Mobilize Presents 2022 VISION Awards: The Spotlight Award

2022 Spotlight Award

We present the Spotlight Award to the most followed project in VISION.

Awardee: MSgt Earl Bagwell of “Faces to Spaces” (Spark X – Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland)

Awardee: MSgt Earl Bagwell of “Faces to Spaces” (Spark X – Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland)

In the world of innovation, sometimes the story of trying can be as interesting as a story of hard-won success. MSgt Earl Bagwell calls the personnel management project he worked on at Andrews Air Force Base “a successful failure”. The project, Faces to Spaces, tried to solve a problem impacting every unit in the Air Force, so it’s no surprise it was the most followed project in VISION in 2022.

The medical unit on Andrews had a problem, and they brought it to MSgt Bagwell and the team at the Spark Cell. The medical unit was using a spreadsheet to manage a 1,200-person personnel roster for Airmen at multiple locations. From the first day a computer was installed in a squadron, Airmen have hand-jammed data from several other spreadsheets into one to see who was in what manpower position. They need to understand which “faces” are in which “spaces.”

MSgt Bagwell’s team attacked this problem. They began by entering the problem into VISION and started looking for solutions. Soon, they received replies from other Airmen about not one, but two, potential existing software tools. After checking them out, MSgt Bagwell stopped working on an Andrews-specific solution and connected the medical unit to the experts on these platforms.

But, he left his VISION project live with the links to these tools. Even today, he gets messages from people trying to solve this nearly-universal problem. By sharing what he’s learned with other users, Airmen stop spinning their wheels and grab on to solutions that already have traction.

We don’t consider this a failure at all. Saving time AND connecting to solutions is a success no matter how you look at it. This is what VISION does best.

“No two days are the same.  Every day there’s a new project coming that requires us to learn something new…people come in, and you hook them.  They come back in, get started, and you just get out of their way. Light the fire, move out of the way, and watch what they can do.  It’s great!”