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ABOUT DAU

The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is the primary training organization for the Defense Acquisition Workforce. It is committed to providing the training — both formal and informal — to improve the professionalism of the more than 160,000 members of the acquisition workforce by engaging them both in the class- room and on the job. DAU plays a vital role for our nation by ultimately developing fully qualified acquisition professionals who deliver cost-effective systems, equipment, and services to meet warfighter requirements.

It’s an exciting time in both of Defense Acquisition University’s worlds: learning and acquisition. We couldn’t be more optimistic about how we will thrive in this environment. People all over the learning world are busy applying new technologies to engage a workforce that learns differently. DAU is no different. Our innate desire to improve drives us to use these technologies in innovative and powerful ways. We are doing this by increasing our focus, efforts and resource investments on our clients’ business results and making that our measure of success.

STRATEGIC PLANNING AT DAU

This year, we developed a completely revised DAU strategic plan that ensures alignment with business strategy and our vision and mission. There will always be more changes, new technology, and new possibilities. We are well positioned to identify these, adapt, and remain a world-class learning leader. This is reflected in our New Strategic Plan, which includes our comprehensive learning strategy — Acquisition Learning Model (ALM) — and in our goal of improving acquisition outcomes via business results.

There are three domains of our new ALM: foundational, workflow and performance learning. One of our strategy’s primary goals is to ensure cross-domain integration and repurpose learning assets among domains. For example, “train like you work, work like you train.” By doing so, we have focused all activities primarily on job and organizational success.

The ALM “links” our training (both in classroom and online); acquisition resources and job support tools; mission assistance and customized workshops. This allows us to be current, connected, and innovative in every area. Our students need current information the latest policies, guidelines, and lessons learned relevant to their increasingly diverse and fast-paced work. Likewise, DAU must have current and direct knowledge of what’s going on in the acquisition enterprise so that we can anticipate the requirements of our students, bring them the assets they need, and teach in a way that is relevant to their work and their learning style. 

DAU must also be tightly connected to its customers and aligned with their priorities and challenges. This helps make our work meaningful and is also a key function of a corporate university. Our students need to be connected quickly and easily to the information required for their success on the job. In addition, the domains of learning in our ALM are most powerful when they are connected to each other integrated and reinforcing.

Our customers also need innovative approaches to problem solving and the ability to think critically. Likewise, we must be innovative in our methods for transferring knowledge to the workforce whether in the classroom, online or through mission assistance.

STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION

To implement our learning strategy, we incorporated its three domains into our performance-based strategic plan. Our strategic planning process is DAU’s engine for change and transformation this is the perfect vehicle for implementing the new learning strategy. This required the creation of three new strategic goals that incorporate the ALM (foundational learning, workflow learning, performance learning) as well as two additional supporting goals of people and infrastructure. All are focused on business results (acquisition outcomes).

The entire strategic planning process is a deliberate, planned, measured, iterative and integrated cycle that continuously moves DAU toward its organizational goals and vision for the workforce. The ALM’s primary purpose “improve acquisition outcomes” is a now a pivotal part of DAU’s vision statement, ensuring all supporting objectives and tasks in our strategic plan drive to that goal.

As implemented in the new Strategic Plan, the ALM extends the concept of learning beyond the classroom. DAU is now delivering more in-context consumption learning on the job anytime, anyplace. All learning assets (e.g., courses, how-to videos, self-service portals and job-support tools) are integrated and shared among the three domains. Moreover, the University is achieving these results in a cost-effective manner while maintaining high standards of quality. By implementing the ALM, the university aligns with senior leadership, and continuously modernizes its business and learning infrastructure. The world-class learning architecture supports continuously updated curricula, talent development and rewards. The scale and scope of the ALM:

Foundational Learning - DAU offers more than 400 technical training courses supporting the 14 Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) career fields, which require that Defense Acquisition workforce members be certified for their positions. Workforce members can fulfill their training requirements through DAU’s core certification and core plus training courses.

Workflow Learning - Access to acquisition knowledge outside traditional learning environments improves efficiency, innovation and effectiveness, enhancing job performance. It also augments the foundational learning that occurred in the classroom and gives individuals quick, easy access to information, connects them to other acquisition professionals, and provides in-context consumption learning opportunities.

