End-User Experience: IT / methodologies that impact Knowledge Workers using / training Mission Command, LVCG, Mil2.0 & Gov2.0 capabilities.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Google+ as Social Media for your Enterprise?

Google launched its potential "Facebook killer" yesterday. It is taking the invite only approach for now (wise due to issues with the Buzz launch last year). I keyed into Google+'s potential for Google Apps and the usability of this social media app within an organization. Without getting into all the collaborative and communication and info sharing goodness that social media brings, Google may have be onto something that no other social media solution can even comprehend.

Most organizations now understand the the power of social media. Some use it for customer outreach, others use it internally, while others may do both. Google Apps states 3 million businesses are using its solution and they recently opened all Google products to Google Apps deployments. It only makes sense that Google+ will eventually be available to organizations. For example, Montana may get an out of the box social media solution soon. Couple this Android and iOS apps as well as dead simple ease of use and you have a winner.

Time will tell. Imagine the possibilities for "enterprises" large and small across Google Apps' current and future customer base?  No other social media product or enterprise solution provides what Google Apps may very well be providing in the very near future.

UPDATE - 8July2011:

Just read a 5July post from the guys at Google Operating System. Seems Google+ (and necessarily Profiles) is on the way for Google Apps domains. Google is unto something big here.

Google Operating System is a rock solid source for news / updates.
Check them out on twitter as well: @googleos

Friday, December 10, 2010

21st Century Battle Command Training is "Infield Practice"

The latest edition of the US Army's Engineer Professional Bulletin contains an article I composed about the Fort Bragg BCTC's training solutions and their applicability in a Battle Command environment.

Thanks to Engineer for the opportunity to contribute to a such a great professional journal!

Direct Link: 21st Century Battle Command Training is "Infield Practice"

Entire Edition: US Army Engineer Professional Bulletin (Sep - Dec 2010)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

DIKW is the backbone of KM

I have been reading about a construct called DIKW (Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom). This is a very simple methodology and makes a lot of sense. Also known as the Wisdom Hierarchy, this is sometimes defined as a a chain or pyramid, however, in today's data rich environment's I prefer to look at DIKW as a continuum or cycle that is never ending. This post is by no means a statement of the perfect KM solution - merely an additional consideration.

We use buzz words all the time. Collaboration, Productivity are easy to pick on. What do they really mean? The ability to create a document? Post it to a portal of some sort? Email or chat with someone about the posted document? In the US Army, we tend to emplace systems and abruptly state "We do KM". The presence of SharePoint does not equal organization KM. Database systems and spreadsheets certainly provide functional tools for our data and most individuals / organizations make information out of data (charts and tables are easy). The software tools we use are extremely important (many of our current tools are lacking but that would make for another post entirely).

The hurdle in DIKW is Knowledge then Wisdom. We must put all that data rich information to use and apply it to our processes and procedures to shape a knowledge base. The information is perceived and reasoned with as we begin forming knowledge and eventually we begin to gain wisdom as we apply knowledge to the way we operate and collaborate as individuals and teams. That is all well and good for a "text book" definition.
What about the real world? I like DIKW's simplicity for gauging where I am and where my team is. One can apply this to an overall effort or even components of the overall effort.
  • Are you processing and presenting data as information?
  • Are you providing information in an organized manner within operational procedures as knowledge?
  • Are you building wisdom?
  • Is your team collectively processing and presenting data as information?
  • Is your team collectively providing information in an organized manner within procedures as knowledge? Does it shape the way you operate?
  • Is your team collectively building wisdom and using it in strategy?
I believe DIKW is the backbone of Knowledge Management (KM). This gives every KM Officer, KM System Manager and even the actual Knowledge Workers a simple tool to guide their work and honestly measure the achievement of KM's real goals.

What do you think?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bits: Ushahidi Crowdmap, Productivity Suites

  1. Ushahidi: Ushahidi means testimony in Swahili. This crisis mapping technology was brought bear by an African organization amid the turmoil after the Kenyan elections of 2008. This is a platform for crowd sourcing SA - a capability to provide a means for any and all people in an area to contribute information about events in a particular area. The platform found huge success in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. A new offering from Ushahidi, Crowdmap, is a thin client version to be stood up and deployed rapidly by end users anywhere via the commercial internet. Imagine locals, local government and NGOs being able to add incident information to Crowdmap amid a crisis. Note that CrowdMap is cell phone SMS capable (this is significant in disaster areas and 3rd world regions). Powerful stuff.
  2. Productivity Suites: Word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation software have long been grouped and called Productivity software (a relic term from pre-Web 2.0 of course). I have always been amazed by the government and military use of MS Office with its huge licensing costs and maintenance). Most End Users of productivity suites only use the bare bones essential functions - even if they are PowerPoint Ranger tabbed. Why pay big fees for a ton of functionality when cost effective solutions are available? Open Office has been around for quite sometime, offers a very robust desktop productivity suite and is free. In the web based realm, Zoho's "fake Office" solution and Google's Apps for Gov would meet the need, provide huge cost savings and, arguably, increase End User / Team productivity! Need I say more?

Apps4Army means more than the Apps alone

The US Army CIO/G6 is on the cusp of shattering a paradigm.

Lack of interoperability, high SW license costs, high specialized HW costs, proprietary code, high Dev / FSR support costs and, last but not least, poor UIs have hindered our Army's Battle Command (BC) capabilities for years. The non-POR rise has taken hold and in many ways surpassed the POR offerings (CIDNE, TIGR, Axis Pro, JADOCS anyone? - Not to mention CPOF came directly from DARPA as a non-POR). The CIO/G6 is posturing to align BC capabilities with commercial market offerings and change the combat / material developer.

Apps4Army is a game changer not because of the initial winning apps but because it has proven the Army may move forward with the "new" plan. Build apps - web (thin, thick), mobile and mobile native apps - in line with the Army's approved SDKs and APIs - and do it on 30/60 day dev / launch cycles. WIN-T (Increment 2 and beyond) will serve as an enabler to provide War-Fighters a ubiquitous network, robust bandwidth and hardware agnostic access to the cloud based services as well as authoritative data sources. End-User experience with "capabilities" will further catalyze this initiative as network permeation throughout Army echelons continues. In short order, the Army may be able to assemble mission specific apps in an on demand manner. This is End-User empowerment.

To see the existing mobile apps now, go to the US Army Marketplace (with CAC card). Some apps are available through Apple App store and Android Market. The BC environment is going to get real interesting in the very near future.