The Product Manager Acquisition Business (PM AcqBusiness) team is building the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASAALT) Executive Dashboard, a tool designed to help senior leadership conduct analysis on Army acquisition programs.
Using the Executive Dashboard, senior-level leaders can view key consolidated program data from multiple authoritative data sources. Viewing data in a dashboard format allows managers to better assess the health and status of the ASAALT enterprise and to quickly identify performance gaps. The Executive Dashboard will consistently display and graphically visualize data, enabling users to conduct analysis on individual programs and program portfolios.
Over time, the Executive Dashboard will provide predictive analytics and trend analysis to senior leadership who need a consolidated view of the programs and portfolios under their purview. Leadership will be able to see their programs in different chart formats, allowing for different perspectives on the same data.
To ensure the success of this project, the AcqBusiness team collaborated closely with the acquisition community to hold a series of cross-functional stakeholder workshops and feedback engagement sessions during the August-October 2011 prototype phase. Workshops continued through January while AcqBusiness and the ASAALT Performance Assessment and Root Cause Analysis Combat Developer team refined requirements for a pilot phase from April to May. During these workshops, the team identified organizational needs and authoritative data elements that end users require for mission success.
During the two-month pilot phase, the Executive Dashboard was deployed to a select group of senior leadership from five different Army Acquisition organizations. During this time, the AcqBusiness team traveled to various locations to engage stakeholders. This feedback will ensure that the dashboard meets the wide variety of stakeholder needs.
Additional user testing and analysis will continue through October, when the AcqBusiness team anticipates achieving initial operational capability (IOC). Where time and resources permit, high-priority feedback received during the pilot phase will be incorporated into the IOC release. Other recommended changes will be implemented in post-IOC minor and major releases. The IOC will mark a significant event for AcqBusiness and dashboard end users.
In the past, a number of enterprise business applications were used to achieve what the Executive Dashboard can achieve. While the data were, and still are, present in those applications, gathering information to answer data calls often required manual data pulls, which could be time-consuming process. The dashboard will equip senior leadership at all levels of the ASAALT organization with the authoritative data necessary to monitor and assess program health.
The Executive Dashboard represents a significant step toward the future in equipping Army Acquisition professionals with strategic, analytical, and operational business information via a single tool. It will give acquisition leaders a consistent view of Army program health, helping them compare and analyze program metrics and make informed, sound decisions.
- KEN WALDROP is Program Management Director, PM AcqBusiness, with oversight of product life-cycle planning, PM operations, and project management. Waldrop holds a B.A. in accounting from Georgia State University and an M.S. in information technology management from the Georgia Institute of Technology.