It has been quite a while since I’ve blogged specifically about Forge.mil and what we’ve been up to as a team. My silence here in the blog has nothing to do with a lack of things to talk about – it’s actually quite the opposite. There’s been a ton of work going on, and some interesting achievements/recognition given to the project team. I’ll summarize below & share some pictorial highlights as well.
- Information Week 500 – ‘Government Innovators Award‘
- Government Computer News Honorable Mention for ‘Great dot-gov Web Sites 2009‘
- Featured Article in ‘Whose Who in DISA‘
- Multiple outreach presentation efforts, including Potomac Gov 2.0 Summit and GOSCON
- Software.forge.mil migrated to DoD production data center
- Project.forge.mil system operational in production data center (still sorting out costing models)
- Initial integration planning/prototyping for certification.forge.mil
While these four bullets may not look like much, they’ve monopolized the majority of the team’s time in terms of paperwork, accreditations, and working with the many other teams involved to get us to this point. A lot of good and hard work went on, and we are excited to see some of the additional capabilities starting to take shape.
Future Directions/What’s Next
One of the things I want to reiterate (after hearing some comments at GOSCON that indicated a lack of understanding) is that unlike a lot of other systems in DoD, Forge.mil is not static – what it is today is not what it will be in the future. I heard several people say they couldn’t see how forge.mil could be used because it doesn’t have ‘feature x’. My response: “Put in a request for feature X – the requirements aren’t locked down in cement”. This resulted in a confused look: “You mean the requirements weren’t set months ago?” No, and that is an important piece of what we are trying to accomplish with ALL of the Forge.mil capabilities – an agility of development, test, certification, and deployment that let’s the DoD field systems in a much more efficient fashion.
If you ask the Forge.mil project director what our executive sponsor (General Cartwright, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff) thinks is the most important aspect of Forge.mil, he’ll tell you that it isn’t delivering new tools just for the sake of wrapping up bad processes in new skins. General Cartwright wants to see Forge.mil push the edge of the comfort zone with regard to how software and systems development is currently done in the DoD. Our team at CollabNet is working hard to assist in making this a reality.
There are some exciting things the entire team is going to be working on here in Reston, VA for the next 2 1/2 days as we plan for Release 5 – tentatively scheduled for full rollout at the 2010 DISA partner conference in May 2010 – our overall theme is most likely going to be ‘DoD Agile’, and it will have to encompass both new features and cultural changes.
It should be an exciting and rewarding ride for the next few months – stay tuned for more details…