DTO Innovation Spotlight: 30th Contracting Squadron

  • Published
  • By Commentary by Lucy Ngiraswei
  • Space Launch Delta 30 Public Affairs

Two years ago, amidst a global pandemic and the birth of the United States Space Force, an opportunity for change arose. Inspired by former U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr.’s “Accelerate Change or Lose” strategic approach and the Air Force’s Contracting Flight Plan, I aimed to optimize how work was accomplished within the 30th Contracting Squadron by leveraging digital tools.

30th CONS faced issues prevalent across Space Launch Delta 30 – those of increasing workloads and a labor shortage in the local area. Most of our personnel were also working from home due to the global pandemic. To adapt effectively, it was imperative that we re-examined our critical tasks, processes, and workload priorities to eliminate waste and focus our efforts on areas that yielded the most impact.

One of the most time-consuming tasks in our unit was tracking requirements. Many of our standard tracking models had connectivity issues and were difficult to maintain. It was frustrating to collect data from the Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System (DEAMS) and manually enter it into trackers. Each buying flight had their own spreadsheet, and the squadron tracker had to be locked down weekly for cleaning. Mistakes were hard to fix, and it was a tedious process for everyone involved.

In June 2021, I attended a virtual demo for a tool that was similar to a spreadsheet but had the advantage of real-time collaboration. Multiple users could update the sheet simultaneously without issues. Automated workflows allowed us to visualize data on customizable dashboards. The best part was that we didn't need programming expertise to implement it. We obtained licenses and with some training videos and online research, I was able to publish our Open PR Tracker & 30th CONS Dashboard.

Over the next year, my team created external-facing dashboards to share the status of requirements. We also trained analysts on automation tools, and they developed a bot to automate data input. Using this tool for almost two years has saved VSFB over 11,300 hours of time to date. It streamlined data aggregation, analysis, and visualization, reduced errors through automation, and enabled real-time collaboration.

With this tool, we eliminated tasks like weekly status reporting, manual chart creation, and frequent customer inquiries. It simplified visualizations, trend analysis, and cross-collaboration in real time.

Overall, this tool has been a valuable asset for us, providing near real-time status updates, easy reporting, and effective communication across organizations. It has transformed our work management and made our processes more efficient.

The Digital Transformation Office provides support for all units assigned to SLD 30 and VSFB.  Do you have a project that could use our help?  Contact the DTO team at (sld30.dto.workflow@spaceforce.mil).