Performance Learning - Extends help beyond the classroom into the workplace with mission assistance services. This program places seasoned faculty onsite at organizations ranging from smaller acquisition teams to larger acquisition programs to provide advice, consulting, rapid-deployment training on new initiatives, and training targeted to address unique mission needs. An organization’s complex problems often require face-to-face and high-impact support.

MEASURING LEARNING IMPACT

DAU’s learning measurement strategy is to provide the key performance metrics that are credible to our senior leadership team. Our executive team values DAU as an enterprise when determining impact and performance by both growth and multi-year metric trends aligned to business goals within our strategic and annual performance plans.

To assess the effectiveness of our learning strategy and solutions, DAU measures success by the value-added contributions across the three domains of our learning strategy. This total enterprise view of our contributions determines if the learning needs of the Defense Acquisition workforce are being met.

DAU’s increases in capacity and throughput did not come at the expense of learner satisfaction. The university’s customers consistently give top ratings to DAU’s learning assets and faculty who deliver them. DAU uses the four-level Kirkpatrick training assessment model to evaluate student perceptions, learning outcomes, job performance, and customer impact. DAU consistently receives high marks (80 percent and above) in student surveys from more than 1,756 classroom course offerings per year, delivered at DAU’s five regional campuses and more than a dozen satellite locations. Of the surveys completed by university students, DAU’s classroom courses received an average rating of 6.3 (90 percent) on the seven-point Likert Scale. This exceeded DAU’s target of 80 percent by 10 percent and is 5 percent above the Metrics that Matter corporate benchmark of 85 percent.

BENCHMARKING PRACTICES

DAU also has a robust benchmarking program where we seek out our peer organizations with transferable best practices to adopt and adapt. We average four visits per year and, in return, we share our best practices with others. In the last ten years, more than 80 organizations have benchmarked DAU. Benchmarking is a powerful tool to gain and maintain leadership in our field.

DAU continues to implement Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation, compiling a multi-year database of millions of surveys. DAU has contributed several chapters and case studies to several of the Kirkpatricks’ recent books. However, we knew we must continue to build on this success and raise the bar to take the next big step: to measure the impact of our learning strategy on business outcomes.

IMPACT METRICS AT DAU

The most urgent challenge facing DAU was to help improve business results especially with a new, inexperienced and challenged workforce. We had to better understand learning and development’s relationship, impact, and contribution. To accomplish this, we invested in more in-depth learning analytic capabilities to focus our attention on business results as our key measure of success. What we needed was a more comprehensive learning analytics capability that directly targeted impact metrics: job performance and business outcomes.

Learning analytics must be incorporated into the context and be in direct support of our overarching learning strategy that focuses on the right impact measures. With the ALM, DAU’s primary measure of success (or KPI) for all our courses, Web assets and performance support became the impact metrics. DAU ‘s approach to learning analytics complements this by focusing on measuring and analyzing level III/IV evaluation feedback preferably when students are back on the job.

IMPACT METRICS STRATEGIC OUTCOMES

Foundational learning: Although students respond to impact metrics questions on the end of course surveys, we have found the Level III questions on the 60-day follow-up evaluations are more insightful. At this point, learners (and in special cases their supervisors) indicate whether training contributed to improved job performance.

We also found some interesting dynamics in survey scores on both instructor-led (ILT or classroom) and distance learning (DL) courses regarding impact metrics.

ILT courses score higher than DL. Both drop significantly end of course (t=0) and when back on the job 60 days later (t=60). The difference is less significant between ILT and DL when back on the job.

This has contributed to resource discussions and decisions by the leadership team on which delivery is more appropriate for each course. When analyzing hundreds of thousands of surveys for “impact metrics,” we believe that the 60-day follow-up when back on the job is the more accurate gauge as a KPI for DAU’s contribution to the workforce.

In looking at our surveys regarding the utility of courses to job relevance 60 days later, we find some courses do well and some not as well. We’ve added more “use on the job” survey questions to more than 400 courses. Additionally, we analyze a 60-day follow-up for “utility to the job” questions.

