Knowledge, Information, and Data Architecture Implementations

As part of a Transportation Resource Board (TRB) annual meeting, Xentity Architect Jim Barrett presented one of Xentity’s key concepts concerning the shift in the investment for knowledge, information and data solutions. The session was titled “Knowledge, Information, and Data (KID) Architecture Implementations.” It began with the Concept Presentation explaining the KID concept. Then it detailed how the KID concept can be applied to a specific segment, transportation planning such as the Department of Transportation (DOT).  

In the case of land resource management, many of our clients, such as the US Geological Survey (USGS), US Forest Service (USFS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), are stewards of our vast public lands and their bountiful resources. They deal with vast quantities of data related to land and mineral rights, property rights, land ownership. This example of how the KID model is being applied in a different segment helped to demonstrate the re-usable patterns and recommended shifts in investment for the transportation sector. It also explored the benefits for planning and policy, risk management and resiliency planning, and development of complex, adaptive information systems.

The presentation was part of a challenge-exercise session which had multiple presenters attacking the topic “Resilience Tabletop Simulation: What You Need to Know Before and After Disaster Strikesfrom various angles. Below are detailed the workshop exercise overview, objectives, and outcomes.

Overview

The American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) Disaster Simulation uses virtual and live action role playing to simulate post-disaster supply chains for key commodities. Attendees use smartphones or tablets to play the role of a business, government, or non-profit organization working in a crisis scenario. Each role has a different objective, requiring players to coordinate and collaborate with their sector, demographic, and geographic partners to fill gaps and reduce overlap to keep supply lines open. Players begin with resources they can sell or donate, and money they can donate or spend to acquire additional resources to help reach individual and team goals. A three day horizon mimics the critical 72 hour window faced during real-life relief efforts. The session includes visual performance metrics to allow players to review the system-wide impacts of their actions. Also, a hot-wash style discussion that follows, reveals strategies for addressing the real world gaps reflected in game-play.

Learning Objectives

The exercise illustrates how differing objectives and perceptions often inhibit effective response, and highlights the need to coordinate across sectors (See Figure 1). The debrief can be customized to include additional discussions of topics such as:

  • Planning vs. execution
  • Breaking down silos between and within sectors and jurisdictions
  • Leveraging public and private resources to meet community and survivor needs
  • Coordination without unity of command
  • Synchronization and optimization of disaster relief supply chains
  • Effective communications / information sharing
  • Cross-sector partnerships
  • Team building
  • Trust & reputation
  • Communication, Cooperation, Collaboration, Coordination, & Competition
  • Complexity & adaptation in supply networks

Figure 1 – Resiliency Planning & Multi-organizational Involvement

Anticipated Outcomes

Feedback from this simulation indicates that this format of learning is extremely effective at breaking down silos and quickly building camaraderie among teammates. The simulation rewards not just those who are individually effective, but requires all attendees to work together towards a common goal of serving the shelter populations. This experience plants the seeds of trusted relationships critical to effective collaboration during a real emergency event. It is also our personal hope that both Xentity and other participating companies take the lessons learned from this simulation, and use it to better themselves as businesses and individuals to better serve clients and the public, regardless of the situation.