Updated: Jun 28, 2018
Estimated savings 300 man hours per week / $1.65M annually reoccurring
Several of the most time-consuming activities in the DoD Agency revolved around the Agency's weekly review of progress being made with the organization's Strategic Plan. Four hour sessions were being led weekly by the Agency to review massive PowerPoint presentations averaging 250 slides prepared by the offices scheduled to provide a status update that week. The ACES solution transitioned the Strategic Plan being managed in a Word document to a SharePoint list. Reporting was shifted from PowerPoint slides to integrated Business Intelligence solutions with drillable reports that presented real-time data entered by Action Officers in the SharePoint list. This allowed senior staff members to identify problem areas at a glance and easily drill into specifics. live reports in SharePoint based on real data entered by Action Officers in the SharePoint list that functioned as the new Strategic Plan.
At first the teams transitioned to briefing their status off the live reports on the portal which saved hundreds of hours in slide preparation. After a few weeks the 4 hour sessions were terminated as the only thing the Agency was trying to find was where people were having problems. When they realized one could now find that information any time by reviewing the live reports, they shifted to small meetings as required when an issue showed up in the live reports.
The Office of the DoD creates and manages all policy and governance of DoD Information Technology (IT). It has a staff of several hundred personnel nested within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) where the DoD Agency directly reports to the Secretary of Defense. Creating and managing IT policy and governance has become more complex that ever requiring greater coordination and transparency. No where is the job of an Agency more daunting than in the Department of Defense, which represents the 6th largest economy in the world. This, as well as the work required to administratively manage the organization with a combination of military, civilian, and contracted workers is required. Continued manpower reductions in the DoD required an innovative approach to organize, track, and manage work related to IT policies, audits, cybersecurity, governance, congressional inquiries, software, computers, networks, IT budgets, and systems for the entire DoD.
Although the DoD Agency hosts a variety of skilled and experienced senior staff members, action officers, analysts and engineers, the technical content management knowledge base was not strong enough to naturally drive best practices in the areas of information, content and ultimately knowledge management. In August of 2012, cuts in funding with looming threats of sequestration drove Agency leadership to focus on transforming the way information and business processes were being handled within the organization. At the time there was no organized, central repository for content with business rules to guide users.. The organization was not in compliance with many of its own IT policies.
ACES Group implemented a 3-portal structure to serve the three major audiences the DoD Agency needed to support: 1) Internal Agency members, 2) Broader DoD and Whole of Government audience and 3) The public at large. Each had fully tested PKI authentication (where required), active backups and a disaster recovery capability. All solutions used in place enterprise services being provided to everyone in DoD.
The Portals were architected to make all content and processes discoverable within a few clicks, and most content and process were hosted on the Internal Portal. As content was brought into the environment, how it was created and the processes that were involved in managing it were governed through automation. For example, if a process required approval from a new person, ACES would add the new person to the SharePoint approval workflow and it was transparent to anyone the process had changed. No one needed to be trained on the new process. Each process was defined using a Wiki page on the portal. This provided continuity as responsibilities shifted, and the process page was updated whenever changes were made. This ensured non-technical business managers always had clear insight into the mechanics of their processes.
Other key features of the ACES solution
Intuitive navigation removed road blocks to finding and collaborating on content
New site architecture simplified content and permissions management
Innovative content structures enabled content and process automation
Portal framework provided foundation for integration of organizational processes
Transparency into Security groups ensured security of sensitive content
Easy, enjoyable, engaging user experience enhanced user adoption
Reduction in number of sites reduced overall management burden