News: Fort Worth District’s Carroll Harris recognized for 2012 innovation of the Year
Story by Edward Rivera
FORT WORTH, Texas - In the movie “The Wizard of Oz,” the all-powerful Oz turned out to be a man behind a curtain operating a machine that might have even been considered a computer back in 1939 when the movie was released.
In 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has their own wizard and the man behind that curtain is Carrol Harris, whose Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization Wizard was selected as the Fort Worth District’s 2012 Innovation of the Year.
“Its great recognition, this is really a team award,” said Harris a 1988 graduate of Texas A & M with a bachelor's in environmental design. He went on to earn his master's of architecture in 1991. “Many people across the Corps had the pieces, but our team was able to put them together into one tool.”
Harris works for the District’s Standardization and Sustainability Branch of the Engineering and Construction Division.
As the team lead for the SRM Wizard, he spent nine months developing a request for proposal development tool that accelerates the development of renovation projects. Using his many years of experience in the field of facility restoration and modernization, Harris designed the SRM Wizard to give designers the ability to accurately and quickly develop building construction scopes of work for SRM projects.
According to Harris, the SRM Wizard provides three major components to streamline the process for SRM projects.
A standardized RFP template allows contracting, and engineering and construction entities to find and use common components USACE and Army wide.
The use of an industry standard language (ASTM Uniformant II) that enables a seamless link of all phases of a building life cycle – from planning facility maintenance though facility asset management. And the ability to allow non-design team members to write comprehensive statements of work turns the SRM Wizard into an engineering force multiplier.
“The standard templates provide a single solution for a consistent delivery of ideas,” said Harris. “The standard language allows for virtual teaming and decreases the time used on writing SOWs and request for proposals roughly about 50 percent.”
According to Alain Bernier, deputy director, Engineering and Construction Support Office, recently the Defense Logistics Agency inquired about how they could support defining their requirements in support of SRM work.
Harris asked DLA to choose a site they wanted to know more about. They identified a site and Harris, through the Wizard, sought reports and within 90 minutes he provided a list of all deficiencies and a draft SOW.
“It is amazing the savings that this logic will bring to our customers,” said Bernier.
Headquarters USACE, has recognized the capabilities of the wizard and has already provided funding to expand and enhance the capabilities of the current SRM Wizard.
In Fiscal Year 2014, the Fort Worth District Center of Standardization plans to automate data linkages between the SRM Wizard and BUILDER Sustainment Management System to more closely to enhance productivity, exchange data, capture and analyze cost data relative to SRM projects, and to use Building information modeling data. Other USACE field offices have expressed interest in using the SRM Wizard tool for their own SRM requirements, because of the speed at which things can be accomplished.
Harris said the Corps has taught him to be a “solutioneer” and the SRM Wizard is truly a transformational tool for the way USACE engages the SRM arena through its ability to support the process throughout the life cycle of a building or facility.