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Interview with DAU’s Mike Lambert

Below is an interview conducted with Mike Lambert, who is active in improving knowledge management and training systems for the defense acquisition workforce. In particular, I advise you find Mike on GovLoop.

How did you get to where you are in your life?

I’ve taken an interesting tour of a variety of career fields over the years, and each opportunity has helped me grow and expand as a professional. Throughout the 1990s I worked as a public relations specialist, graphic designer, writer/editor, publications director, database administrator and a business systems manager for various types of organizations including an international labor union, a military publishing company, and several non-profits. I first entered federal government service in 2001 when I landed an I.T. specialist position at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, and then transitioned to Defense Acquisition University (DAU) in 2003 to become a project manager in that organization’s Acquisition Workforce & Career Management office. Following a mid-2005 detour to the Defense Information Systems Agency to serve as one of their corporate webmasters, I returned to DAU later that year to accept my current KM position.

What is your role at DAU?

I am one of the Knowledge Project Officers on our Knowledge Management (KM) team, based in DAU’s Global Learning & Technology Center at Fort Belvoir, VA. I serve as the program manager for the DoD Acquisition Best Practice Clearinghouse (https://bpch.dau.mil), for DAU’s Ask A Professor program (https://akss.dau.mil/askaprof-akss/) and for the DAU Multimedia Program (http://www.dau.mil/mpi/default.html), which encompasses DAU’s webcasting and media-on-demand initiatives.

I also serve on an IPT for DAU’s evolving Learning Asset Management Program (LAMP), which will help our organization better manage its expanding formal and informal learning assets, and I lead the Ask A Professor Improvement IPT. Finally, I’m starting to work with my DAU KM colleagues to formulate viable policy and usage guidelines for the use of internal and external social media at DAU.

What do you see DAU going in the future?

With Congress’ renewed interest in acquisition reform in recent years, attention has been re-focused on DAU and its mission to educate the 126,000-member defense acquisition workforce. In fact, beginning in 2008, Congress authorized the creation of a Defense Acquisition

Workforce Development Fund, which is to be specifically used for recruiting, training and retaining members of the defense acquisition workforce. Some of that funding has been used for the hiring of additional DAU faculty and subject matter experts, and to expand DAU infrastructure and services to better handle an increased number of students.

From a more immediate and personal KM perspective, my teammates and I are trying to find more ways to offer personalization on our KM systems (particularly in the Defense Acquisition Portal, located at https://dap.dau.mil); on the concept of offering “web services” (such as creating exportable RSS feeds of updated content from our KM systems for use on other portals); and on generally improving the integration and user experience among all of our KM systems.

What cool projects – at work or at home – are you working on right now?

The most critical — and yes, coolest — project I’m working right now is the integration of a new digital asset management system (DAMS) with the Acquisition Best Practices Clearinghouse (BPCh), where the DAMS can help seek out, tag and serve up applicable video and audio “snippets” as evidence supporting identified, proven practices in the BPCh. The new DAMS system also has great potential for helping DAU catalog and mine its rapidly expanding set of formal and informal learning assets in the coming years.

At home, the most interesting project I’m working is the completion of my masters degree in IT management by the end of summer! I’m about halfway through my last regular class, and will start my capstone project course in late June, shooting for a general completion/graduation date in the late August timeframe. It can’t come soon enough. 🙂

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