, I consistently identify and implement strategies to improve transparency and communication of the team’s capabilities and efforts to our customers via our SharePoint site, email communications, trainings, and brown bags. 

What are 5 things you do almost every day? ​

  • Interface with my team to coordinate and track the progress of tasks.
  • Identify and delegate tasks for the day/week to team members.
  • Coordinate with contractor leadership to provide status updates on tasks.
  • Field questions/requests from Federal and contractor staff.
  • Manage the team and personal mailbox.

Do you have a morning ritual? Something you do to start your day?

I make a cup of tea most mornings, catch up on the news for the day and night before, check my personal email, and then I walk and feed my dog – all before I log on. 

What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role? 

​You need attention to detail, good communications/listening skills, and strong abilities in writing, interviewing, problem solving, research, and analysis, as well as computer/software knowledge of process modeling and tools.

What do you like best about your job?

I like the opportunity to learn more about how my customer’s organization operates. I also like gaining insight into the different program areas of the Federal organization and how they interact with each other. It’s similar to putting together a puzzle, where you have an understanding of the what the outcome/image should be, but there are many pieces that you have to put together first to get the final product. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to become a business process lead? ​

Take the time to listen and understand a process as it’s being explained to you without assumptions; it is the key to thoroughly documenting a process. I would also say there are never too many questions you can ask when trying to understand the flow and responsible parties within a process.

What is the craziest/oddest job you have ever had? Something that might surprise your peers? ​

Many, many, many years ago I was an intern instructor for a religious summer reading program for children. I provided creative learning opportunities to enhance the academic and social development of my students. The odd part is I didn’t have any professional experience or educational background that aligned with the job and the responsibilities; all I had was about a week or so of peer training. The kids I taught and my coworkers were amazing and I learned a lot about myself that summer. I especially learned that my career path would not head in the direction of teaching young kids.