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Acquisition Tools & Resources Program

Table of Contents

Definition

DAU Job Support Tools (JSTs) are workflow learning assets designed to assist workforce members with completing a specific task while on the job. These tools are intended to bridge the gap between classroom learning and on the job performance. JSTs can range from quick reference cards to more sophisticated analysis tools with advanced capabilities. Web enabled guidebooks, document templates, and checklists are other examples of JSTs.   

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Job Support Tools program is to provide a platform where acquisition professionals can develop and share innovative learning assets which facilitate performance on the job.  

Tool Development

DAU Approved vs Workforce Submitted Tools

DAU JSTs fit into two broad categories, DAU Approved tools and Workforce tools. DAU Approved tools are developed by DAU faculty/staff, whereas Workforce tools are contributed directly by members of the acquisition workforce. The table below summarizes the differences between the two.

  DAU Approved Workforce Submitted
Submitted through DAU.mil's Acquisition Tools & Resources page


Assigned a tool landing page

Visible to unauthenticated users


 
Subject to internal DAU review process during development

 
Assigned a learning asset manager


 
Subject to annual review for currency, quality, effectiveness, and relevance

 
​Indexed by public search engines

DAU Approved Tool Development  

Tool Development Process.png

Idea
Ideas for new tools created by faculty/staff should be fielded through the internal Ideation site to increase awareness. Before submitting a new idea, check the Ideation site to ensure development for a similar tool isn't underway. Also, check the tools database to see if an existing tool is already out there. If not, post your idea.

Socialize
Socialize your idea it with colleagues, workflow learning regional representatives, and any other relevant parties early in the process to validate it before further time is invested. Once approved for development, mark it as "In Action" on the ideation site.

Create
Develop your tool. Conduct multiple design reviews with subject matter experts and workflow learning regional representatives from your topic area. You should also include the content approvers from your topic area so they can provide input.

Submit
Submit your completed tool for approval using the Submit a New DAU Tool form on the Acquisition Tools & Resources page. This creates the tool's description page and sends a notice to the tool approver for the topic area to review the submission.

Posted
If the submission is approved, the tool will then appear in the tools and resources database.

Workforce Submitted Tool Development

Workforce submitted tools are not subject to the same review process as DAU-approved tools and carry with them a disclaimer that they are not DAU-approved. Workforce members may submit tools using the Submit a New Workforce Tool form under the Acquisition Tools & Resources page.  

If a workforce submitted tool becomes integral to the learning efforts of DAU, it is recommended that DAU faculty/staff adopt ownership of the tool for future use. DAU faculty and staff should not submit tools as workforce submitted as a way of circumventing the approval process. There may be special circumstances where submitting tools as workforce may be appropriate. However, WLD should be consulted first before doing so.

Have an idea for a new tool? Complete DAU’s New Tool Request Form to submit a suggestion.

Style Guide

The following section provides guidance to tool developers with best practices for overall style. This is intended to encourage a level of consistency across tools which will facilitate usability and discoverability. Each section corresponds to the fields on the tool submittal form. 

Types of Tools

The following list of tool categories will give you some examples and attributes of common tools if you are thinking of creating your own. JSTs are assigned tool type categories so workforce members can easily identify the purpose of the tool prior to opening. If more than one category applies to a tool, the developer should choose the best option to facilitate discoverability.

Analysis Tools

​Analysis tools are spreadsheets, calculators, and other tools used to process information. Their typical function is to turn a set of inputs into useful outputs such as calculations and ratings.

These tools are often associated with contracting and business cost estimating but can also be applied in other areas. 

Sample Tool:

 

AnalysisTools.png



Checklists

Checklists are a list of tasks required to successfully complete a process. Checklist tools have commonly been used to review contracting plans and other documents.  

Document Templates

Document templates are style sheets and examples used to for guidance during creation of standardized documents. These are typically Microsoft Word files with heading titles and example guidance for each section.

Quick References

​Quick references are job aids used to quickly present information on a specific topic in an easily digestible form. They are often only one or two pages in length. Examples include reference cards about a particular subject, such as earned value management, or a consolidation of information such as a comparison of contract types.  

Exemplary reference cards include relevant visuals, common formulas, definitions, acronyms and policy requirements.  These can be especially effective references both in the classroom and on the job.

​Sample Quick Reference 

GoldCard.png

Guidebooks

Guidebooks are extensive reference documents covering a topic or program. These documents are often 100 pages or longer, with the most popular offerings converted into web-enabled versions for ease of use. 

Databases

Database tools are links to outside searchable databases of industry or technical information.

Software Systems

Software systems are industry-specific computer programs and suites, such as statistical analysis applications, used for the execution of business operations.

Links to Websites

Websites are pages for agencies and programs which offer resources or services to the acquisition workforce.   

Name

Give your tool a polished final name which accurately describes the tool and makes it easily identifiable to workforce members. Use plain language if possible and spell out acronyms when used.
Good Example: Cause and Effect Diagram for Risk Analysis
Bad Example: CEDRA

Topic Area

Tag your tool with the topic areas that best describe its subject matter using the options available on the submittal form. Be judicious with your selections, over-tagging is counterproductive and reduces discoverability.  

Related Courses

Tag your tool with any related courses using the options available on the submittal form so users can easily find it for use in the classroom. 

