Soldier Innovation Workshops '16, '18, & 2019
Innovation workshops bring together Warfighters, Industrial Designers, and technical Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to collaboratively develop ideas and design concepts for the DoD. Warfighters bring the perspective of the end user, industrial designers bring a unique tool kit that supports creative problem solving, SME’s help frame the art-of-the-possible. It is this combination of informed design thinking and visualization communication that ensures the right problems are addressed during concept development.
As the facilitation manager my role was to facilitate a group of NCOs by creating an environments in which the soldiers could express their concerns, ideas, and creativity while capturing the user-experience and sentiment. Design team coordination, liaise between government partners, industry subject matter experts and event staff. Post-event after action review was conducted with the design team and develop guidelines and best practices for future workshops.
The Ground Vehicle Systems Center(GVSC) held a Soldier Innovation Workshop(SIW) in support of the Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) Cross Functional Team(CFT) mission to develop the Optionally Manned Tank(OMT). This workshop was one key event in a series of supporting efforts to the CFT NGCV development of OMT. The SIW intends to rapidly create innovative solutions for OMT that can be further refined as potential solutions, inform the development process, and provide tools to NGCV for developing and refining solution attributes.
NCMS succeeded in supporting its second soldier innovation workshop (SIW) with RDECOM, TARDEC as part of the Army’s Modernization Strategy for the next generation combat vehicle (NGCV) Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV). This week-long event produced four concept designs that were briefed to members of the Army Futures Command – Cross-Functional Team (CFT) for the NGCV as well as other stakeholders in the U.S. Army. The event included Soldiers from Ft. Hood, Industrial Designers through Revolution Design Studios and SME’s from the National Advanced Mobility Consortium (NAMC).
U.S. Army TARDEC hosted an innovation workshop in which NCOs from the 82nd Airborne and 10th Mountain Divisions collaborated with industrial designers and subject matter experts from TARDEC, ARDEC, CERDEC, Natick and Fort Benning's Maneuver Center of Excellence to develop mobile protective firepower (MPF) designs for potential combat vehicles that would fill the gaps in the Army's infantry brigades.
This model of soldier-led informed design provides a glimpse into the warfighter’s world that is undocumented and often ignored when creating vehicles and weapon platforms, as the Government normally operates from the top down. The insights derived from the SIWs drive an informed design process for Industry, allowing them to focus their Independent Research & Development (IR&D) monies into future technologies; and allow senior officials a glimpse of the modern battlefield, the art of the possible and the needs of today’s Warfighter.