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Web-enabling the integrated framework chart.

The Integrated Framework Chart is familiar to members of the acquisition, technology, and logistics community as a job performance support, training, and reference aid for Defense Acquisition University courses and defense acquisition professionals. The IFC is a subsystem of the AT & L Knowledge Sharing System (AKSS) and serves as a pictorial roadmap of most key activities in the system's acquisition process defined by DoD Series 5000 regulations. About 20,000 copies are distributed annually to acquisition professionals.

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The Web-enabled Integrated Defense Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Life Cycle Management Framework Chart (known by the short title "IFC") can be found at <http://akss.dau.mil/ifc/>). The Web-enabled version represents a new gateway to policy, guides, and other knowledge resources. By selecting various parts or elements of the Web-enabled IFC, the user can drill down to a particular activity block that is linked to a template or knowledge object containing pertinent acquisition information about that activity.

Navigating the Web-enabled IFC

On the main IFC home page, users will encounter a linked version of the framework chart. Navigational tabs are provided above the chart:

* IFC Home -- links to the front page of the site.

* Decision Support System View -- provides a way to select enlarged views of the chart horizontally across each systems view. Selecting this view highlights the linear sequential processes and subtasks within those processes so that the both the beginning and end state of each subprocess can be defined, delineated, and explained in the content library.

* Phase View -- allows users viewers to bring up larger vertical views of the IFC to more clearly read elements from that perspective. Selecting this view allows the user to specify a particular phase in the acquisition life cycle process and view the subprocesses that should be executed in parallel for each acquisition element. The user can easily see the requirements that must be coordinated across diverse elements at the beginning and end of each phase of the acquisition process.

In the Decision Support System and Phase views, users can click within the view to further enlarge subsections of elements on the chart. Once on the enlarged sections, each element on the chart is linked to a template with related resources applicable to that particular element. Once in any of the above partial views, there is a "you are here" icon with red arrows that will allow a user to navigate to adjoining views in order to see other areas.

* Library View -- provides an alphabetical listing of all element topics on the IFC, and each is hot-linked to the template that is accessed from the corresponding graphical view. Selecting this view allows the user to go directly to the information page for any specific term in the IFC. This quick link is designed to allow easy access to direct reference information while providing access to the phases and processes. The user can then always have access to the contextual relation of the term in the IFC.

* Back of Chart -- takes users to a page-by-page view of the information printed on the back of the IFC. This information includes a description of many of the processes, references, and definitions involved in the defense acquisition decision support systems depicted on the front of the chart. The intent is to eventually Web-enable (with appropriate links) the back in a manner similar to the front of the chart.

* Printable Version tab -- launches the PDF files for either the front or back of the IFC.

For those who are already familiar with the AT & L Integrated Framework Chart, the various sections are also hot-linked to the enlarged views directly from the image on the home page of the site.

At the top of the screen, Contact, FAQ, Help, and New User hotlinks provide users with online support.

Evolution of the Web-enabled IFC

Version 5.1 of the IFC, deployed in July 2005, was a usability test model intended to allow acquisition workforce field users to use the system and provide comments to DAU regarding usability of the graphics, linkages, and knowledge provided. Certain minor changes were made to both the JCIDS process and the PPBE [Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution] process after the release of Version 5.1. These changes were incorporated in Version 5.2 of the IFC fielded by DAU in late August 2005 and followed by an updated Web-enabled Version 5.2 model in October 2005.

Templates

Selecting any element from the enlarged view will launch a "template" (knowledge object) view inside the Acquisition Community Connection (ACC). Templates provide users with applicable information on mandatory policy, data from the Defense Acquisition Guidebook, related definitions, links to other guides, available examples, available training materials, communities of practice, answers to "Ask a Professor" questions, and more. One of the additional items in each template is a link to a preset search capability that leverages a concept-based search tool used on the AKSS.

The template pages have been seeded with "Add my Knowledge" links to knowledge resources, enabling members of the ACC to suggest additional resources. Such contributions, when approved, will show up on the bottom of the appropriate template page. Detailed instructions for suggesting contributions to the ACC can be found at <https://acc.dau.mil/contribute>.

Bottom Line

The IFC is a knowledge tool for the DoD Acquisition Workforce and defense industry acquisition managers. The Web-enablement process is an attempt to make this knowledge more comprehensible and accessible in an easily maintained database. Users are invited to contribute examples, best practices, references, presentations, related links, and other information on any IFC topic or subtopic. Suggestions for enhancing the presentation or corrections to any of the related knowledge objects should be made to the Help Desk at issc@dau.mil or (703) 805-3459.

Hechmer is the project manager for the AKSS, the Defense Acquisition Guidebook, and the IFC; and the knowledge project officer for the Program Management Community of Practice. Bahnmaier is a retired Marine and a retired DAU professor of defense acquisition management. He currently volunteers at DAU and is president of the DAU Alumni Association.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:LEARNING RESOURCES
Author:Bahnmaier, Bill
Publication:Defense AT & L
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2006
Words:1010
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