JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --
Last year saw the launch of the LION Pride program, a wing-wide innovation program reaching beyond tech solutions to solicit suggestions and ideas that could rapidly increase mission capabilities, streamline processes, improve quality of life, and drive positive change.
“In 2023, we want to capitalize on last year’s successes and increase awareness of the program,” said Scott Frazier, 363d ISR Wing LION Pride Lead Facilitator. “[We want to] Really bring the LION Pride to the desk-level members that are doing the mission. They need to know we are here to help foster their ideas to improve mission capabilities, changes processes, and increase their quality of life.”
Frazier added that units can expect to see more messaging/campaigning in their spaces this year.
One of the challenges for the LION Pride last year was working through the growing pains associated with a new program.
“The wide variety of submissions required tailoring of processes to meet the rapid action of the LION Pride,” said Frazier.
Each submission received last year was different enough that the LION Pride Process Flow had to be adapted on the fly.
“For mission capability submissions, turnover to completion was between three weeks to two months,” said Frazier. “None of the submissions were mission or time critical, so we worked at a responsible rate to ensure due diligence. Other goal areas were much slower due to the nature of the request and research needed."
He added, that the variety and experiences they have had helped established a solid baseline that will greatly streamline the LION Pride process flow. That means getting those ideas to reality faster without compromising quality.
From a technology standpoint, utilizing Enterprise Process Management System (EPMS) suite of software (Confluence and Jira) proved to be successful.
“As the Wing normalizes the use of the EPMS group of programs, access to the LION Pride has become a seamless effort,” Frazier said.
An area to improve this year includes getting servicing Communications Squadrons at Geographically Separated Units to load LION Pride desktop shortcuts and to partner with Wing A6 for regular accessibility checks. For the Langley Campus, members should notice The LION Pride desktop shortcut added on their NIPR stations, which took effect in mid-2022.
One of its biggest wins last year was the DEEP Blue II submission – a mission capability multiplier.
“The LION Pride was provided more than $140K in funds to increase mission capabilities for 361st ISR Group Airmen,” Frazier said. “The LION Pride proved to be the perfect vehicle to get this important capability funded. This submission was quickly processed and presented to Col Mack for decision, ultimately approving a capability that could have been mired in other funding avenues."
Since its activation in February 2021, the LION Pride has fielded eight submissions. The LION Pride is funded via a combination of Squadron Innovation Funds and the Wing Commander’s Operations & Maintenance (O&M) program budget. In 2022, the LION Pride received approximately $200K with the assurance that any overages would be covered by the Wing at the Commander’s discretion.
“The LION Pride is the fastest way to create change,” said Frazier. “There are no data calls or ‘open seasons’. The door is always open and we are there to welcome submissions as they arrive—this method is head-and-shoulder above other innovation programs.”
This open architecture decouples innovation from the standard submission deadlines and allows creativity to flow freely as concepts develop.
“The last year has proven that the LION Pride works,” Frazier said. “We have met every one of the submissions with the proper amount of speed and rigor, and have helped Airmen reach solutions for their ideas. The only limit now is your imagination!”
For more information or to submit an idea, visit https://confluence.epms.af.mil/display/LD/LION+PRIDE+Home/ or click on “The LION Pride” icon on your desktop.