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Customer Stories: DISA

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Download the DISA Customer Story white paper.

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DISA is the premier Information Technology Combat Support Agency that provides and assures command, control, communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) to the warfighter. As a Combat Support Agency, DISA provides, operates, and assures command and control, information-sharing capabilities, and a globally accessible enterprise information infrastructure in direct support to joint warfighters, national-level leaders, and other mission and coalition partners across the full spectrum of operations.


In support of DISA’s global mission hundreds of business units, teams and employees must work and collaborate together to ensure the Department of Defense (DoD) has the capabilities, technologies and operational readiness and excellence to support our nation’s warfighters. A critical enabler of this support is a world-wide portfolio consisting of thousands of IT programs and projects that must be managed and delivered flawlessly.


THE CHALLENGE

In September 2015, DISA was at a crossroads. After attempting to implement multiple enterprise program and project management systems DISA still did not have an effective method for governing and managing IT projects resulting in:

 

  • • Dozens of monthly data calls, thousands of hours preparing
  •   and delivering briefs,
  • • Executive frustration and wasted time,
  • • Limited transparency to make informed / real-time decisions,
  • • Projects that were not aligned to business or strategic goals,
  • • Ineffective and inconsistent risk, cost, schedule and
  •   performance management,
  • • Duplicative and sometimes competing investments,
  • • Cost overruns, schedule delays and limited insight in
  •    project dependencies

These challenges had the potential to seriously degrade DISA’s operational readiness and ability to effectively deliver their strategic goals:

 

  • • Focus on our global infrastructure of telecommunications and
  •   services delivery — comprised of a hybrid cyberspace ecosystem of
  •   mobile, collaboration, internal clouds, and commercial clouds.
  • • Synchronize command and control (C2) and senior leadership
  •   support to effectively streamline decision making within all echelons
  •   of National and DoD leadership.
  • • Enable warfighter capabilities from a sovereign cyberspace domain,
  •   focused on speed, agility, and access.
  • • Reduce costs by eliminating duplication in production
  •   and operations.

THE SOLUTION

After a 30 day pilot to validate fit and functionality, DISA selected and implemented CorasManage and immediately began to manage and aggregate project data across their organization and empowering leadership to become experts on any portfolio, program or project within minutes. Given DISA’s global mission, this capability was critical enabling leadership to make decision in real-time as project risks and challenges arise.


In addition to information transparency and consistency, CorasManage was selected because of the platform’s inherent ease of use, speed of implementation, agility, modular design and its ability to be rapidly configured and aligned to DISA’s governance model and business processes without writing software code. Key CorasManage features and capabilities include:

 

  • Cost Management – monitor and manage costs to stay within budget. Track estimated vs. actual EVM capabilities.
  • • Schedule Management – plan, track, and modify programs and projects with robust, interactive scheduling engine and integrated GANTT charting.
  • • Risk Management – identify, assess, and track any risk or issue.
  • • Performance Management – set, measure and monitor project KPI’s and metrics.
  • • Portfolio Management – align programs and projects to strategic, tactical or operational portfolios. Projects can be aligned to multiple portfolios.
  • • Dashboards and Reporting – dynamic, interactive dashboards and reports that can trend, analyze and display, drill down or conditionally format
  •   any piece of information within CorasManage based on process thresholds.
  • • PPT / Briefing Generator – interactive designer that dynamically generates Microsoft PowerPoint briefings from the data within
  •   CORASManage and in any format or layout.
  • • Data Integration – native integration with Microsoft Project and connector framework and API’s that can integrate into any information source
  •   or third-party apps. Enterprise reporting with Microsoft Excel, Access, SQL Reporting Services and more. Export data in multiple
  •   formats including Microsoft Excel.
  • • Templates – pre-configured dashboards, forms, reports and charts that reflect Federal IT projects.
  • • Document Library – enterprise document management, versioning and tracking, pre-configured taxonomy structure to store information
  •   related to projects.
  • • Security – user authentication, active directory integration, role and privilege management.
  • • Geospatial – integration with Google Maps and other third-party visualization tools / engines.
  • • Configurable Platform – rapidly configure CorasManage to organization-specific forms, reports, branding, processes and information capture
  •   and reporting requirements, low-code / no-code platform accelerates time to market.
 

Automation of DISA's Executive Briefings.

 

Real-Time Risk Management

In addition to these features, CorasManage is Section 508 Compliant and can be implemented behind the firewall or in any cloud. It performs full program life-cycle cost estimates supporting acquisition (or investment) program baselines. CorasManage Spend Plan functionality supports the financial planning, programming, budgeting and execution processes for identified investments; providing a centralized repository of program funding profiles for the tracking of budgets and funding lines across programmed investments, and emerging requirements; capturing planned and actual financial transactions (obligation vs. execution) for appropriations across multiple programs and funding sources. CorasManage uses an automated form of pair-wise comparison (Computer Aided Parallelization Toolkit) to enable investment review boards the ability to select, oversee, and prioritize IT investments.

 

CorasManage is more than just a data management solution. It’s a platform and eco-system of integrated management tools that reflect over 12 years of innovation and customer needs. It provides a holistic approach which aligns governance, procedure and policy to execution and then to an IT solution. DISA immediately understood the value proposition of CorasManage and has put power of management information into leadership’s control effectively making them the solution.

 

DISA configured, implemented and operationalized CorasManage in 90 days. The resulting system, now called DISA’s Management Information Decision Support (MIDS) system is the enterprise platform for governing, managing and tracking DISA projects and initiatives. Over 1,100 users use MIDS every day managing over 450 projects across 30 portfolios. MIDS is provisioned within the DISA Enterprise Portal Services (DEPS) “SharePoint” data center environment under a behind the firewall Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) configuration.


RESULT

Before CorasManage was implemented it took two days for each DISA Program Manager to develop reports and executive briefs. This was preceded by weeks of preparation, multiple data calls and configuration for each brief to reach a state of completion which often changed monthly based on reporting priorities. After CorasManage was implemented brief preparation was significantly reduced to less than half a day per month and significantly strengthened DISA’s operational and risk management capabilities. Executive leadership is now provided with real-time information and transparency to respond to, fix and mitigate issues as they happen instead of waiting days and sometimes weeks to find out.


CorasManage gives users the ability to aggregate data and information across multiple projects to get a holistic view at a portfolio or program level and the data and information required to optimize decision making to achieve strategic and tactical business objectives. To date, CorasManage has saved DISA approximately $500,000 dollars with an expected annual return of approximately $2 million dollars in productivity and software licensing savings. In addition, CorasManage has enabled DISA to solve several other operational challenges including:

  • • Optimize Mission Readiness - real time risk reporting that enables
  •   leadership to apply critical resources on demand without the need
  •   for multiple meetings, briefs, or updates,
  • • Reduce Complexity – CorasManage has reduced data calls by 50%
  •   and eliminated dozens of other manual data processing activities,
  • • Operational Excellence - standard and consistent reporting for over
  •   400 projects world-wide that are aligned to governance and
  •   project oversight processes,
  • • Reduce Response time - having the same information at strategic,
  •   tactical and operational levels enables leadership to communicate
  •   from authoritative information. In just 3 months DISA has reduced
  •   response time by 20% and significantly strengthened
  •   operational readiness.
  • • Business Agility – as DISA’s processes and management
  •   requirements change, so does CorasManage. New requirements
  •   are implemented 75% faster and cheaper than traditional software
  •   development or COTS customization.