The United States Air Force is moving to shore up its end-user technology support functions following emergence of a “fix our computers” campaign that went viral earlier this year on Twitter and asserted that the Defense Department (DoD) was losing hundreds of thousands of employee hours annually due to computers that don’t work right.

Since then, the Air Force has focused on improvements to the end-user technology experience, said Colt Whittall, the Air Force’s chief experience officer,  at an Oct. 25 event organized by AFCEA.

“The reality is that it’s a serious issue, and it is a mission affecting issue,” Whittall said. “It is also, one could argue, that it could eventually become a recruiting or even a readiness issue or a retention issue.”

During his discussion, Whittall showcased a circular diagram known as the UX/Performance OODA Loop, which indicates how the Air Force has been working to improve the user experience for airmen. The diagram features steps including:

  1. Observe: monitor UX and performance service levels;
  2. Orient: Identify issues and actionable opportunities to improve performance at scale and mange backlog;
  3. Decide: deploy solution or test and gather data;
  4. Act: deploy, prototype, test, typically in production.

The goal of the effort, Whittall said, is to “treat our airmen like customers, measure service from their perspective, improve iteratively and continuously, [and] manage service levels.”

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.