User stories from the knowledge front
To replace its aging fleet of ships, aircraft, communications and logistics systems, the U.S. Coast Guard has embarked on a multi-billion dollar procurement project called the Deepwater Capability Replacement Project.
The project involves replacing 90 cutters and 200 aircraft, as well as the control, communications and surveillance systems that connect them.
Among the technologies the Coast Guard is using for the immense undertaking to improve communications—both internally and with outside contractors and suppliers--is collaboration software from SiteScape. Web-based SiteScape Forum will provide a central location where the Coast Guard can create, store, manage, retrieve and disseminate information in the form of shared documents, files, calendars, threaded discussions and real-time messaging and chat, according to SiteScape.
The project will generate vast quantities of documents, files, e-mails and correspondence, most of which are confidential and have to be distributed securely. Some proposal documents are hundreds of pages in length, for example, and have to be reviewed and approved by several offices.
“We’ve filled two rooms with documents, and we’ve received many thousands of pages, both in hard copy and electronic form,” says Commander Paul Roden, deputy for the office of Systems Deepwater Integration for the Coast Guard.
Sharing the information the old-fashioned paper way is inefficient, and e-mail is not completely secure. And the traditional way of distributing documents--photocopying and mailing—is cumbersome, costly and less secure.
There were other challenges, too. Although the project is headquartered in Washington, D.C., managers are located in many states, and needed a fast, effective way to review documents. Another challenge was finding the right information within such a voluminous and scattered body of knowledge.
To meet those challenges, the Coast Guard wanted software that was easy to install, customize and use. With SiteScape Forum, the Coast Guard create, store, retrieve and disseminate information related to the procurement project. Staff is granted access to necessary data, files, discussions and documents on a need-to-know basis. The information is organized and accessible in a secure Web-based location that can be accessed any time, anywhere using passwords and access control rights.
As Roden says, “The goal of using this tool is to ensure that the right people have the right information for the decisions they need to make.