The good news is more than 89 percent are or will use DAU course content on the job. However, another view of the same data would be that 11 percent never use the content (compared to industry standard of 40 percent). This level of analyses has changed the conversation during curricula and new course development reviews.

Text mining helps complete the foundational learning picture. Text mining is an analytic tool we use for interpreting the “meaning” or “semantic space” described by the words extracted from the documents analyzed, to create a mapping of words and documents into a common space, computed from word frequencies or transformed word frequencies, identifying the latent semantic space that organizes the words and documents in the analysis. In some way, once such dimensions can be identified, you have extracted the underlying “meaning” of what is contained (discussed, described) in the thousands of comments in our survey base by course.

We use Statistica’s Text Mining Module for these analyses. DAU now analyzes the root cause(s) of low performing courses through “text mining” of open-ended student comments that accompany the survey scores and takes appropriate action to improve their results through periodic curriculum updates and new course development. In another text mining example, our business and finance courses show the most frequent themes derived from thousands of comments by course include, “Not applicable, good general info, more practical, good course, useful on the job, improved job performance, etc.” The text mining helps with the root cause analyses and supplements Likert and percent scores to ascertain the cause of low-performing courses.

Deep Diver Learning Analytics: The learning analytic “deep-dive” capability has proven invaluable during curricula reviews and prioritizing course update funding. DAU keeps more than 400 existing technical courses current and relevant, while developing 40 new courses per year. New course designs have now improved job impact and business results scores to over 6.75 for business impact.

Our strategic analysis and review have changed the level and scope of discussions during senior leader meetings and curricula reviews. This impact has changed policy level decisions that drive requirements on who must attend which course based on data, not irrational needs.

Measuring Workflow Learning: To measure impact metrics in the informal space, we use all the Google Analytics’ capabilities available to us. We measure our workforce uses, sources, technologies used, dwell times, time spent, access, etc. For example, of 170,000 users, 84 percent found what they wanted in one click; 3 clicks rose it to 97 percent. Other usage data is also tracked here.

Feedback from our workforce on the quality of Web-based assets is tracked through informal survey questions in MTM, supplementing the Google Analytics utilities.

Measuring Performance Learning: High job impact is measured with quantitative interviews, supplementing our qualitative analyses through carefully structured interviews to gain personal feedback on the impact of our Mission Assistance (MA) and consulting efforts.

We primarily conduct Level III/IV executive interviews to assess DAU’s total impact of job performance and business; more than 100 were conducted with senior leadership in FY16. This yielded strategic qualitative feedback from senior business leaders.

ENTERPRISE-WIDE LEARNING ASSETS

We are putting more emphasis on learning assets and less on courses in our overall L&D approach. This has changed who, where and how we develop, deliver and deploy our assets. We moved from curricula and asset development upstream in our process to drive more impact. This minimizes bias toward a course-only solution. We can also leverage technologies that best suit the material and students’ needs. We are also better able to translate learning objects into asset building blocks to use discretely and re- purposing across the ALM.

SUMMARY

The future is uncertain. Many successful organizations have failed to keep reinventing themselves and fall trap to the “S” curve into extinction. In this environment, that is a death sentence. Technology is changing the business. Good for customers; good for innovators; tough on incumbents! Beware of “the way we’ve always done it.”

The heart and future for DAU will remain an evolving strategy. Through it, we will touch every professional in the Defense Acquisition workforce at every stage of their career and help them improve acquisition outcomes. Finally, in everything we do, we must always continue to stay current, connected and innovative. At the same time, we must to be focused on executing our critical mission and achieving our vision: helping the workforce succeed and improve acquisition outcomes.

Only in this way, will DAU can prepare the Defense Acquisition workforce to provide America’s warriors the best in weapons and equipment in defense of our nation, now and in the future.

—Dr. Christopher Hardy is Global Strategic Director of Defense Acquisition University. DAU is a seven-time Learning! 100 Award winner.

 

 

Published in Top Stories

Virtual Reality (V.R.) has been slower to catch on in the U.S. despite the huge investments made by Google and Facebook. It is projected that 22.4 million people in the U.S. will engage with a form of V.R. at least monthly this year, up 109.5% over 2016, according to eMarketer.

