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Stories by Simone Kaplan

Knowledge management: The right way

When Tom Rossi, director of the Innovation Lab at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., began a knowledge management initiative in 1999, he thought he knew everything. Rossi and his team were charged with creating a futuristic environment for computerized war games. The games, held annually for more than 20 years, have about 500 senior military and civilian players who need to share real-time information about troop deployments, battle readiness and the battlefield environment. Prior to Rossi's KM project, the gamer commanders had to gather information via phone calls, memos, e-mails and game books none of which encouraged the kind of instantaneous decision-making necessary in combat situations.
Rossi and his team put together a KM system that integrated a collaborative software suite, a naval war games software tool and Microsoft Corp. Exchange's Conferencing Server for Internet video and chat capabilities. In the year between games, Rossi worked with engineers and a metrics team to fine-tune the system. They tailored the command and control databases so that various commanders had access to the same information; as one group of officers plotted troop positions and battle tactics, other participants lower down the chain of command could see the plans as they formed and anticipate what their own tasks would be.

Written by Simone Kaplan03 Oct. 02 22:00

Marching in sync

Integration is difficult in the best of circumstances. When you're the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) and your integration project involves four branches of the military and dozens of government agencies, it's an almost insurmountable challenge.
It helps when the mandate for integration comes from the U.S. secretary of Defense and the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. CIO-100 honoree JFCOM began its multipronged approach in 1998, when the secretary of Defense issued a charter mandating interoperability among the military branches. First, JFCOM created a governing body and drafted system standards to which all branches must adhere. The goal of the project, says David Ozolek, assistant director of joint experimentation for JFCOM, was to create a rapid response capability in which all branches of the military communicate via integrated systems.

Written by Simone Kaplan02 Oct. 02 22:00

What they said then, and now

Last fall in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, we asked experts what CIOs should do in critical areas. We recently contacted them to see how their views have changed.
JOHN MCCARTHY, executive director of the critical infrastructure protection project, George Mason University Law School, Arlington, Va.

Written by Simone Kaplan29 Sept. 02 22:00