Profiles in Excellence: Shared Responsibility, Shared Success

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Outstanding Achievement in the Computer/Computer Software Field

Although DISA’s reputation is for technology, there is nothing technical about its mission: to provide unparalleled excellence in support of the warfighter. Twenty eight awards were recently presented at the 2012 DISA Annual Awards Ceremony to honor the work of DISA’s innovators.

The winners of this year’s awards leverage their skills as collaborators as well as their technical their collaborative and technical expertise to fundamentally change the way DISA supports the mission.

Shared Responsibility, Shared Success
Outstanding Achievement in the Computer/Computer Software Field
Kimberly Rice, Global Command and Control System-Joint (GCCS-J) Program Management Office (PMO) Team

RiceThe Global Command and Control System is the system of record (SOR) for Joint Command and Control in DoD. Due to the dependency users and other Services have on capability or infrastructure provided by GCCS-J, it’s critical that the GCCS-J Global is updated constantly to meet evolving needs. These requirements are often at odds, since updates can sometimes create disruptions. Standing at the intersection of the conflict between system availability and system upgrade is the GCCS Joint Program Management Office (JPMO). Its recent efforts with Global v4.2.0.9 to reduce installation time and increase operational and strategic agility have earned the PMO DISA’s Outstanding Achievement in the Computer/Computer Software Field award.

The task at hand was a simple one: with two major releases a year affecting 53 critical sites, how could the team reduce installation time down from five weeks per site? In the past, the process was completely manual. The solution, as the Program Manager, Kimberly Rice recalled, was clear: automation. “This is an older system; we had an opportunity to look at it and say how do we modernize it, what are the best practices in industry, how do we start to take advantage of where technology’s gone?”

Automating the install process had the potential to completely reinvent the release cycle and significantly reduce installation time. The broader GCCS community supported the move and so began one of the most successful collaborations in the team’s history. “The Air Force and Army said not only do we agree with how to address this issue, we believe there’s a direct benefit to our programs so we’re going to help fund you to do this,” Rice explained.

“This is an older system, we had an opportunity to look at it and say how do we modernize it, what are the best practices in industry, how do we start to take advantage of where technology’s gone?”
Kimberly Rice, Program Manager, Global Command and Control System - Joint (GCCS-J) Program Management Office (PMO), Defense Information Systems Agency

But it went beyond funding. Not only did the partners come to the table with their requirements and money, they continued to participate which expedited the product’s maturation. “They took our engineering drops, incorporated them into their builds, and then provided continuous feedback on how it worked or didn’t,” Rice said. This level of engagement enabled the GCCS-J team, lead by release manager Justin Fanelli to address individual requirements of the Service partners directly within the final Global release, helping to achieve DISA and the Department goals for net-centricity and re-use.

With the help of their partners GCCS-J PMO successfully reduced installation time down to two to three weeks and streamlined overall fielding, saving approximately $750 thousand on fielding costs for this release . Having achieved that, the office is now working on continuing to re-engineer its’ process, participation in forums that support direct collaboration with Service partners that will help the product’s maturity to continue to improve.

Eventually, DISA aims to take the local hardware and IT infrastructure at all 53 GCCS-J critical sites and move it from Combatant Commands to the enterprise so that the Services, the data and the tools will be provisioned centrally. This vision, like all of the efforts highlighted here and the other teams honored in DISA’s Awards Ceremony, aligns with the broader goals of the agency’s support mission. But it extends far beyond the technical; as Rice indicated, the success with Global 4.2.0.9 in large part is due to the DISA, Air Force and Army partnership that allowed all three PMOs to “focus on how we really support the warfighters and fit their needs: because they’re really the ones who are benefiting from this collaboration.”


About this Report

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