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The V.R. category is being driven mainly by 360-degree photos and videos. The gaming industry is also driving growth of V.R. headset use. In 2017, 9.6 million people in the U.S. will use a headset to experience V.R. monthly, up 98.7% over last year.

While V.R. headsets provide a more immersive experience, adoption will remain low due to their often high cost. This year, only 2.9% of the U.S. population will use a V.R. headset at least monthly, eMarketer estimates, with that number growing to just 5.2% by 2019.

—Source: eMarketer’s AR and Virtual Reality (VR) Forecast 2017

Published in Trends

In 2017, 40.0 million people in the U.S. will engage with some form of augmented reality (AR) at least monthly, up 30.2% over last year. Much of A.R.’s growth will be fueled by Snapchat Lenses and Facebook Stories, according to eMarketer.

By the end of 2019, A.R. users will top 54.4 million, accounting for 16.4% of the U.S. population, or nearly one in five Internet users.

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“Users of Snapchat Lenses comprise the vast majority of our A.R. estimates,” says eMarketer forecasting analyst Chris Bendtsen. “Snapchat growth will continue to contribute to A.R. users in the future, but in the next several years, eMarketer also expects Facebook Stories to be a significant growth driver of A.R. usage, since it is now widely available to Facebook’s user base.”

—Source: eMarketer’s AR and Virtual Reality (VR) Forecast 2017

Published in Trends

The global HR software market is projected to reach $9.2 billion by 2022, a CAGR of 2.4%. The growth rate masks a shift from traditional HR functions of payroll, time and attendance and benefits to the lucrative talent management sectors. These high-growth areas include recruiting, training, performance management/business intelligence and leadership/succession management as well as a shift to software-as-a-service.

While the HR software market went through an unprecedented wave of consolidation in recent years, the digital transformation is under way. The ERP software giants pursue a double strategy in acquiring HR software companies by expanding and integrating the new best-in-class HR management functionality into their comprehensive product/service offerings; and introducing broader ERP product/service offerings through HR management loophole.

Transportation and Logistics is the heavy-user of HCM solutions, according to Market & Markets. The growing technological developments in the field of Cloud, analytics and the emergence of mobile technologies have led to the high adoption of HCM solutions in major industries such as banking, financial services, insurance (BFSI), and health care.

By region, North America is expected to be the largest user of HCM solutions. The high adoption of digital technology across all major industries helps the HCM market to grow in North America, particularly in the U.S. and Canada. The market is in the emerging stage in the regions of Asia-Pacific (APAC), Latin America, the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Therefore, these regions exhibit immense scope for the adoption of HCM solutions.

—Sources: HR Software Market Forecast (2012-2022), Market Analysis https://www.marketanalysis.com/?p=338, HCM Market Worth, Markets & Market shttp://bit.ly/2rlbHVg

Published in Trends

The new technologies of what is being called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” have the potential to transform the global geography of production and will need to be deployed in ways that address and adapt to the impact of climate change, reports the World Economic Forum in a paper titled, “Technology and Innovation for the Future of Production: Accelerating Value Creation.” The WEF paper, prepared in collaboration with AT Kearney, explores the new technology landscape, focusing on five technologies that will have the most immediate impact on production-related sectors. It raises questions for CEOs, government leaders, civil society leaders and academics about the implications for individuals, companies, industries, economies and society as a whole, and as is intended to bring new perspectives and generate responsive and responsible choices.

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The paper maps the full production value chain of activities of “source-make-deliver-consume-re-integrate” products and services from origination, design manufacturing and distribution to customers and consumers incorporating principles of circular economy and reuse. Production fundamentally impacts economic structure at a global to local level, affecting the level and nature of employment, and the environment.

The transformative potential of technology in production systems is widely recognized.Trends toward higher levels of automation promise greater speed and precision of production as well as reduced exposure to dangerous tasks. They also can help overcome stagnant productivity and make way for more value-added activity. The extent of automation, however, causing significant anxiety about issues of employment and inequality.

