Innovation Governance

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Innovation Governance Team 

Civil Air Patrol has established a volunteer leadership team charged with developing and executing innovation policies.  The Innovation Leadership Team is focused on fostering innovative thinking, sharing ideas across the CAP community as well as guiding high value prototypes to national scale when appropriate.  The team is responsible for defining all the components of the innovation program that are described in this document. The initial governance team is comprised of: 

  • Colonel Arlinda Bailey, National Executive Officer 
  • Chief Master Sergeant Robert Dandridge, Command Chief 
  • LtCol David Dlugiewicz, National Information Technology Manager  
  • Kathy Conyers, Chief Information Officer (Advisory) 
  • Joe Hall, Deputy Chief Information Officer (Advisory) 

Program Design 

Guiding Principles 

Guiding principles help potential contributors understand the innovation outcomes that CAP desires to achieve.  This allows members to clearly understand the scope of innovation that CAP will find valuable and focuses their efforts on achieving CAP’s mission goals.    CAP’s innovation principles are defined as:  Unearthing existing innovations that increase efficiency/effectiveness of operations; easing the burden on CAP members. We will especially value innovations that foster diversity, make it easier for Commanders to accomplish their work, and support innovative learning and growth opportunities.   Proactively seeking new and relevant programs that support our customer needs now and, in the future. 

Goals and Objectives 

Civil Air Patrol will employ a two-pronged innovation approach focused on both Enterprise and Entrepreneurial driven innovation opportunities.   The enterprise level innovation opportunities will be largely leadership driven, based on market and mission opportunities.  These opportunities may be identified as part of the strategic planning process, through National Commander challenges or other working groups charged with innovating on the enterprise level.  They are expected to be revised, at least annually. 

Enterprise Goals (Leadership driven examples for 2020) 

  • Move the Cyber Mission program through the strategic innovation process as defined in the CAP 2020 Strategy document. 
  • Move the Volunteer University Goal through the strategic innovation process to launch IT system changes related to Professional Development Levels – targeted delivery date August 2020 
  • Move the Diversity initiative through the strategic innovation process as defined in the CAP 2020 Strategy document. 

The Entrepreneurial innovation goals are relating to capturing, scaling and celebrating the large inventory of grassroots innovation ideas and prototypes within the volunteer community.  Members will also have the opportunity to submit best practices proposals that may not meet the threshold for the innovation.  Additionally, an online networking mechanism will be provided to assist members in their search for members partnerships when technical or functional expertise is needed to bring an idea to prototype.   

Entrepreneurial Goals (Member Driven examples for 2020) 

  • Develop a robust pipeline of grassroots solutions that improve operational processes/tools 
  • Provide an opportunity for grassroots solutions to “fail forward”, learn from setbacks and improve solutions without fear of managerial pressure to abandon their pursuits. 

Innovation Submission Process Description 

The CAP Innovation Program defines two entry paths for innovation proposals, enterprise and entrepreneurial.  As a result, two separate processes will be required to identify, track and evaluate innovation for possible national scale or implementation.       Enterprise level innovation projects will be identified and sponsored by members of the Command Team.  The Command Team will utilize a multitude of approaches to source innovation ideas including strategic planning, National Commander challenges designed to address current mission or cultural roadblocks to identify new capabilities, and evaluation of market trends.    The Innovation Governance Team is responsible for creating a standardized evaluation process for approving exploration or prototyping beyond the idea creation stage that accomplishes the following goals: 

  • Minimizes bureaucracy; allows for rapid decision making 
  • Ensures adherence to the Innovation Program’s guiding principles  
  • Establishes criteria for value calculations (may be financial or non-financial value benefit statement) 
  • Establishes criteria for cost reasonableness when financial investment is anticipated 

Project tracking processes will be determined by the Command Team and, when appropriate, projects will be identified for national implementation. National implementation decisions can be made during the annual innovation celebration event or at any other time the Command Team determines national scaling is warranted.   All Entrepreneurial innovation proposals will enter the pipeline via a submission to HUBCAP, CAP’s innovation marketplace.  Each submission will be reviewed by a cross-functional member-only team, referred to as the Innovation Pit Crew. The Pit Crew, led by the Crew Chief, is responsible for creating standardized processes, that accomplish the following goals: 

  • All submissions are considered 
  • Ideas and artifacts are triaged and directed to the most appropriate innovation review path 
  • Submissions are reviewed to ensure regulatory and legal compliance 
  • Submissions are adjudicated (activated or denied) quickly 
  • Submitter is notified when decisions are made on their submission 

Once a submission is activated in the system, the application code or related artifact will be made available for member customization and/or reuse.   Additionally, members are encouraged to use the rating system within HUBCAP to provide their evaluation of the submission. This crowdsourcing method is intended to determine the best ideas quickly and with little oversight.    The process will also support a marketplace for sharing best practices not meeting the innovation threshold, as defined by the Pit Crew. Lastly, members will be able to solicit support to transform their innovation ideas into prototypes, where desired.   

Innovation Process