COMMITTEE ON AVIATION ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION SIXTH MEETING Montreal, 2 to 12 February 2004
Agenda Item 4:
OVERVIEW OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION KNOWLEDGE SERVICES NETWORK
(Presented by the CAEP member from the United States)
SUMMARY This paper provides an overview of the current use of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Knowledge Services Network (KSN) and how it has facilitated a more efficient way to distribute and access information/knowledge through centralized, internet-based system. The United States (US) offers this capability for consideration by CAEP as an appropriate platform for information sharing and interactions within the future CAEP working groups. Access to this capability does not require any funding from ICAO since the KSN is fully funded by the various FAA subscribers.
1.1 The Knowledge Services Network (KSN) is an integrated collaborative secure system, accessible via the Internet, which enables groups to use knowledge management concepts, principles, and technology to improve the way that goals and objectives are achieved. Most users are in the FAA – spanning all three major lines of business, but users also include people from the other federal agencies, the aviation industry, aviation unions, and the FAA contractor community. KSN is a combination of a technical platform — based primarily on Microsoft SharePoint Technology — and a supporting methodology, which helps people work more efficiently with information. KSN is designed to facilitate teamwork and allow closer communication, which in turn will lead to improved productivity. A list of FAA and industry users is available on the Internet via the following link: http://ksn-team.faa.gov/.
(6 pages) CAEP.6.IP.023.4.en.wpd
2.1 The technology supporting the KSN uses a centralized, Internet-based, information system for building collaborative solutions. The hardware platform is a grouping of servers operating Microsoft SharePoint Team Server and Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server software integrated with numerous other Microsoft software products. This technology provides multiple ways for users to collaborate and coordinate via email, group calendars, contact lists, shared applications and desktops, instant messaging, and real-time conferencing. Briefly these resources include: a) document storage and management; b) virtual conferences and meetings; c) group calendaring and scheduling; d) full-text searching of documents, group calendars, and contact lists; e) automatic email notifications threaded discussions; and f) task management. Via KSN, globally dispersed users can participate in project discussions, collaborate on documents, find a phone number they may have left behind, check on the group’s schedule and progress, or take part in online meetings.
KSN integrates technology, people, process and learning — providing a program that is user3.1 friendly. A typical KSN “Node” can be up and running within a day — and can be quickly modified to fit the needs of the FAA office using it. KSN Nodes must have a Government Responsible Individual (GRI), but may have a non-government Node administrator acting with the approval of the GRI. 3.2 The benefits of KSN are as follows: a) KSN facilitates the ability of team members to review and update documents in real time with remote team members. As a result, it saves time and money that would normally be spent on travel, faxes, e-mail documents, or response time; b) KSN reduces the need for numerous data collection team meetings. Because data is immediately available on the web site throughout the effort, team members can access and share information; c) active users experience the following benefits of KSN: 1) easy to use and access is immediately available from anywhere.
2) allows for the latest documents (i.e., meeting announcements, agendas, and meeting minutes) to be posted on the site. This eliminates the confusion and mistakes that are experienced when attempting to access the latest version of a document from e-mail messages; 3) provides the ability to isolate tem (working group) only information from public information (Figure 1);
Figure 1. KSN Secure Logon d) becomes an invaluable tool when away from the office or when e-mail access is too slow or not available; e) frees up space in office e-mail inboxes or archives; f) allows access to files that are too large for the e-mail transmission; g) keeps team members current on the latest information when away from the office for extended periods of time; h) facilitates document control and management; i) improves productivity hours. Team members do not have to wait for an attachment that may be too large to transmit through the email system; saves each person from the need to create and manage their own filing system for their projects;
k) saves time from searching and confirming the latest version of a document; l) facilitates organized discussions via discussion threads;
-4m) transforms old teleconferences to interactive, net-based meetings with common view of graphical and video information; and n) in sum, KSN is positioned to have broader cultural implications such as accelerating completion of projects, resolution of potential issues and decision-making.
KSN is intuitive and easy to use. It provides a more efficient way to distribute and access 3.3 background information for new efforts, instantly, from any location. KSN also allows team members who are geographically separated to collaborate on a team site versus using e-mail. As mentioned earlier, when establishing a team via the “old way,” the Lead would have to make copies or send large files through the email system in order to share information with new team members. Alternatively, KSN allows team members to collaborate more effectively during the creation, updating, and dissemination of required documentation to team members and other stakeholders. 3.4 Examples of FAA KSN websites are shown below (Figures 2 and 3).
Figure 2. FAA KSN Transportation Research Board website
Figure 3. FAA KSN Center for Excellence/Partnership for AiR Transportation Noise and Emissions Reduction website
4.1 Table 1 describes how the CAEP working groups could use the various components available through KSN. Table 1 KSN Component Announcements CAEP WG Application Enables quick release of any breaking news. The rapporteur, task focal points, and any member can place items or news of interest that is then automatically disseminated by email to all subscribers to the site. Offers an effective way to schedule meetings. The rapporteur can post alternative dates for future meetings. The members use the same calendar to indicate any scheduling conflicts. Maintains the working and task groups’ documentation history in a common location. The rapporteur and members post papers or other files to be presented at upcoming
Power Document Library
CAEP/6-IP/23 KSN Component
-6CAEP WG Application working or task group meetings. Rapporteur can also post group reports, such as reports to upcoming Steering Group meeting, in Microsoft Word format to enable community editing of the document. The rapporteur maintains the membership list with all contact information that is then available to all members. Provides a way to create and link separate web pages for each of the task groups. The rapporteur and task group focal points would also be able to create separate web pages for each group meeting and establish a hierarchy to link task and meeting pages to the main group page. Offers the means to achieve consensus on issues when a face-to-face meeting is not possible. For example, WG1 could have used this capability to review and discuss a request received from the CAEP Secretariat a few weeks before CAEP6. The Secretary asked WG1 to concur on a proposed amendment to Annex 6 that has been drafted by the ICAO Helicopter and Tiltrotor Study Group. WG1 members could have reviewed the proposed text on helicopter noise certification documentation through the website and post comments for all to see.
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5.1 The Knowledge Services Network is an easy-to-use information sharing system that could substantially facilitate interactions within and among CAEP working Groups. The United States is ready to assist CAEP and the Secretariat in exploring its possible application for this body. There is no cost to ICAO.