CyberWorx Newsletter 2021 Quarter 1
The chemical company, BASF, used to have an advertisement that said in part, “…we don’t make the cooler, we make it cooler. We don’t make the jeans, we make them bluer,” to highlight how their company improved the experience, performance, or durability of products for the people who use them. Much like the ubiquity of the products presented by the advertisement, information technology now underpins nearly every aspect of daily life both at work and at play. In a corollary, AF CyberWorx exercises their human-centered/user experience design, lean startup, and agile toolsets on the application of technology to improve experience, performance, and efficiency of mission execution, preparation, and support, while helping prepare the Air Force for new/emerging technologies and aiding industry in better understanding operational needs.
Our Cyber Risk Ecosystem, presented in previous newsletters and currently in integration/deployment with NORAD/NORTHCOM, provides cross-domain risk awareness to help commanders understand and mitigate cyber threats to missions in other domains. The recent low/no-code initiative for 16th AF demonstrated the efficacy of equipping unit-level Airmen with tools to automate and improve their own processes such as aircrew training and mobility readiness and awareness, network account request automation, contracting officer/small business interactive marketplace, personnel functions, and training instructor scheduling. Our team has helped the F-35 JPMO improve mission communications planning, and we see the potential for that work to expand across multiple platforms and across the Joint Services.
At AF CyberWorx, innovation isn’t just about technology, but a balance of meeting user needs within organization constraints with the right technology to make Airmen more effective at the full spectrum of activities needed to deliver Joint capabilities from mission support through mission preparation and execution. At AF CyberWorx, we don’t make the Commander’s decisions, we help make them better informed and more quickly. We don’t load the cargo, we make tracking it more efficient and accurate. We don’t fly the mission, we make the planning easier, faster, and more precise.
–Lt Col Helgeson, Deputy Director
CyberWorx 2021 Quarter 1 Project Portfolio
The Air Force Test Center wants to accelerate the data processing pipeline to move useful, actionable test range data to decision makers faster. CyberWorx is working with Hill AFB’s EDDGE software team to design and develop MVP screens for an application that streamlines access to a centralized data platform.
ai cyber wingman
The Cyber Wingman project is focused on enabling an AI-based mission commander digital assistant that can compile and process large amounts of data into actionable information, including similar past events and recommended courses of action. The CyberWorx team is working with MIT and Lincoln Labs, planning and coordinating research and interviews.
f-35 enhanced ui
CyberWorx is providing expertise to a joint work force of Navy, Air Force, and Marines with a deep dive into task analysis as they update their mission planning software that aligns to a next-generation framework with a modern user interface.
USSF Enlisted talent development
CyberWorx is working with USSF to identify how to best develop fully qualified enlisted Guardians that will be ready to meet future Space Force challenges.
leading user experience for everyone (Luxe)
The Chief Experience Officer of the Air Force is spearheading an effort to improve the form and function of existing enterprise-wide applications. The LUXE project underscores the importance of UX when developing products and services and highlights the need for wider adoption of UX practices across the Air Force. The CyberWorx team is providing design consultation and resources for education and training on human-centered design methodology as well as the redesign of some of the Air Force’s most egregiously designed applications.
AF Spark Tank finalist, Kinderspot, will offer families enrolled in Child Development Centers the ability to sublease their child’s spot to other eligible families while temporarily out of the area, Airbnb-style. The CyberWorx team worked with industry partner Oddball to optimize the user experience through the research and prototyping phase.
CyberWorx facilitated a design sprint 1-2 March to investigate how to develop a Consolidated Resourcing Sight Picture for the USAFA Financial Management office that would enable effective use of resources and provide better decision support to the Commander.
mission assurance with spectrum
We recently hosted nearly 150 government and industry reps to answer the question of how we might use the variety of Electro Magnetic Spectrum options to provide mission assurance of DoD operations. CyberWorx partnered with the Air Force Spectrum Management Office, the 350th Spectrum Warfare Group and NineTwelve, a public-private partnership in Indiana, to run a 3-day virtual event to connect emerging Spectrum technology with DoD stakeholders/users.
weather ai explainability
The Weather AI project will include explainable AI in future weather forecasting models with an emphasis on overseas locations with limited weather radar coverage to develop high-fidelity and explainable products. We are teamed with MIT and Lincoln Labs researchers on approach and questions for user testing in the effort to better inform the development of next-generation forecasting tools.
the other airmen
The Other Airmen initiative (pilot #1) successfully concluded on 11 March as six Airmen “Citizen Developer” teams pitched their solutions to 16th Air Force Commander, Lieutenant General Timothy Haugh at the Rocky Mountain Cyber Symposium. We are continuing work with the Air Force CIO office and 16th AF to move forward with finding ways to provide the capability to Airmen across the enterprise.
ussf cyber officer force development
We are assisting the Space Force in developing a more agile, digitally-focused career development path for their cyber officers.
21st century drill
Twenty-two participants from across government and industry attended a virtual design sprint from 26 January to 19 February to refine problem areas from information gathered through Guardsmen surveys about the collaboration and communication challenges they face getting ready for their drill weekends and annual training. A working group will continue work on the feasible solutions developed during the event to build the Air National Guard drill weekend of the future.
airmen leadership qualities
CyberWorx is collaborating with HAF/A1H as they work to make improvements to the Air Force’s officer and enlisted Evaluation Systems. Through facilitating AF-wide focus group sessions, the data gathered will inform decisions for evaluation system transformations in the future.
usafa superintendent’s honor system review
CyberWorx facilitated a design sprint for the Superintendent-directed Honor System review. Six teams of participants identified 31 ideas to improve the System and encourage cadets to embrace the Honor System as an ideal to aspire to, building leaders of character for the future.
winter is coming
The 319th Reconnaissance Wing and the University of North Dakota have teamed up to build a culture of continuous innovation in the Airmen of Grand Forks AFB, ND. We facilitated a virtual education and design event for them, focusing on improving the living conditions for Airmen living in base dorms by creating an environment that encourages engagement, curiosity, creativity, and inclusion.
norad-usnorthcom (n-nc) innovation and culture
Government and industry participants explored how to increase the digital literacy of N-NC and create a culture that embraces an innovative mindset.