NASA Academy of Program/Project and Engineering Leadership (APPEL) Support
Valador’s recent support of the Office of the Chief Engineer includes integral support of the NASA Academy of Program/Project & Engineering Leadership (APPEL) and the NASA Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) websites.
Valador designed and implemented the APPEL Catalog, which was the Academy’s first completely online, highly interactive course catalog. The catalogue was designed and developed using responsive design best practices to ensure seamless accessibility from any device. This one-stop resource provides information on courses, curriculum, career resources, supplemental training materials, registration, and more. Each course has its own web page, which includes video testimonial, past participant feedback, a “What Will I Learn?” section detailing course objectives, and instructor information. This effort significantly streamlined the course selection and registration process for NASA’s technical workforce. To help NASA’s workforce navigate the vast selection of content available, Valador designed and developed the first interactive online Project Management & Systems Engineering (PM&SE) representation of the APPEL Competency Model. This interactive representation of the APPEL Competency Model outlines distinct competency areas for project managers and systems engineers, as well as shared competencies that encompass both disciplines. The PM&SE Career Development Framework supports practitioners by helping determine which courses and activities will enhance competencies in their current positions and support future development aspirations. The Development Framework complements the APPEL Catalog and PM&SE Competency Model by helping create a clear path forward for professional development. It delivers a greater level of engagement to help practitioners identify the competencies required for success in their roles at NASA and details the associated training opportunities that are available to help them enhance their proficiency with those competency areas. In addition, Valador developed a proprietary NASA Enterprise search functionality for both the APPEL and CKO websites that provides customized, expanded options for search results. APPEL can now release this functionality to other government agencies for their use.
In addition Valador has been responsible for documenting, prioritizing, and publishing new content and modifications to the website through the existing APPEL Content Management Process, which was managed by Valador. As part of this, Valador provides metrics on a monthly basis to show the level of interest in APPEL topics, with the ability to drill down to the number of visits to any page or specific case study, course, forum, etc. Valador also developed the APPEL News Digest, a monthly digital publication that engages the APPEL audience—which includes internal NASA stakeholders as well as the greater project management and systems engineering communities and the general public—by spotlighting recent APPEL news, articles, videos, and social media interactions. Within its first year, the APPEL News Digest gained roughly 80,000 subscribers.
In addition to the work mentioned above, Valador tracked and monitored trends and metrics across the various digital (e.g., Google Analytics) and social media (e.g., Crowdbooster (Twitter/Facebook), YouTube Analytics, iTunes Manager, Flickr Analytics) platforms to identify successful interactions and how they inform the evolving digital media strategy. Comprehensive metrics were collected regularly and distributed as summaries provided (PDF or video), and presentations were made to APPEL and CKO leadership to share the status of the organization’s interaction and engagement in the digital world. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were also recorded and displayed in interactive dashboards, which the Valador team developed.
Valador has also been integrally involved in developing and expanding the APPEL and CKO social media presence, which has grown significantly. In addition to establishing APPEL’s social media platforms and maintaining ongoing relationships with the APPEL social media audience, the Valador team provided live, in-person coverage of key NASA events for APPEL, such as the recent launch of Orion and the Virtual Project Management Challenge (VPMC). This multi-day social media blitz enhanced APPEL’s digital presence. The Valador team also developed a training presentation for the CKO team to help them understand the value of using social media to support the CKO efforts and how to do so effectively.
Headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, Valador, Inc. is a Verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business that delivers powerful solutions for collecting, maintaining, visualizing, and protecting its clients’ information. The company focuses on four key business areas — Modeling and Simulation, Information Assurance, Management Consulting, and Software Engineering. It employs innovative solutions such and the use of 3D immersive visualization to address its clients’ complex challenges, such as decision support, strategic planning, risk management, safety and reliability, assessment of alternatives, and information security.
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