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Quick wiki update

(cross posted on CG-LIMS Project Blog on Intelink-U)

Today’s post is a quick update on the CG-LIMS wiki we set up a few short weeks ago on GSA’s Apps.gov platform. I told everyone in a Nov 15 post that we would be using the site for three reasons. We wanted to:

  1. Share as much as we can to help industry help us deliver CG-LIMS
  2. Solicit input on acquisition strategy
  3. Provide a public forum for Questions and Answers

There have been a few people who questioned whether we would get anything of value. Here’s the first question we received:

Does CG-9334 really expect that Industry, large and small (business), will post the most compelling of its litanies of creative/innovative/proven/experimental thoughts on a wide-open whiteboard, for all to muse?

Here’s my reply:

A: You’ll share only those ideas you’re willing to share. I know that. Those are the ideas I’m most interested in at this point in the process. Those are the ideas that can shape *how* we ask industry to propose solutions in an RFP. I am comfortable publicly asking for your input on acquisition strategy. I can’t ask you the same question privately. I’ve invited everyone to either attach their names (or pseudonyms) to the input or send them to me and I’ll post without revealing identity.

I’m pleased to be able to say that the initial results have exceeded my expectations. We’ve received some great input from a Questions and Answers page and a virtual Whiteboard.

One contributor Friday afternoon wondered aloud whether the group was meeting expectations. I told him:

The initial feedback we’ve received has exceeded my expectations. It is an effective way for folks to share their thoughts not just with me, but with the many government folks associated with the project who are reading your words. It is well worth you time to contribute! Continue to feel free to either ask questions on the Questions_and_Answers page, or even start adding to the alternatives we’ve shared on the Strategy_Brainstorming page. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be methodically turning the initial brainstorming into a decision on the way forward. I welcome you input. Once we start to organize the alternatives, I think the crowd can help us identify the pros, cons, and risk of each.

I know the norms are still being established for government, industry, and anyone else can collaborate on government acquisitions on a .gov or .mil site. I stole the idea from GSA. They used a wiki to collaborate on the RFI for the enterprise e-mail contract that was just awarded. They currently have an RFI on the street where they’re using the wiki exclusively as the means of getting input. They’ve shared the SOW, and they’re receiving comments on it using the Discussion area for that page. I encourage everyone take a look at that site and see how it’s being used. They are the leader in this area. Learn from them. I’ll be looking at that for ideas on how to organize the ideas.

I think this is a good direction for the Federal Government. It’s one of many knowledge sources that’ll help my team fulfill the government’s goal of delivering IT more quickly at a lower cost.

I’d encourage all of you to keep an eye on the dialogue unfolding on either the GSA’s BetterBuy wiki or the CG-LIMS wiki. Both provide the ability for registered users to “watch” a page and be notified of changes.

If you’re interested in doing something similar for an acquisition project your agency, the starting place is http://www.citizen.apps.gov. GSA does all the heavy lifting in setup and hosting. They have several tools available including tools to support blogs, wikis, and bulletin boards.

Some of the lessons learned from GSA’s perspective and feedback from industry is captured in the BetterBuy blog at http://blog.betterbuyproject.com/.

Three that were particularly relevant to me were from these folks:

Chris Hamm:

Kevin Merritt:

Anonymous Industry Perspective:

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