—Download full report at: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/ WEF_White_Paper_Technology_Innovation_Future_of_Produc- tion_2017.pdf

Published in Trends

With the new SALESFORCE- IBM global strategic partnership, IBM Watson, an A.I. platform for business, and Salesforce Einstein, A.I. that powers the world’s No. 1 CRM, seamlessly connect to enable an entirely new level of intelligent customer engagement across sales, service, marketing, commerce and more. IBM is also strategically investing in its Global Business Services for Salesforce with a new practice to help clients rapidly deploy the combined IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein capabilities.

Published in Deals

BRAINSHARK and SEISMIC are partnering to help companies optimize sales readiness and performance, bringing together Brainshark’s training, coaching and content authoring capabilities with Seismic’s advanced solution for sales content management and personalization.

Published in Deals

Millennials are different than older generations in many ways. The generation gap is even wider when it comes to the sharing economy. Millennials embrace the sharing economy at three times the rate of older adults. Millennials are more likely to use a space to stay, like Airbnb, or use professional services, like tax preparation, than people ages 35 and older. While Uber and Airbnb are what many people think of when they think of the sharing economy, the market is more varied than that.

This may be an early indication that the next generation of digital services will be more acceptable to millennials. Robo-advisors for financial consulting and digital healthcare are being tested. For health care, virtual visits, second opinions and digital medicine delivery were most accepted by patients. When it came to robo-advisors, even the millennials had second thoughts. Only 48 percent would access digital advisors for basic financial information. However, the blended method of personal financial advi-sor with digital support was more successful doubling the success rate for investing.

—Source: Maru/Matchbox

Published in Latest News

The expectation of more protectionist regulation under Trump in the U.S. is contributing to a bullish approach to emerging markets, particularly in Asia. This is one view expressed at the Finance Workshop hosted on Lake Como by the Italian think tank, The European House – Ambrosetti.

In a panel discussion on emerging markets, panelists pointed out that the U.S. may be about to repeat mistakes made in markets that have lagged on the world stage. The fiscal stimulus of $1 trillion promised by the Trump presidency can be compared to a similar policy in Japan, where the impact on GDP growth has not been high.

Some members of the panel suggested that innovation will be the biggest driver of growth. Technology investments in the Chinese market, for example, are taking it through the same transition from quantity to quality that was followed in Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.

“Despite global and European pressures, there are certainly some signals of optimism. According to the International Monetary Fund, global GDP will grow this year by 3.4 percent, and it will accelerate to 3.6 percent in 2018,” reports Valerio De Molli, CEO of The European House-Ambrosetti.

Yet, it was suggested that despite the advantages of human capital, financial investment and technical innovation, the lingering infrastructure gap in Asia is still an issue. Natural resource scarcity is a cause for concern in China and may affect other emerging markets as supply and demand imbalances and rapid urbanization start to bite.

“Most of the new entrants into the global middle class will come from these new [emerging] markets,” says Dr. Linda Yueh, Fellow in Economics at the University of Oxford.

Published in Latest News

The National Center for Simulation at the University of Central Florida (UCF) recognized the 2017 class of the Modeling and Simulation Hall of Fame in June. The five honorees are:

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David M. Kotick, Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, chief modeling & simulation (M&S) engineer - A pioneer in virtual communications, he is the Department of Defense’s (DoD) leading subject-matter expert in the field, and holds multiple patents in the fields of digital communications within the Live Virtual Constructive environment.

Frederick L. Lewis, Rear Admiral, United States Navy (Ret.) - Served as the president from 1995-2012 of the National Training and Simulation Association.

Robert M. Matthews, Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, retired deputy technical director - His imprint on M&S has touched not only a variety of disparate Navy programs across warfare branches, but also a variety of Navy and DoD modeling, simulation and training (MS&T) infrastructure initiatives.

Honorable John L. Mica, U.S. Representative - A champion for the simulation industry through policy, funding and loyal support.

Beverly J. Seay, M&S consultant & UCF Trustee - A founding business leader of the Orlando M&S community who was instrumental in bringing together government, industry and academia to lay the foundation and a set of standards for the integrated ecosystem it is today.

Published in Latest News
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