msaf

The Client

msaf-locon
The Center for Army Leadership is the Combined Arms Center (CAC) program for leadership and leader development research, analysis, assessment and evaluation. The program includes leadership doctrine, coordination, development and management of CAC initiatives within the Army Leader Development Program and integrates and synchronizes the Professional Military Education (PME) and Civilian Education System (CES) in order to sustain excellence in growing Army Leaders. The CAC’s Primary Mission is to prepare the U.S. Army and its leaders for war.

The Challenge

The Center for Army Leadership used a survey tool in support of the Army’s Multi-Source Assessment and Feedback (MSAF) program that provided the ability to easily create survey instruments based upon a wide array of response types. However, they had found it to be inadequate for Army-wide implementation due to the heavy customization required to meet the needs of MSAF. Essential code was unavailable to developers for certain customization scenarios and they had identified issues with the software architecture and database structure. The software exhibited serious performance issues for anything more than a handful of simultaneous users.

The Solution

The Center for Army Leadership selected Triple-I to meet the challenge. During the 10+ years that Triple-I has been partnering with the Army, the goal has gone from proving the MSAF concept works to building and supporting a highly-available, high-capacity data-driven web application that enables, manages and tracks Army Multi-Source Assessment and Feedback (MSAF) data from selected individual Army military and civilian leaders who have the ability to handle traffic loads across the U.S. Army.

From 2004 to 2006, Triple-I successfully developed and maintained the technology to facilitate the two-year pilot of MSAF called ALAFP 360, to enable 360-degree assessments of U.S. Army leaders, specifically:

  • Developed and delivered a computerized and web-based survey process.
  • Provided a mechanism to issue survey invitations via email, and a mechanism to manage and store the invitation relationships in a central repository.
  • Provided a mechanism to issue the surveys to participants through a browser interface and store the results in a central repository hosted by Triple-I for the duration of the pilot.
  • Developed detail, summary and aggregate repost capabilities for survey results and the ability to produce the required reports.
  • Developed, hosted and maintained the Leader Assessment and Feedback Program website.
  • Provided network, system administration, and database administration support.
  • Designed and developed data archiving system.

From 2006 to 2009, at the completion of the successful pilot program, the Commanding General, Training and Doctrine Command approved implementation of MSAF as an Army-wide leader development program to be implemented in a phased manner in all domains (operational, institutional, and self-development). Triple-I supported this initiative by providing a variety of Information Technology services and expertise, specifically:

  • System architecture, design, layout and organization of the MSAF data-driven web application to ensure intuitive and user-friendly navigation.
  • Continued application/website development to anticipate and respond to the changing needs of our Soldiers.
  • Assistance in integrating the efforts of diverse contract and government personnel in to a cohesive, effective program.
  • Operations and maintenance support of the MSAF hardware, software, operating systems, networking and security system interoperability.
  • Coordination of MSAF database administrators, network administrators and operators.
  • System security assurance, including technical security reviews and network analysis, user account management, and DIACAP management and support.
  • Operation of MSAF helpdesk; providing answers to community questions about operating MSAF as well as the assessment and feedback process.

Triple-I continued from 2009 to 2015 to support MSAF’s most ambitious and complex changes, specifically:

  • Designed, built, and implemented MSAF 2.0 on the SharePoint platform, transitioning the MSAF platform from .NET to SharePoint architecture that now includes access to training resources; collaborating with Microsoft to fully utilize the power/complexity of SharePoint.
  • Deployed new CMD360 and Joint360 subprograms by applying the deep insights we gained from the lessons learned about the complex technology challenges in developing and implementing MSAF 1.0 and MSAF 2.0.
  • Supplemented the Integrated Total Army Personnel feed with Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) Department of Defense (DoD) Enterprise Email Global Address List (DEE GAL) feed that includes a user base of all DoD personnel.
  • Implemented dual persona functionality; civil service personnel who are also National Guard/Reserve now can participate in their military role enabling leaders to more easily add them to events.
  • Developed alternate email address functionality; allows leaders to easily add military/civilian personnel with alternate email addresses not in DEE GAL.
  • Supported MSAF’s incorporation into the officer evaluation process in accordance with Army Directive 2011-2016.

The Result

Triple-I has helped the Center for Army Leadership significantly enhance its Assessment and Feedback program while maintaining the highest level of customer satisfaction. Some of the results include:

  • Efficiently integrated the efforts of diverse contract and government personnel into a cohesive, effective program.
  • Deployed a new, highly-scalable system architecture, which was deployed across the enterprise.
  • Created a platform, allowing multiple assessment and feedback subprograms to be developed and deployed quickly leveraging the common infrastructure and capability.
  • Provided high level availability with near zero downtime.

Today, MSAF is used by more than 1.2 million members of the U.S. military, and is available to the entire Department of Defense workforce of over 4 million personnel including Active, Reserve, National Guard, and Department of the Army civilians to receive feedback “anytime, anywhere” on leadership domains from subordinates, peers, and superiors. Most recently, MSAF was expanded to include a subprogram designed for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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