Our Project and Program Management (PPM) and Business Operations (BusOps) teams recently met in person for a team-focused offsite in Haymarket, VA. We focused on information sharing and collaboration, leading to a greater understanding of our teams and their particular talents and challenges. On the first evening, our BusOps team met at a fantastic outdoor brewery for a thought-provoking discussion about their DiSC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness) Assessment profiles - a pro tool that CANA uses to dig into personal work styles and effective relationship building. This has been particularly important given our remote and virtual operating model.
During our Day One Collaboratory, both teams spent the morning breaking the ice and using a campfire approach to get to know each other. After that, Senior Project Manager Hannah Wallace, Principal Program Manager Will Berry, and Principal AI Analyst Chris Cichy tag-teamed for an exciting deep dive into NextStrategy, our ongoing project in support of the Miramar, California - based NavalX SoCal Tech Bridge. We’re particularly excited for this upcoming year as we work with the Tech Bridge to bring innovative 5G services, autonomous and electric vehicles, and AI capabilities to the modern warfighter.
We are seeking to continually improve our CANA business development and proposal process, so Senior Operations Manager Kenny McRostie next provided a refresher on the opportunity development process and management of the CANA tracking system. Hannah Wallace explained the work and effort a project lead must put into planning a project and understanding it from the top-down and bottom-up - it’s no easy task, but always easier when we share best practices. Our Digital Media Coordinator, Kassie McRostie, followed with a presentation on the CANA Foundation, its history, and a summary of the impact this give-back arm of CANA has had in the past five years. When Chris Cichy took the podium, he shared his CANA independent research and development project (IRAD) to use virtual gaming as a tool for product research, development, and marketing. It generated excellent questions and excitement (some of us need to invest in virtual real estate…now). Lead Graphic Artist Koa Beam then demonstrated the capabilities of our new Social Media hardware kit - a full complement of digital audiovisual equipment - that we anticipate will travel as widely as our CANA team!
Day Two, we jumped into the CANA Deliverable Tracking System collaboration session, led by Senior Project Manager, Stephanie Allison. This was so timely - getting both teams' input, understanding, and buy-in to drive better solutions. With upcoming proposal efforts, we used our last hours to get the proposal team together for some outstanding, face-to-face, cowork. It was a great time collaborating and sharing. While the BusOps team had to say goodbye, the PPM team gathered for a little friendly competition and battled it out through ax-throwing and go-carts (but not at the same time!) before saying goodbye. Can’t wait for the next offsite!
Connie McKissack is the Director of Programs & Project Management at CANA LLC. To reach out to her or for more information on CANA email her at email@example.com