Tool Description

The description should concisely and accurately summarize the purpose of the tool. Try to keep the description short so the user can quickly understand the purpose of the tool.
Good Example: This checklist, developed by DAU faculty, helps guide an employee through the different stages of the acquisition process.  

How-to Videos

Tools which require some training to use can benefit from having a brief how-to video inserted into the description on the landing page. These videos should quickly explain what the tool does and how to navigate its main functions.

Other Considerations

Section 508 Compliance

JSTs submitted should be in compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d), as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220), August 7, 1998. Refer to the Section 508 Compliance section of the training site for additional resources. 

Sensitive Information

JSTs submitted should only contain information that is suitable for public release. Refer to the Public Release section of the training site for detailed information and guidelines.

Review Process

Learning Asset Manager Responsibilities

All DAU Approved tools must be reviewed by their assigned Learning Asset Manager (LAM) at least once per year. During the review cycle, LAMs should evaluate the tool for currency, quality, effectiveness, relevance, and Section 508 compliance. If a tool does not meet reasonable standards for these areas it should be modified or removed from the repository. Below are some questions to consider during review.

CurrencyIs the basis for the tool still generally accepted in the industry?
QualityIs the tool of high standards expected by the acquisition workforce?
Is it of high visual and functional grade? 
EffectivenessDoes the tool assist the workforce member with accomplishing the intended result?
RelevanceDoes the tool still have currency with its intended subject matter? Is it still in use by the workforce or should it be modified/retired?


User Feedback

DAU faculty/staff and workforce members are encouraged to provide feedback on tools which should be taken into consideration during the review process. The landing pages have star ratings as well as a comment section to provide feedback. 

How To Upload to the Acquisition Tools and Resources Database

The following process applies to both DAU Sponsored and Workforce Contributed tools. Note that DAU Sponsored tools will go through an additional layer of approval before they will appear on the site. 

Uploading a tool

  1. Log in to DAU.mil
  2. Go to the DAU Acquisition Tools & Resources main page.

  3. Scroll to the bottom and click the Submit New Tool button corresponding to the type of tool you would like to upload. Your access permissions will determine which types of tools you are authorized to upload.

  4. The new tool entry form will load. This form is used to create the tool landing page which provides information about the tool to the user. Mandatory fields are noted with an asterisk and are addressed below. Optional fields are recommended as they provide the user and system with additional information about your tool.

  5. Enter a title for you tool in the Title field. Do not use special characters as they will create errors in the URL for the tool.

    Title.jpg
    Once you finish editing your title and click outside the field, the FriendlyUrl field will populate as well. This is the address for the tool. It can be modified as well to shorten the link to the tool.
    friendly.jpg
  6. Enter a Description for your tool.

    Description.jpg

    Tip! The description field is dynamic and accepts a wide variety of content and formatting options available in the ribbon at the top. Advanced users can also directly edit the HTML code to further enhance the capabilities of the description field.

    ribbon.png
  7. If you're planning on uploading your own file directly to the database, skip to step 8. Enter the address where you tool is located in the ToolUrl section. This controls the target of the Launch Tool button on the tool's landing page. For example, if you put http://www.dau.mil in the ToolUrl field, the Launch Tool button will redirect you to the DAU.mil website.

    url.png


  8. To upload your own tool click the Attach File button in the ribbon at the top and upload your file then click OK. If you are uploading an Excel document with special features such as password protection and locked cells, wrap the file first in a zip folder, then upload to the database.      

    attach.png

    Your tool will then appear as an attachment at the bottom of the page.

  9. Select the DAUColor and DAUIcon from the dropdown list. This controls the color and icon which will appear on the tool's landing page.
     
    color.jpg
  10. Enter your first initial in the Learning Asset Manager field. This will populate the field with your DAU Username.

  11. Enter the date the asset was last updated in the Last Updated field.

  12. Select the type of tool from the dropdown in the Tool Type field.

  13. Enter the Topic Area in the TopicArea field. You may only enter from a pre-selected list of tags. To see all tags, click the tags icon on the right.

    topic.jpg

  14. Once all mandatory fields have been filled in, click Save. This will take you back to a page with a list of all of your submissions.

    list.jpg

    You can access this page at any time to manage/delete your uploads from the tools catalog homepage by clicking the Manage Submitted Tools button.

Short Video on How to Upload a DAU Sponsored Tool

Reviewing Submitted Tools

DAU Sponsored

DAU Sponsored tools must be reviewed by a designated tool approver before they appear in the system. After a new DAU Sponsored tool has been submitted, the tool approver will receive a notice, and once approved, the tool will then appear live in the system. Future updates to the submission can be made in the Manage DAU Submitted Tools page. Note that any changes made must be approved by the designated tool approver.  

Workforce Contributed Tools

Once a Workforce Contributed Tool has been submitted, it will populate in the search results once the system has been given time to update. To immediately review your work and see the completed landing page, click the View Full Tools List link on the main tools page. This will take you to a list of all tools in the system. Press Ctrl+F on your keyboard to bring up the search feature and search for your tool, then click on the name of the tool to bring up your finished landing page. Any further edits you want to make can be made in the Manage Submitted Tools page.

Deleting Submitted Tools

To delete a submitted tool, return to the Manage Submitted Tools page and click the tool title to bring up the edit tool form, then in the ribbon at the top click Delete Item.