In August, Segue attended the AFLCMC/HIQ (Air Force Enterprise Application and Integration Division) Vendor exchange in Montgomery, Alabama. This event was a chance for government and industry to meet to discuss the current IT challenges and potential solutions on the horizon. Vendor days such as these are a chance for those in the industry to learn more about the Air Force’s IT challenges and the ways in which they can help. A key point covered in the industry day was that as the AFLCMC/HI faces continual funding challenges, they must remain vigilant in executing their mission by incorporating innovative approaches to become more agile and efficient. The Industry Exchange focused on the HIQ and HIE divisions.
AFLCMC/HIQ is made up of four branches with distinct focus areas. The two branches that were chartered to implement the Human Resource and Financial Management ERP solutions, AF-IPPS and DEAMS, were briefly mentioned but were not primary topics of discussion. HIQI, the Integration Branch and HIQD, the Development Planning Branch, both presented in-depth briefings on the current state of affairs.
Integration Branch – AFLCMC/HIQI
This branch of AFLCMC/HIQ, led by Mr. David Sampson was established to address CSAF strategic and tactical objectives to include:
- Increasing the affordability and cost effectiveness of IT Acquisition and Support
- Integrating the IT side of Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR)
- Institutionalizing lessons learned on commercial software acquisitions & implementations
In addition, it focuses on coordinating capability requirements, managing dependencies across PEO BES, C3I&N, DISA, and defining and implementing PEO initiatives to meet AFLCMC Principles & Objectives.
AFLCMC/HIQI Integration objectives and tactics are observed in 3 different areas: Process Integration, Portfolio Integration, and Solution and Infrastructure.
Process Integration involves:
- Institutionalizing Standard Processes
- Process Change Management
- Implementing IT Acquisition Reform (DoDI 5000.02, BCL, SDDP)
- CMMI/ITIL Implementation
- Best Practices/Lessons Learned and Standardizing a PEO Metrics Program
Portfolio Integration includes:
- Implementing Common Program Management Solutions
- Developing PEO Roadmaps and Leading FIAR Remediation Coordination
- Integration Strategic Communications and Coordinating Enterprise EMA/SLAs
- Functioning as a liaison to AF Governance Bodies (ITGEG, ITGEB, SWB) and Summit Management Integration
Solution and Infrastructure include:
- PEO BES Liaison to C3I&N PEO
- Common Computing Environment (CCE) and TB/IB/OB Baseline Transition Activities
- System Performance Evaluation and Optimization
- Enterprise Level Security Analysis and Common Reusable Data Services
- Capability Reuse Assessments
Development Planning Branch – AFLCMC/HIQD
The Development Planning (DP) Branch was established to:
- Bridge warfighter capability needs
- Evaluate system-of-systems concepts
- Incorporate life cycle planning
- Understand technology gaps and Identify and assess risks
- Start high confidence programs
At the industry day, the Branch Chief, Mr. Greg McCan, presented key information on the importance of DP and the touch points with the Business Capabilities Lifecycle (BCL) and the Service Development and Delivery Process (SDDP). Mr. McCan emphasized that the SDDP was not going away and was close to achieving finalization as AFMAN 90-XXX. Authored by SAF/US(M) – AF Deputy Chief Management Officer, the SDDP is a six-step information gathering process that supports overarching IT acquisition methodologies to include BCL. The SDDP identifies a problem statement, defines the processes, defines capability requirements and a materiel solution, prepares the capability (build and test), deploys the capability, and maintains performance.
The SDDP results in several artifacts that contain information that should be familiar to industry analysts, engineers, and PMs. The DP Branch is focused on three critical areas that are designed to improve the current way of doing business. Focus Areas one through three will facilitate Early Acquisition and Systems Engineering Support, Early Concept Demonstration, and Requirement Evolution. Mr. McCan stated that industry partners could help DP with the Focus Areas by: getting ramped up on SDDP as a requirements development methodology, minimizing the footprint required to implement and configure products, and helping to pursue smaller initiatives.
Engineering Branch – AFLCMC/HIE
Mr. Toy Robinson (Director of Engineering AFLCMC/HIE) and Mr. Sampson completed the Industry Day Vendor Exchange with a presentation on the Common Computing Environment (CCE) and IT Lifecycle Management Tools. The Air Force is changing the way they deliver capabilities through the CCE and Commoditized Infrastructure. One-off program unique environments are targeted to be consolidated and reduced which may change the way solicitation and management of future efforts is conducted. Industry partners should increase their technical knowledge of the TB/IB/OB implementation approaches (ERP and operational system migration), understand objectives/processes for implementing CCE, Commoditized Infrastructure and Common Tools, and help AFLCMC/HIE understand what works in the industry by bringing best practices. Mr. Robinson posed three Impact Scenarios to vendors requesting feedback in the form of technical concerns, existing contract terms and conditions, limitations in proposing to RFPs, and cost and contractual ramifications.
Industry events such as these are helpful sources of information for contractors seeking to provide valuable services to the Air Force. They help to gain an understanding of the current state and planned objectives of these branches. These events identify areas where contractors can either provide true value or where they need to align their processes to meet customer needs.