PEO EIS Adopts Operational Plan to Guide Internal Implementation of Army Data Plan

By Erika ChristApril 30, 2021

OPLAN Concept of Operations
OPLAN Concept of Operations (Photo Credit: PEO EIS) VIEW ORIGINAL

It’s official: PEO EIS now has an Operational Plan (OPLAN) in support of Army Data Plan implementation (Execute Order 009-20).

Signed by program executive officer Ross Guckert in late March, the OPLAN is designed to guide PEO EIS’s six project management offices in organizing the vast amounts of data generated across their portfolios, as well as in ensuring the data is visible, accessible, understandable, trusted, interoperable and secure (VAUTIS). While PEO EIS was not required to develop the OPLAN, leaders felt it was a logical step given the Army’s prioritization of data as a strategic asset contributing to readiness.

“In the end, we want to make sure people know how to access and make sense of the data we generate, process and manage,” said Dan Joyce, assistant program executive officer (APEO) for PEO EIS’s Business Mission Area (BMA).

Joyce has been heavily involved in the OPLAN since it was transitioned to APEO BMA from PEO EIS’s Strategic Initiatives Group (SIG) earlier this year. Together with colleagues John Howell, APEO of Networks, Cyber and Services, and Col. Rob Wolfe, project manager of Army Data and Analytics Platforms (ARDAP), Joyce created a work group with representation from all six PEO EIS project offices. The work group put the finishing touches on the OPLAN, which originally was authored by Chad Harris, former SIG director and Defensive Cyber Operations project manager, who recently retired from the Army.

The OPLAN consists of three phases aligning with the lines of effort and phases contained in the Army’s Data Plan Implementation Execute Order. During phase one, which presently is under way, the goal is to “set the conditions” by getting organized and determining who needs to do what. While all six PEO EIS project management offices will be involved in this phase, ARDAP will have a lead role, according to Joyce, due to the nature of its mission. Among other responsibilities, ARDAP will: 1) Define the approach to automating the ingestion of metadata into the Enterprise Data Services Catalog (EDSC); 2) Define EDSC workflows to which end users can request access; 3) Design the data integration architecture and approach; and 4) Plan and execute proofs of concept to validate all three phases.

Phase two, scheduled to kick off this summer, will involve adapting and building the environment — executing the proofs of concept to address risks and challenges. One of these challenges will inevitably be ensuring that PEO EIS organizations are synchronizing their data, cloud and enterprise resource planning modernization initiatives. Again, ARDAP will be heavily involved in this work, as well as in working with project managers to develop implementation approaches.

Finally, phase three will entail operationalizing the environment and implementing it across the PEO. During this time, ARDAP will shift to a support role, helping project managers with execution.

There are five desired end states for the OPLAN:

  1. PEO EIS organizations will have subject matter experts in place to coordinate and implement data efforts.
  2. PEO EIS will be engaged with stakeholders to understand and influence decisions that could affect the PEO’s portfolio of systems.
  3. There will be processes in place to track and report status within PEO EIS and externally.
  4. PEO EIS will have an architecture in place that addresses data, cloud and data center consolidation. It will be compliant with the Army data and cloud architectures.
  5. All PEO EIS organizations will use the EDSC to make data VAUTIS.

The OPLAN will have an impact on anyone who manages a system or solution at PEO EIS. Programs will need to work with their business counterparts to identify “authoritative” data to support the Army’s analytics requirements. The data will be made visible and understandable to Army personnel by entering the metadata in the EDSC, and will be accessible and interoperable through the EDSC workflows and the data integration architecture implemented by PEO EIS.

When all is said and done with the OPLAN implementation, PEO EIS will have much stronger processes in place for data management. More importantly, the PEO will be in a better position to support the Army’s goal of making data-driven decisions and applying advanced analytics like artificial intelligence and machine learning to support ongoing operations and drive modernization.