Department of Defense

A software closed loop user feedback process.

Make a policy or law requiring a closed loop user feedback process for new, current and future Government Information Systems (software). This would provide Lean Six Sigma quantifiable data for senior leader decision makers. Not what the vendors, contractors think.

 

As software products are developed this will ensure the feedback is collected by a closed loop system to measure the usage, effectiveness and correct issues along the way giving senior leadership accurate correct measureable data (metrics). In a real time environment! This is nested with the fifth element of combat power “INFORMATION”. Accurate information not only saves money it increases the speed and quality of decision making using the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP). Everyone WINS!

 

Google, Microsoft, Toyota, Ford, GM, Chrysler, KIA, Mazda just to mention a few use closed processes. It produces a better product built for the user by the user.

 

Forums are good but they do not provide quantifiable data for new ideas, software or validates a new product works. Sending emails for reporting issues is not quantifiable. Blogging is not quantifiable. It helps share ideas and knowledge. http://www.besser20.de/english/

 

Feedback drives change: organizational and cultural change that produces growth and profit, driving superior business performance. "Data collection alone isn't providing value - that's a problem: 75% of reports are still static. Voice of the Customer research with a closed loop gets us out of the research business and into the operational business, giving us great opportunities. We still need all the skills of the market-research industry to do this right."

 

http://blog.vovici.com/blog/bid/28933/Closed-Loop-Feedback-Process

 

Department of Defense (DOD) Net-Centric Data strategy in 2003 mentioned users feedback. But had no detailed plan to collect or measure the effeteness of the software product. The current DOD Net-Centric Data Transformation plan has To Be Determined (TBD) in the metric column.

 

User feedback in a closed loop process will provide measurable data to determine the success of the development team and Software.

 

TBD = User feedback in a closed loop process.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Issue_tracking_system

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_theory#An_example

 

Today’s software should tell users what to do. The Government is getting products that need continual training. Just compare industry software to what we have in the Government. Old out dated systems are not being updated. New systems fail by the time they are completed because of little to no user involvement or feedback during the development or lifecycle of the product.

 

Where is the quantifiable data? We have the tools! Listen to the users! Just like in the industry!

https://software.forge.mil

 

This is an example of what right looks like:

http://code.google.com/p/google-web-toolkit/issues/list

 

This site produces instant metrics to evaluate.

 

Does the idea reduce costs in a way that is concrete and quantifiable?

Absolutely 100% yes! The idea is nested with the way ahead developing FEDRAMP by the Federal Chief Information Officer Administrator for E-Government and Information Technology Office of Management and Budget. This will give the Administrator real time metrics. This will ensure we are always supporting the mission in the most efficient effective way possible.

http://www.cio.gov/pages.cfm/page/Federal-Risk-and-Authorization-Management-Program-FedRAMP

 

 

As you read this, new software is being acquired with no measurable data and old software is not being utilized and continuing to be funded.

Does the idea improve the way that government operates by:

• Improving the quality of output at lower costs; Yes. With a closed loop process users must validate whether the product meets the mission or departments requirements by the user’s prior to investing time and money. This continues during the life cycle of the software. Listening to users requirements will improve their performance which will lead to increased productivity.

• Simplifying processes to reduce administrative burden; Yes. Instant metrics (data) will provide real time data for decision makers from all levels of leadership, which would lead to decisions made at all levels starting at the lowest level of decision making.

• Improving the speed of government operations to improve efficiency? Those software vendors who cannot deliver and take advantage of the non technical leaders will be exposed by the user metrics. This will increase efficiency and effectiveness at all levels of government.

 

Does the idea have a tangible impact on citizens’ lives or environment? Yes. This is nested with transparency and open government concept GOV 2.0 Citizens will know we are spending their money wisely. We are moving into the next generation of the web. The two links below show measurable data for the environment using the cloud concept by Mr. Bill Gates and IBM.

 

http://www.cloudave.com/link/cloud-computing-and-green

 

http://green.yahoo.com/blog/guest_bloggers/42/bill-gates-funds-cloud-factory.html

 

Is there a clear and practical plan for implementing the idea?

 

Yes. Using the tools we have and a Congressional directive (policy) or Law.

 

Currently there are too many DOD policies not understood due to a generation gap in information technology.

 

Will it be possible to begin realizing savings immediately?

 

Yes. Real time data will assist in the decision making of what is mission essential and what can be put into the Smithsonian Institute. This will free up money to move forward with newer and more efficient software.

 

This analogy is a very simple non technical explanation. Imagine if industry had two generations of tools, a hand saw and a chain saw. Industry has the several models of hand saws and chain saws. But we in the family (Federal Government) cannot use chain saws. Why? Dad’s dad grandpa said “it makes you stronger if you use a hand saw and he refuses to allow anyone in the family to use a chainsaw”. Dad simply refuses to change. Then he said “we had to buy the hand saw at the department store where he works”. He said that was showing his customers they sell good products. Hopefully one day I can convince him to change his mind, because I’m the one who cuts down the trees. I can saw ten trees after school in one week. If I had a chain saw it would only take me one day. The net gain is four free days after school. More time for reading!

 

Who wins?

1. The tax payers win

2. The Soldiers win

3. The end users win

4. The Commanders win

5. The environment wins

 

BLUF: The team wins!

 

User interface design

Designing the visual composition and temporal behavior of Graphical User Interface (GUI) is an important part of software application programming. Its goal is to enhance the efficiency and ease of use for the underlying logical design of a stored program, a design discipline known as usability. Techniques of user-centered design are used to ensure that the visual language introduced in the design is well tailored to the tasks it must perform.

 

Typically, the user interacts with information by manipulating visual widgets that allow for interactions appropriate to the kind of data they hold. The widgets of a well-designed interface are selected to support the actions necessary to achieve the goals of the user. A Model-view-controller allows for a flexible structure in which the interface is independent from and indirectly linked to application functionality, so the GUI can be easily customized. This allows the user to select or design a different skin at will, and eases the designer's work to change the interface as the user needs evolve. Nevertheless, good user interface design relates to the USER, NOT the system architecture.

REF:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphical_user_interface

 

Our Service men and women deserver the absolute best products industry can provide. The weather man has drop and drag windows on a touch screen each evening. It is time to shape the future with the Y generation making our government efficient and effective. Not all things can be transparent to the public! Certain things can and should to give our Soldiers and leaders of all branches the very best money can buy.

No more PowerPoint or single word documents for feedback for Information Technology Software! Feedback from users at a minimum!

Example of static word documents are on this site:

http://sw-assurance.gsfc.nasa.gov/disciplines/quality/index.php

Where are the measurable metrics in a database for senior leaders? Users will help build better products. Why? Because they have to use the software!

 

CUM LAUDE 2004 Troy State University

 

Retired 2001 United States Army (Infantry)

Tags

Voting

175 votes
Active
Idea No. 1369