Deepwater tracker launched

Coast Guard officials are now using an automated performance management system that they expect will help them better track progress and highlight needed changes in their massive Integrated Deepwater System (IDS) modernization program.

The multibillion-dollar Deepwater project will modernize and replace the Coast Guard's aging fleet of ships and aircraft, and improve command and control as well as logistics systems. But tracking and reporting Deepwater's progress depends on a raft of different measures involving financial, internal business processes and other issues.

The results will help determine such things as ongoing budget needs, award terms and fees, and a formal balanced scorecard evaluation of the Deepwater. But for the past two years, this has all been done by hand, said Greg Cohen, a performance measurement specialist for the IDS program. SAS Institute Inc. is supplying a performance management system to help the Coast Guard better manage the project by raising red flags over things that may have gone wrong or need attention, Cohen said.

The system is Web-based and is designed to gather, analyze, report and share program performance information across multiple channels, some of it from a customer satisfaction survey that will poll users across the Coast Guard. The system also will tie into other systems throughout the Coast Guard and at several of the agency's contractors to automatically extract certain data. The result will be a system that will provide program managers and acquisition executives with monthly, weekly and even daily information they can access over the Web to help them guide their decision-making, Cohen said.

The system has been up and running since the beginning of the month. Full installation of the performance management system will take about six months.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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