On my previous post about Veterans, Warfighter Made and Atlassian, I wrote about the importance of collaboration to overcome sadness. On this second part I would like to discuss what is needed in order to be successful unleashing the power of collaboration.
Warfighter Made (where all members are unpaid volunteers) has a main objective with three main drivers:
Assist ill, injured, and combat wounded service members and veterans, especially those that are catastrophically, injured by
- Adapting and customizing their vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles and off road vehicles).
- Providing recreational therapy trips (a lot of adrenaline there)
- Facilitate Shop Therapy (veterans helping veterans at the shop)
Based on those drivers, I discussed with Robert Blanton (Warfighter Made CEO) the idea and decided that having a solid Help Center (Jira Service Desk), a project tracking tool (Jira) and a collaboration platform (Confluence) could help the organization achieving their goals more effectively. Specifically, these tools could help them with the optimization on the use of their resources, by properly recognizing participants, tracking projects and improving the experience for veterans looking for assistance.
Well, it was just an idea from an AUG dinner at the Atlassian Summit, and then I needed to engage other team members to unleash the power of collaboration. I started asking for help to generate awareness.
The first one on board was Mark Livingstone, (AUG San Diego Leader) and we both agreed on doing a 2016 end of the year event and project kick off at the Warfighter Made shop inviting both User Groups: Temecula Valley and San Diego. The plan was to have a good time with the veterans and have AUG members coming from San Diego to the shop and after ride a Limo Bus to a Temecula winery for a wine tasting event. It was a great success!
The next step was to apply for the Atlassian Community License and to find a hosting service. I am glad that I shared this idea with Thad West from Isos Technology. With just few words, he was able to envision the project and decide to be part of it as well as engaging his team members. DSS, Inc. also decided to support the effort by providing a location for our AUG meetings and workshop in Florida and much more. As you can see, Atlassian, Isos technology and DSS, Inc. are the foundation of this collaboration platform that help Warfighter Made and hundreds of veterans looking for assistance. Thanks, and kudos to these companies for seeing what I saw during that night at the AUG dinner and for their unconditional support. Other companies who decided to be part of the kick off event and became sponsor include Praecipio, e-Core, Go2Group and Adaptavist.
ter having a successful kick off with San Diego and Temecula AUG, I thought it could be agood idea to bring other players and to extend our effort to the Palm Beach, FL AUG. Carl Allen, my co-leader of the AUG, was the first one to see a new opportunity for service, as well as other DSS employees and members of the Palm Beach, FL Atlassian User Group. Carl and I did another kick off and started the process to build the platform. We designed and presented a series of workshops where volunteers joined us to learn about Atlassian (Confluence, Jira and Jira Service Desk) as we develop the collaboration environment. The unstoppable journey had begun…
As time went on we identified the need for addons from the Atlassian Marketplace so we installed them and updated the training so they can be included as part of the workshop. Our goal was to follow the idea of Concept to Launch, so we started with Gliffy and Balsamiq and later added Refined Wiki, Bob Swift add-ons and more. For each one of them, I will share a blogpost explaining how we use it and what was the real benefit and outcome.
The Isos Technology and the Refined Wiki teams assisted us with the final details so we can be ready for the pre-release during the Open House that took place on December 2nd. During the Event Warfighter Made revealed a new adapted Polaris General to a triple amputee veteran and we presented (pre release) the new collaboration environment to veterans, families and friends.
We also added a professional photographer taking amazing pictures of veterans and their families so we can publish them in the new site. At the same time, we were able to recruit 25+ volunteers to attend to the first training workshop that will take place in December 14th.
We distributed more than 150 Atlassian User Group Team Up t-shirt.
This special AUG meeting, that was part of the Open House, was sponsored by Atlassian, DSS, Inc., Isos Technology, Balsamiq, RefinedWiki, Blended Perspective, Contegix and Praecipio.
As families and friends signed up as volunteers our dream of having a team on boarded was becoming a reality. What was just an idea, it has now a group of individuals ready to Team Up for our veterans and ready to learn new skills and assist Warfighter Made.
The pre release was satisfactory and enabled us to show the potential of team work and the posibility of adding a new type of therapy for those that are not able to directly help or participate on regular Warfighter Made activities. It also open the doors for family, friends and other veterans as well.
The goal is to share on this series of blog-posts how we are building the new collaboration platform for Warfighter Made. See below the list of completed and planned blog posts.
Fabian A. Lopez -ACL -Mentor-Community Leader
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