Your next steps for REBOOT

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

Today I want to quickly give you an update on the work of the REconsider Best OptiOns Team (REBOOT) study and tell you specifically how you can help.

As we executed our current strategy, we saw it grow to big, too risky, and too costly. We started formally brainstorming alternatives in July after OMB and CIO issued guidance signaling a clear change in how the gov’t will implement systems like CG-LIMS. Our lessons from writing the draft RFP and completing three formal cost estimates made it clear that we needed to formally reassess our acquisition strategy.

We used GSA’s citizen.apps.gov platform to set up a public-facing wiki for collaboration. We needed something quick, official, and accessible to all.

We chartered the REBOOT study on 29 Nov, and many of you helped us complete the Scope and Approach on 15 December.

We moved the brainstorming that the team had done out into public view, and invited many others to participate.

We received lots of great input, primarily on four pages:

Over the past week, we structured the alternatives and established the high level criteria we’re going to use to evaluate them.

The “Alternatives” section of the Strategy Brainstorming page has been updated to show that structure. After each alternative, you’ll see a “Description” (or a placeholder for it) and a “Structured critique” section. The structured critique includes the six evaluation criteria, with bullets under each to capture objective or subjective input describing each alternative along each criteria.

When we structured the alternatives based on all the brainstormed input, we worked hard not to lose any of your ideas. We did’t just delete anything. Some things were moved to the “Alternatives that fail sanity / sniff test” or “Off topic” sections.

You’ll also see a few alternatives that aren’t real alternatives yet. During the brainstorming, folks suggested that we look at other strategies for other projects. If someone has specific ideas, add them with a description and the structured critique. You can copy the format of the “Placeholder for specific alternative.” If those aren’t turned into specific ideas, we’ll move them down to a bucket near the others that don’t pass the sniff test. Maybe we’ll call it, “Ideas we didn’t have time to flesh out.”

How can you help?

Read the Strategy Brainstorming page. If you start at the top, you’ll be starting with the table of contents. You’ll see how the alternatives section is structured. At the highest level, we’ve grouped the ideas as either “Technical” or “Contracting” options.

Correct anything you see that’s wrong. Once you’ve logged in, you can edit individual sections using the “edit” link near the right margin at the top of each section.

Add new alternatives. You can add the idea, description, and evaluation criteria using the template, you can just add the idea and count on one of the people who watches the page to add the rest, or you can just send it as a note to the PM within the system and I’ll add it.

Fill in holes in the alternative Descriptions. You’ll notice that several of the alternatives have a title, but the “Description” is just a placeholder. Some are self-explanatory and don’t require much more than the title. Most are probably less self-explanatory than we think. Starting with the ideas you added to the brainstorming, start fleshing out the descriptions so they’re more clear to people who see this page for the first time.

Add your critique of each option. This is where you tell us what you think about each alternative. Add your input as new bullets under whichever evaluation criteria fits best. If in doubt, use “maximize ability for Coast Guard to act as system integrator” as the catch-all. If you disagree with something that’s been written, add your disagreement. Let us all see both sides of the issue in question. Feel free to add links to external sources if it helps. Start your input with two asterisks, use the “Show preview” button to check it before you save, and don’t forget to use the “Save page” button to save it.

What comes next?

The REBOOT team will use your critique to develop three alternative strategies that will be compared to the status quo using an analytic hierarchy process. More details on that to follow.

For now, please take the time to correct mistakes, add new alternatives, fill in the holes, and add your critique of each option.

We need to have this step in the process completed by 15 Jan. The sooner you start, the better for all of us.

Thanks for your help!

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