I know this isn’t rocket science, but I want to try a little experiment to see whether we can work a bit more efficiently by creating and editing project docs in a wiki format. I’ve seen other programs use the wiki function within Intelink-U to do it, and even saw Coast Guard folks dipping their toes in the water as recently as this week. CAPT Rambo was the last person to edit the “Coast Guard Cyber Strategy” article here. Another great example is the NECC TEMP, which is here.
The wiki section in Intelink is called “Intellipedia,” and it based on the same open source software used by Wikipedia, so it will be familiar to anyone who has used Wikipedia. There is plenty of help available describing how to use the markup language used in the tool. Here is just one example of a Wikitext cheatsheet.
Creating, reviewing, and updating the docs in a wiki will provide transparency, accountability, and (potentially) efficiency. ePMO and shared folders have worked well to make documents shareable, but when we ask for feedback from even a few people, someone has to centrally manage all the changes that come in and bring them into a master document. A wiki can allow many people to make small changes to a document and the document owner can easily see what has been changed and undo any that don’t belong. There’s also a built in “discussion” function for each document that can be used to capture comments or concurrence within the team.
I’d like to try using a wiki for the Project Tailoring Plan, then we’ll decide whether it makes sense to either continue using it or to go back to MS Word, tracking changes, and managing updates through ePMO or shared folders.
If we don’t like it, it’ll be easy enough to cut and paste what we’ve done into Word and maintain it from there. If we do see the potential, we will consider using it for other project documentation. Aside from the Acquisition Plan, I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t consider it for just about all the required project documents. We can store FOUO content, but not government-only or acquisition sensitive material.
The next step for me will be to sit down with Steve and show him what I started for the Project Tailoring Plan here. Then he’ll pick up the ball and start filling in the content. As we review the work within the team, he or I can provide just-in-time training. I think it’s reasonable for everyone who reviews and offers changes prior to concurrent clearance to do the review and editing within the wiki. We can PDF a copy of it and provide it along with the link for the concurrent clearance. CAPT Rambo has shown he’s willing to review and edit a wiki, but it may be a tough sell for other O-6′s / O-7′s.
If anyone who reads this has experience using Intellipedia for acquisition program or project documents, please drop me a line or (better) add a comment to share your experience and provide me any tips from your experience. If there are examples you know about that we should steal from, please share!