The Agility Imperative: Emerging Knowledge Management Requirements for Stability Operations in the U.S. Army
ARMY COMMUNICATIONS-ELECTRONICS RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AND ENG CTR APG MD
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A more effective approach, which was used in the case described in this article, is agile development. ADTs face the challenge of operating in rapidly changing environments and therefore need timely and relevant information for mission planning. Agile development, as described in the 2001 Manifesto for Agile Software Development, is essentially a process that emphasizes interaction between the developer and the user. Developers remain open to adapting a design based on user feedback. This process should be rapid users provide feedback, then designers make quick adjustments and return the adjusted product to users for additional feedback. This process can reduce the time between development and deployment of new technologies from several years to one year or even, as in the case studies discussed below, to less than a year. Two technologies were developed for specific use by units on ADT-type reconstruction missions. Both technologies were developed with constant interaction and feedback from ADT users, and both were in the field within the first year of development, a rapidity made possible by leveraging previous technologies and responding rapidly to users needs. These two technologies--Mobile Task Assistant and XCapture--help soldiers collect data about their missions. In the case of ADTs, this includes collecting information on development projects and training programs conducted to help Afghan farmers. These technologies make it easier for soldiers to share this information with other military units, and with civilian government officials and nongovernmental organizations. This information-sharing allows lessons learned about how to approach stability and how to conduct reconstructiondevelopment operations to be passed from one military unit to another. It also improves civilmilitary coordination of reconstruction efforts. Sharing lessons learned and removing information barriers to civilmilitary coordination will go far in helping.
- Information Science
- Computer Programming and Software