In 2010, the U.S. Army Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) Knowledge Networks Division (KND) required organizational support for the development, growth, and facilitation of 26 (Non-Classified Internet Protocol Router [NIPR] and Secret Internet Protocol Router [SIPR]) online Army professional forums (communities of practice [CoPs]). Contract requirements included identification and recruitment of forum topic leads; review of publications, branch magazines, databases, and associated warfighter forums to support the knowledge needs of each respective CoP; conduct monthly surveys to identify emerging issues or changes in each forum; conduct monthly priority discussions; publish a monthly electronic newsletter; and create Leader Challenge videos.
Engility provided a team of facilitators who implemented an integrated, nested network of professional forums with a community of over 140,000 members using a matrixed organization of facilitators. Each member of a facilitation team served as a lead facilitator on one or more forums across the leadership and leader development forums, functional networks, and unit knowledge and warfighter forums. In addition to forum facilitation, Engility facilitators produced Leader Challenge videos, compiled numerous knowledge management success stories and forum metrics, and conducted knowledge sharing through a variety of ways and means.
Under Engility’s leadership, the Army professional forum membership doubled in size to over 200,000 people. Overall, the benefits of facilitating the 26 Army professional forums resulted in 93 percent of forum users finding value in using the forums to share information and assess the impact in terms of time, money, and lives saved. In addition to saving soldiers’ time, money, and lives, the Army professional forums enhanced mission command, facilitated the exchange of knowledge, supported training, and enhanced professional development.