Washington (29 July 2013) -- The Army Shared Services Center at Picatinny Arsenal, an Army Materiel Command (AMC) activity, and the Army Office of Business Transformation concluded an architecture repository pilot in July 2013 that has the potential to revolutionize business process reengineering and Lean Six Sigma-informed continuous process improvement.
The Enterprise Knowledge Repository (EKR) uses a suite of state-of-the-art architecture tools to enable detailed analysis of Army business processes. Currently, Army organizations involved in business architecture use many different systems to store architecture products. The lack of interoperability between systems prohibits enterprise-wide visibility and coordination of process reengineering efforts. By moving to one EKR, many different commands and activities may operate off of common process maps and architectural products that are updated in real time.
The EKR pilot demonstrated that the Army can use non-proprietary products to store and analyze business mission area operational architecture products. Further, the pilot created a viable mechanism to capture business architecture and related information in single location for use across the Army business enterprise.
EKR PILOT PROMISES GREATER COLLABORATION
The EKR pilot effort proved that one data repository could consolidate, rationalize and integrate different architecture products; leverage best-of-breed modeling tools and capabilities; integrate those products into core Enterprise Resource Planning systems; capture and manage architecture information across the lifecycle of an investment; and enable the Army to better follow and comply with the Department of Defense architecture compliance requirements.
A fully operational EKR enables bottom-up process reengineering. Given these capabilities, an individual working on a continuous process improvement effort in Hawaii could improve a segment of the process architecture and share that improvement with the wider Army. The shared EKR will highlight opportunities to replicate that improvement for other users in different operational activities across the Army.
When complete, the Army will use the EKR to more efficiently execute enterprise-level business transformation efforts. Every headquarters and command in the Army that is tasked with business process reengineering will be able to access a common, open-standards architecture repository. All will be able to collaborate within one planning environment to assess processes "as is" and improve them to a better "to be" end state. Since the EKR will be also retain interoperability with Army core Enterprise Resource Planning systems, those working within the EKR environment will also be able to model value streams and process improvement benefits using current Army enterprise data.
With the pilot complete, the Army is now requesting certification for investment from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Once approved, the Army will develop the system to Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in 2014. Within a few months of IOC, the Army will capture all of its end-to-end business processes within the EKR. Further, the business process reengineering and continuous process improvement communities will enter the EKR architecture environment so that the Army may start comprehensive top-down and bottom-up reengineering efforts.
The Army spends an estimated $100 million dollars per year developing and maintaining business architectures in its domains, commands and programs of record (POR); and another $50 million per year integrating a minimal set of business architecture artifacts needed to produce actionable information for decision makers. The EKR will reduce the annual costs by at least 20% with a goal of reducing them by 40%.