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Team 7 Week 3 Progress Report

Interviews (17/42, 21 total for weeks 2 and 3)

Tim (Salesforce)

  • Believes users will enter data if they believe it will make their life easier.
  • Thinks unified adoption will require strong top down leadership.
  • Believes it is advantageous when as much data remains unclassified as possible.
  • Salesforce has some experience working with other SOCOM divisions but has not fully completed FedRAMP.

Natalya (Salesforce)

  • Cost of this type of program is open ended; usually requires modification and government cloud is more expensive.
  • Uses iterative model involving weekly feedback from end users.

John (DARPA)

  • DARPA experiences similar info management problems.
  • He is constantly approached by vendors offering new knowledge management features.
  • Different groups will have different tolerance levels for doing work to make your solution function but are unlikely to want to do more than they currently do. The F-35 team for example is accustomed to a large paper trail.
  • Solution should function with the organization as it currently exists and not depend on the organization changing.

General Dempsey

  • Money prevents collaboration. People want funding for their own projects.
  • However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Friction between these groups is what moves the most viable projects forward.
  • Friction is intensified when budget is tight.

Fort Bragg Interviews (ranks need to be confirmed, units are correct)

Rob – CDD

  • Biggest pain point – finding out about an unexpected procurement after he’s already completed his spend plan. It’s very hard to change things once the plan is submitted.
  • Believes part of the color of money reporting problem is the parameters around each kind. CDD should get a notice for any O&M purchase.
  • We need to simplify the rules in a way that delivers our core informational needs.

Tom – Future Concepts

  • We want to plan for when capability development is successful. If they fail it’s a waste of money but when it’s a success it’s almost worse because we have to decide to cut other things.
  • When that kind of conflict occurs we have to go through a Requirements Review Board process that delays deployment.
  • We need to be able to ask people whether they want those sudden requests or the $X worth of things we’re going to have to drop because of it, whatever’s at the bottom of the priority list.

Dave – A Squadron

  • When I recognize a problem, I want to know my parameters. I want to know who has already looked at it, get a basis for where to start.
  • Every squadron produces SITREFS. How can I get a notification when one comes along that is relevant to me?
  • When I’m looking, I want to know who to talk to. Why didn’t it go forward last time? Do I need to revalidate?

Joe – C4I 

  • We want to protect the unique authorities of the unit command. We don’t want to get in the way of what end users or doing but it’s necessary to protect that authority.
  • We also want better efficiency in project management. The effort it takes to find all of these records could be improved considerably.
  • We also want to be able to sort by commodity area.

Herb – CDD

  • Who is the vendor/organization?
  • Lead point of contact in unit
  • market research
  • Was conversation in person or remote?

John – CDD

  • I’ve been here since 1995 and at that time we filed trip reports as a matter of discipline.
  • It fell out of practice because people couldn’t really put them to use.
  • To get people to submit them we need an efficient way to do it, a place to store it, and a way to access it for all users.

Tom – Future Concepts

  • It’s good to save time but we also need buy in from leadership.
  • Those trip reports aren’t for me, they’re for whoever is going to read them. So if I don’t think anyone is going to read them, why would I write them?
  • I have no preference to exactly what form this system takes, I just think there needs to be a standard.

Brian – B Squadron

  • I would argue that the strength of the organization is having a sandbox with parameters.
  • Overstandardization could undermine why we operate this way in the first place.
  • End users like giving feedback, they don’t like having to go to a meeting to do it.

Angel – Future Concepts

  • Part of the problem is lack of planning – how much HW are you doing before you go on a trip?
  • Even without a database the organizational knowledge exists.
  • People know where to go if they want to talk to an expert, they just don’t do it.

JasonSquadron ?

  • I love tech solutions but I think this is partially a people problem.
  • Like a squadron might need a bunch of censors and not even consider talking to signal squadron.
  • They also don’t talk to CDD because they think it will slow them down.

Daryl – Intel(?) Squadron – End User

  • We’re a bunch of highly motivated introverts. We have to get into the habit of talking to each other.
  • If we don’t feel like CDD’s subject matter expert is helpful we’ll go around them.
  • It would be great to subscribe to a feed that alerted me on upcoming trips, etc.

Pat – Signal(?) Squadron – End User

  • I don’t always know who is going to be interested in what I have to say.
  • I’ll send an email to Daryl and later in the day it’s blown out to 30+ people.
  • If those people can find a way to request that information from me then they can get it even if I’m not aware of them.

Tony – C4I

  • End users will do some work if it’s easier than what they’re doing right now.
  • If it’s harder than email don’t even bother.
  • Greater challenge will be connecting disparate silos of data.

Hypotheses Confirmed or Debunked

  • Confirmed: Late notice of a project set to be deployed affects CDD’s ability to deploy its budget effectively. Late procurements may force CDD to defund other priorities or take the matter to a review board, which delays deployment for both parties.
  • Confirmed: “Unofficial” knowledge of an ongoing project gives CDD a chance to plan its budget accordingly. CDD is not guaranteed to find the money needed but has more time to look for funding from its own lines or from outside agencies spending for a similar purpose.
  • Confirmed: R&D leaders see some risk in interacting with CDD. While the sentiment was not universal, there is some perception that they will be slowed down or denied.
  • Debunked: Trip reports are the standard means of reporting progress. We heard many references to SITREFS, with a couple even citing it as the reason they might find out about a given project before they are told.
  • Debunked: End users aren’t interested in providing feedback. They are interested but hate having to go to a meeting to do it. As such, only those who really want to see a capability deployed will show up. More simplified feedback systems have worked better.

Questions for Next Week:

  • Can we build a timeline out of our paper trail? Can we make reliable assumptions about the order in which our milestones would appear?
  • Could certain O&M transactions be detected that would forecast a potential future procurement, and would CDD be able to parse such information effectively?
  • To what extent to individual teams rely on their own way of doing things? Would they prefer a standardized system? What are they not willing to give up under a new system?

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