5301 Bolsa Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647-2099
February 27, 2004
03 00050 60 04022701
Mr. Jack Park
333 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025
SRI Inquiry About SDS Presentation Paper
Rod has asked me to respond to
on Jan 21, discussing a possible
presentation at SRI.
We had been
talking about how the effort everyone made last year to try SDS
on the project would make a good
on the ups and downs of introducing new technology, based on the
annual report of progress in the record for Jan 2.
.. I really appreciate being considered to speak at SRI.
.. Couple of points to keep in mind...
using SDS at Boeing on the FCS project
last year is fairly set out in Rod's record on Jan 2.
.. Rod used the occasion of my call to review the year, and this
provides a basis for talking points in a presentation. I knew we had
done a lot, but the list was impressive. When the work just "gets
done" from day to day, there isn't the emotional impact of seeing how
much got done, as the focus is so much on how much there is yet to do.
Unfortunately, since Jan 2, when
things looked great,
history may have passed us by on your idea to hear about SDS and
Com Metrics. On Jan 16, I
stopped using SDS
after some questions were raised by Boeing corporate resulting
from a small breach of confidentiality when, back in April,
I accidentally published an SDS record to the Internet. That made me
the target of enforcing Boeing's policies on what software can be on
their systems. That issue is still in work. I don't
know if that can be
solved, so in one sense, the pilot test might be seen as a failure, if
it turns out we could not develop sufficient buy-in to withstand
once it got headed in our direction, based on analysis dated Feb 3.
I am working on it, and there are some official
action items to get SDS approved for use
on the project
but, Rod points out that experience shows the longer
we go without "delivering the goods" that empower people to get things
done correctly, on time and within budget, the
favorable feedback that
has occurred, up until now, will
quickly fade from memory,
as situational awareness (also, limited span of attention)
becomes dominated by new crises.
People fall back into comfortable habits working on
familiar things in familiar ways, as
Grove point out. So,
giving fair warning that you may be buying a pig-in-a-poke,
because the credibility angle seems to have receded again.
Since I don't have SDS anymore, I am a lot busier trying to meet
demands for organizational memory,
as a result of everybody
finally starting to "get it," after getting SDS records for a year.
Using conventional tools like this email, and other Microsoft programs
means there is not as much time to get things done.
So, bottom line,
I cannot promise I will have
time anytime soon
to spend on preparing a
professional talk, nor to pull away for a visit to SRI. Using SDS
for nearly a year and then losing it helps me appreciate just useful
the program is.
Additionally, this is a classified project, and so that may present
obstacles. Though we aren't yet dealing with classified data, it is
all company and competition sensitive. All briefings given to outside
groups have a bureaucratic approval process to go through.
I will ask my boss -- maybe the gods will think this is
something we should do, and in that case we are off to the races -- a
gig at SRI would be an interesting project. Will try to get back to
you in a few days on this.
.. Since the project is classified, my SDS records from the
project are not
available for general review, to answer
about "blogging" on the Internet. (note -- that is what got us in
trouble) I hope to find time to republish my non-project records to
the Internet. We simply removed everything and I haven't take the
time to install the needed safeguards and to republish my own
The use of SDS on the project has had some impact on the culture, but
since, based on our approach of a
"three layer architecture", I wasn't
pushing strongly on how much of my success at taking notes and
understanding what was happening (and what was falling through the
cracks), there is little understanding of how much SDS helped and what
they are losing by not having it available for me to use. This does
validate the concept that it is possible to deliver "intelligence"
without needing everyone to understand how it is done. Few people
recognize that anything happened other than "Gary is really good at
taking notes!". I have developed a reputation for that and my ability
to bring a conversation back to earlier meetings and presentations.
People come to me for aspects of history such as "when did we first
invite X to our meetings?", simply assuming that I can find the
answer. With SDS, of course, it was a matter of moments if the
question covered any of the meetings I recorded.
If SRI can somehow wrangle a position that a presentation on
Communication Metrics would be furthering the work of the project,
then the records might be released. I have a vague recollection that
Rod or Pat Lincoln, when I talked to him some months back, indicate
that SRI has a small part of the Future Combat Systems (FCS)
project, so there is always a
possibility the records could be provided to SRI for study.
I talked to Rod about
your idea for me to give the talk,
and he is okay with that. Rod has had health issues recently, and so
likely is not available. Go ahead and communicate directly with
me on this, and send Rod a copy so he gets the gist of how things
In our discussion, Rod mentioned having thumbed through some
of the old files after getting your letter. That background
suggests there are actually
two (2) presentations
that should be
The subject I am most qualified to comment on is
learning and using SDS for the
eight (8) steps of Com Metrics
to prepare and send out the record to everybody. I've got this list
posted on the wall here in my office; so, if the chance arises,
I would consider making a
presentation on using SDS for
"intelligence" that supports command and control of the work,
which fits our deliverable for
C4ISR. My group's responsibility for modeling and
simulation would provide an opportunity to follow up on
Cliff Joslyn's (LANL)
presentation at SRI on July 27, 2000.
.. A second presentation might be considered on
how people handle getting SDS records,
i.e., what's it like being a consumer of "intelligence"?
Most of these people are not even aware that it is SDS records that
they were receiving, but the impacts are there. It might be difficult
to make happen, but it sure would be neat!
.. It would be great if our
chief computer architect
could come and explain transitioning
from initial shock to acceptance, then expecting to get SDS
records, and later insisting on getting more. Another good
candidate is one of our customer reps.
Nancy is a Lt
Col, and has a Ph.D. in something like computer science or
management, not sure which, but she is very sharp and seemed to
catch on quickly that SDS packs a bigger wallop than getting
traditional meeting minutes. I showed her SDS briefly, and she
was impressed but dismissed the possibility of getting anyone
in the Army to use such a tool (or any new
tool, was her implication).
Additionally, if he could be persuaded,
my boss' boss,
Bruce, who hired me, would be effective to present the
impact on corporate culture, when Communication Metrics is
introduced. Bruce gave a talk last August that
essentially cried out for SDS support to manage
I don't know if any of this can be made to happen, but these people
are excellent, and it makes sense
for understanding the "story" of SDS on the project.
Rod mentioned there are a lot of
who might be considered to speak on SDS, if I am not available, or to
complement my perspective on the User side, with input from
consumers of, what Rod calls, "intelligence" on the job (not sure
I'm comfortable with that phrase, but I know what he means, and
there is no doubt that a dramatic change of some kind - mostly
positive, but some negative in the beginning - occurs in people
from routinely getting SDS records).
Anyway, Rod mentioned a number of people, including your name as
someone who could give a good account of SDS, including ideas for
improvements. Pat Lincoln is another name, along with Morris Jones,
who has worked with Rod for 20 years. I have talked to Morris once or
twice and done some email, and also talked to Pat and they both seem
like good choices to give a presentation on SDS from a consumer side.
Garold L. Johnson
Modeling and Simulation
.. Post Script
I am happy to hear that you are working on an add-on to Outlook,
because it needs all the help it can get! Trying to produce a reasonable
facsimile of an SDS work product using Microsoft Word and Outlook is
slooow, and no fun at all!
.. Copy to: