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Jensen Wins Governor's Award for Excellence


February 20, 2019

2018 Governor's Award for Excellence winner Kristi Jensen.

Last year, Kristi Jensen's supervisor nominated her for the 2018 Governor's Award for Excellence, and based on her performance, Jensen won this prestigious award. Although the award was presented to Jensen in September, she received her picture with the Governor just last month.

Jensen is a Business Analyst for the Department of Labor and Industry in Helena where she has worked for the past ten years and is considered a vital member of the Division. She is also the daughter of Dave Jensen and Karen Witte and a 1996 graduate of Chinook High School.

In the last two years, Jensen has been involved in special technological projects, while continuing to perform her regular duties. According to her supervisor, George Smith, Jensen's involvement in the Document Composition Project and the UI4U Rewrite Project required a significant expansion of her knowledge, skills and abilities into the technological realm. Her expertise in adjudication and her extensive knowledge of unemployment insurance were essential to the success of those projects.

The nomination letter noted Jensen's "ability to flex, grow, and flourish in her newly acquired skills; her excellent attention to detail; and her self-driven demand for excellence" as major contributors to the success of these two projects.

As a member of the Document Composition Project, Jensen spent several weeks working on the team assigned to rewrite all the documents used in the processing of unemployment insurance claims. She then spent even more time writing test cases and running tests of all the documents.

"Because of her persistent work, meticulous attention to accuracy, and dedication to continuous improvement, the project was completed by the deadline and with hardly any document errors. Consequently, our clients now receive documents written in lay terms that are easier to understand and more efficient to process," Smith stated.

As a member of the UI4U Rewrite Project, Jensen was instrumental in developing a new Unemployment Insurance claimant portal (UI4U) for claims filing and maintenance. At the beginning of this project, Jensen was part of the Mock-Up team responsible for

laying the ground work for Use Case writing. With no formal training in such technological endeavors, Jensen took the initiative to learn. Due to her tenacity and quick understanding, she was quickly assigned the authorship and editing of 90% of the use cases developed for this project. She reviewed all use cases to ensure they accurately matched the original mock-ups, discovering and correcting errors previously missed, and suggesting improvements. Because Jensen provided a trusted voice in meetings with upper management, she served as liaison between the claims processing staff and the program manager. In this role, she not only streamlined communication but enhanced the project's development.

For her time investment and for finding creative ways to be more productive to meet time constraints, Jensen received commendation. According to Smith, "Kristi has confidently taken the lead in working alongside many of her peers and supervisors in both Claims Processing and the Technology Services Division. She has established herself as a trusted leader and team member with these projects. Kristi prides herself on individual self-discipline and drives herself to be her best while focusing on public service."

About receiving the award, Jensen said, "Although my supervisor recommended me for the award, he worked with Paul Martin, Unemployment Insurance Claims Processing Bureau Chef, and Brenda Nordlund, Unemployment Insurance Administrator, to complete the nomination. Paul and Brenda also had to approve the nomination before it was sent in. So, it was quite an honor to know that my whole chain of command helped and approved my nomination."

The Department of Labor and Industry confers only two awards per year, one to a team and another to an individual. Jensen is the meritorious winner of the individual Governor's Award for Excellence for her performance in 2018.


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