By Ms. Kim C Gillespie (USASAC)March 26, 2014
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The Security Assistance Command has rolled out the newest version of its Country Program Manager Dashboard and Casebook, which are cyber platforms that improve collaboration and data-tracking for Foreign Military Sales cases.
USASAC commander Maj. Gen. Del Turner kicked off the event, noting the USASAC CPMs all have challenges, and this offered a means to share information and help resolve issues based on the ability to collaborate in these systems.
Leslie Davis, a USASAC CENTCOM Regional Operations Directorate CPM, presented the CPM Dashboard's latest version. She emphasized that the CPM dashboard allows users to move away from using email, spreadsheets and other manual means to collect information about FMS cases and their status.
"Everyone was tracking this differently," she said.
The CPM Dashboard, which pulls from the Common Operating Picture, or COP, essentially analyzes the wealth of data available from various systems used to track the FMS process. With more than 4,000 cases, and each case having thousands and thousands of "lines" of information, the Dashboard quickly flags issues and suspenses so the CPM can address the most immediate concerns. The USASAC CPMs can even view the status of other CPMs cases, if needed, such as when they serve as the backup to the primary CPM.
Davis emphasized that the Dashboard helps standardize how CPMs are doing their work, so they are not forced to create a means to track their data.
"This makes the process easier," she concluded.
Glenn Lang, a EUCOM Regional Operations Directorate CPM, concurred with Davis' assessment of the CPM Dashboard's utility.
"It really is a great tool, and makes my job easier, plus, they just keep improving it," Lang said.
A second tool, Casebook, was also unveiled for the first time at the rollout. Rob Rivard, also a CPM for the CENTCOM Regional Operations Directorate, explained that much like the CPM Dashboard, the Casebook allows for users from the numerous Army Security Assistance Enterprise organizations to collaborate on and view FMS case information. Similar to other popular social media platforms, it allows for posts, photos, comments and calendars. Information can be posted to groups by topics such as countries, regions, platforms, systems, etc.
"This eliminates the need for multiple emails to people, and everyone has access to the same documents and information," Rivard explained. According to Rivard, Casebook opens up the lines of communication in real time for users, which is especially important for a command that operates globally "24/7."
Rivard also noted that Casebook develops a "history," or repository, for new employees (or even employees who gain new countries as part of their responsibilities), by providing instant access to the documents and communications regarding their cases or issues, which is a giant step ahead from the reliance on email.
Casebook training was recently provided to all Army Security Assistance Enterprise members who support FMS and security assistance at Redstone Arsenal. Lang, who attended the training last month, sees the potential of Casebook.
"It can also be a great tool (like the CPM Dashboard) when other enterprise members begin joining," Lang predicted.