We’ve all seen times when contracts have had difficulties with cost and schedule. While Congress has begun to tackle some of the precursors to project bloat via mandates like the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), there has, of yet, been no similar efforts at streamlining project and program management.
But this is about to change according to Corey Hendricks, Program Manager for Raytheon’s InSITE Management Information System. “There’s a tech-driven revolution about to happen for federal agencies that will make Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and monthly status meetings relics,” he said in a recent interview with Federal Technology Insider.
Instead of these Twentieth Century program management tools, Hendricks said managers need to be looking to tools that empower their teams to make data-driven decisions in a timely manner whether or not they’re on-site. Hendricks shared that “agility and responsiveness are the drivers of success in an era when agencies are being asked to deliver on the mission with fewer resources; you can’t deliver them when you’re entering data into spreadsheets and not analyzing that information and sharing its implications with the team in real-time.”
At the 2017 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting & Exposition held this week in Washington, D.C., Hendricks and his team were eager to share a next-generation program management tool that they’re currently piloting on the Army’s Warfighter Focus Program an $11.2 billion IDIQ contract. The Program Analytics eXecution, or PAX, is an app for mobile devices that empowers managers to make critical decisions based on real-time data, as well as affording them a complete programmatic overview from contractual obligations to system status in one mobile dashboard.
“While the PAX app is unlike anything that Raytheon has developed and the federal government has used before,” said Hendricks, “it’s actually the end product of more than a decade’s worth of investment and knowledge acquisition.” An evolution of the InSITE MIS system that was revolutionary in its own way. “InSITE was the first step in this next-gen evolution,” shared Hendricks. “The dashboards that could be accessed via the website gave program managers more data than they’d ever had access to before and went a long way to optimize program delivery and customer support based on real-time analytics,” he continued.
However, with the increasing use of mobile devices by federal agencies, the evolution of InSITE to an app to empower users to make critical decisions beyond the office was the obvious next step. Regardless of whether a program manager is in the office or at a field location, they can track devices, change orders, push notifications for equipment maintenance, receive incident alerts, and report data through the worldwide network instantaneously and securely. “Not only have we tested the app extensively with Raytheon’s leadership team to ensure it provides the types of information and reliability our government customers require, but we’ve also ensured PAX is secured by state of the art data security protocols.”
In the end, though, while the technology is exciting, what’s most important is that PAX enables better customer service and engagement. “Being able to offer an app to both industry and federal users that ensures critical projects are managed effectively in real-time, regardless of where key personnel are, tackles one of the most challenging issues in delivering on the mission,” Hendricks concluded.