SEC Army SSC Utilizes Solution Planning Events to Align Enterprise Goals

By KEVIN DEEGANMarch 24, 2023

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Maryland – The Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) Software Engineering Center (SEC) Army Shared Services Center (SSC) hosted two-day Solution Planning events in December and February to strategically plan sustainment and enhancement work across five major Army Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems. ERP systems are large software applications that provide automation for core business processes such as project management, supply, manufacturing, human resources and various other day-to-day operations.

  • Logistics Modernization Program (LMP) – a system that sustains, builds, monitors and improves warfighting capabilities using one of the widest-reaching supply chain, maintenance, repair and overhaul solutions in the world.
  • General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS) – the Army’s cloud-based system of record for appropriated funds.
  • General Fund Enterprise Business System – Sensitive Activities (GFEBS-SA) – the Army’s classified version of the GFEBS program.
  • Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-Army) – provides property book, supply operations, tactical maintenance, logistics management and associated tactical finance functionality.
  • Army Enterprise Systems Integration Program (AESIP) Hub – provides timely and data-relevant information to soldiers for the purposes of information readiness and data agility.

The events were held at Aberdeen Proving Ground with over 150 stakeholders from the Army SSC, Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), and Army functional proponents. Solution Planning is a key recurring event in the Army’s continued implementation of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®).

SAFe® is a methodology for developing and delivering complex software systems in a lean and agile manner. Designed to help organizations manage the challenges of delivering large, mission-critical software systems requiring joint efforts across multiple teams, it provides a framework for collaboration and coordination across multiple departments. Socializing system roadmaps—the process of gaining buy-in from key stakeholders and teams on strategic and tactical direction—improves speed and efficiency of software development processes while also ensuring that the resulting products meet soldiers’ needs in a timely manner. The collaboration is key for Army projects that involve multiple departments and stakeholders.

“This is one of the largest implementations of SAFe® in DoD and the federal government, so it’s a huge deal,” says Steve Ridings, Solutions Support Division Chief and certified SAFe® 5 Agilist at the Army SSC.

The planning events provide widened enterprise visibility for identifying dependencies across multiple ERP systems before Program Increments (PI) when the work is executed. Identifying integration points between different ERP systems support seamless collaboration of work and data as needed.

The events at Aberdeen Proving Ground also establish coordination and prioritization of efforts, as well as risk management and accountability implementation across multiple teams, or Agile Release Trains (ARTs). The method allows for a more iterative and incremental approach to development which is critical to addressing changing stakeholder needs. It’s particularly crucial for ERP systems - which require frequent updates and modifications in response to changes in policy and regulation that demand compliance.

“We now have all five ERP systems developing on the same cadence, using the same Agile development approach with all focused on delivering readiness at best value,” said Ridings.

Moving forward, the Army SSC envisions a Solution Planning Event prior to each Program Increments Planning, which occur every ten weeks.

The next event is scheduled for early May.