How does DEF help turn ideas into innovation?  The Cloud Advisory.

From computer scientists to military operators, fiction authors to lawyers, the Cloud Advisory leverages DEF’s network of members to define a complex problem,  delve into it, and provide recommendations, guidance or solutions. In short, the Cloud Advisory turns the innovation and inspiration of the DEF community and translates them into tangible solutions for both the public and private sector.

The Cloud Advisory hails from across the globe and the national security enterprise. We are veterans and like-minded civilians working in major technology companies. We are active duty Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. We are civilians walking the halls of think tanks and the Pentagon. We are design facilitation experts working for consulting firms and trained by the best programs in the Department of Defense. But above all else – we are passionate about developing solutions that can make a change today.

Who can get involved?

For DEF members, the Cloud Advisory provides practical outlet to contribute to solutions for both the public and private sector.  For national security leaders and policy makers, the Cloud Advisory offers a unique perspective from the sharpened edge of the defense enterprise.  Do you want ideas from those mid-career professionals that enact DoD policies and technologies every day?  Do you want to hear from those who implement your ideas and utilize your technological products?  Bring your question to DEF and hear from those on the frontlines of innovation.

What has Cloud Advisory accomplished?

The cloud advisory has provided written reports, spoken remarks, and contributed survey design and development. Here are a few of the interesting ways in which DEF members have been able to contribute to culture change in the national security community:

In July 2015, a group from the DEF community came together to discuss the importance of talent management as a means of increasing military readiness and defense of the country. The Cloud Advisory team began the day by discussing the challenge and the goal:  to develop a report that represents the view of mid-career professionals who believe the DoD personnel system can be improved.  Then-USD(P&R) Brad Carson provided keynote remarks to the group, which spent the remainder of the morning discussing personnel policies in need of the most revision. Afternoon break out sessions focused on specific topics such as creating an assignment marketplace, more inclusive recruitment and retention policies, and a talent management that attached promotions to assignments. The resulting product was called “The Force of the Future from the Future Force” (or F5) Report, and its recommendations were recently recast in new light with the FY2019 NDAA.

In January 2017, the Defense Innovation Board (DIB) asked to convene stakeholders from the DEF community to discuss and review the challenges of managing modern Department of Defense software requirementsThe Cloud Advisory reached out to the Agoras and DEF members with a call for initial rough answers through a semi-structured design session. Based on that input, a writing team formed wherein participants from the DEF community provided content and feedback. The Cloud Advisory writing team completed report, and a framework for the presentation took shape. In April, the Cloud Advisory team presented their findings and recommendations to the DIB, notably that the DoD must make computer science a core competency of warfighting, operationalizing this through a human capital strategy to grow and maintain computer science capability and capacity.

At the same time as the computer science study was taking place, another Cloud Advisory team took up the challenges of talent management and optimizing DoD innovation for the DIB. The process flowed much the same as with other writing projects, with calls for input going  to the DEF community before forming writing groups and making recommendations. This case resulted in the call to appoint a Chief Innovation Officer to build innovation capacity in the workforce. The logic was that a supervising and coordinating office promoting a coherent strategy led by a DoD Chief Innovation Officer would enhance workforce capacity, human capital, professional training programs, and establish an underlying culture of innovation by facilitating, supporting, empowering, and connecting the DoD innovation archipelago.

If you have a challenge and want a unique perspective, contact us and share how we can help.