Catching Up With Forge.mil…

It has been quite a while since I’ve blogged specifically about Forge.mil and what we’ve been up to as a team. My silence here in the blog has nothing to do with a lack of things to talk about – it’s actually quite the opposite. There’s been a ton of work going on, and some interesting achievements/recognition given to the project team. I’ll summarize below & share some pictorial highlights as well.

Achievements

Progress

  • Multiple outreach presentation efforts, including Potomac Gov 2.0 Summit and GOSCON
  • Software.forge.mil migrated to DoD production data center
  • Project.forge.mil system operational in production data center (still sorting out costing models)
  • Initial integration planning/prototyping for certification.forge.mil

While these four bullets may not look like much, they’ve monopolized the majority of the team’s time in terms of paperwork, accreditations, and working with the many other teams involved to get us to this point. A lot of good and hard work went on, and we are excited to see some of the additional capabilities starting to take shape.

Future Directions/What’s Next

One of the things I want to reiterate (after hearing some comments at GOSCON that indicated a lack of understanding) is that unlike a lot of other systems in DoD, Forge.mil is not static – what it is today is not what it will be in the future. I heard several people say they couldn’t see how forge.mil could be used because it doesn’t have ‘feature x’. My response: “Put in a request for feature X – the requirements aren’t locked down in cement”. This resulted in a confused look: “You mean the requirements weren’t set months ago?” No, and that is an important piece of what we are trying to accomplish with ALL of the Forge.mil capabilities – an agility of development, test, certification, and deployment that let’s the DoD field systems in a much more efficient fashion.

If you ask the Forge.mil project director what our executive sponsor (General Cartwright, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff) thinks is the most important aspect of Forge.mil, he’ll tell you that it isn’t delivering new tools just for the sake of wrapping up bad processes in new skins. General Cartwright wants to see Forge.mil push the edge of the comfort zone with regard to how software and systems development is currently done in the DoD. Our team at CollabNet is working hard to assist in making this a reality.

There are some exciting things the entire team is going to be working on here in Reston, VA for the next 2 1/2 days as we plan for Release 5 – tentatively scheduled for full rollout at the 2010 DISA partner conference in May 2010 – our overall theme is most likely going to be ‘DoD Agile’, and it will have to encompass both new features and cultural changes.

It should be an exciting and rewarding ride for the next few months – stay tuned for more details…

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4 comments on “Catching Up With Forge.mil…
  1. Trevor says:

    Good post…found a small error.
    “2010 DISA partner conference in May 2009”
    I’m guessing that should say May 2010

  2. Guy Martin says:

    Thanks Trevor!
    Great catch – this is what I get for blogging very late in the evening East Coast time. 🙂 Now corrected.
    -Guy

  3. Tina Coleman says:

    Now that the DISA partnership conference was canceled due to flooding, can you give us the inside scoop on new features in Release 5, and what’s upcoming in Release 6?

  4. Guy Martin says:

    Tina,
    We are actually at the end of Release 6 now, and though we didn’t get to show anything at the partner conference, we have early versions of the ITAR restriction capability in place for Software.forge.mil (needed for some programs to participate within the DoD community), as well as an early prototype of the eMASS integration (pre-cursor to certification.forge.mil).
    Additionally, we have a very early rough prototype of the ‘Social Forge’ layer that we previewed to some of our power users. When implemented, this layer will bring social features to the platform such as tagging, rating, group aggregation, blogging, group calendars, and several other features.
    I’m actually flying to DC this Sunday for the Release 7 planning meeting next week, where we will be prioritizing new features and fixes for that release.
    If you have access to Software.forge.mil, you can view the latest progress here: https://software.forge.mil/sf/go/plan1192.
    There is nothing there yet, but after our planning meeting, it will start to be fleshed out.
    Thanks.

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