5 July 2007
ILC Project Tools: Implementing ILC EDMS
In September 2005, soon after the GDE was formed, I announced the formation of a special committee to help us select a suite of project tools for the GDE. That committee consisted of Tom Markiewicz (SLAC), John Ferguson (CERN), Lars Hagge (DESY), Rich Stanek (Fermilab), Nobu Toge (KEK) and Harry Weerts (Argonne). Tom served as the committee chair. They developed a set of recommendations and helped facilitate their implementation. All good things must come to an end, and with the recent unveiling of the last major element of our set of project tools, I wholeheartedly thank the committee and dismiss them following a job very well done. The ILC Agenda and ILC Doc are now fully in operation, and the team recently launched the ILC EDMS at the LCWS and ILC 07 workshops at DESY. Lars Hagge leads the effort to implement the ILC EDMS and offered a set of tutorials on our new system at the DESY workshops. We are now undertaking an engineering design, and the EDMS will be a central global collaboration tool for carrying out this next phase.
One of the most important features of the ILC EDMS is its ability to enable three-dimensional global Computer-Aided Design (CAD) collaboration. In the ILC tunnels, for example, space will limited, requiring very effective designs to make the most use of the area. Thus, the ability to have a real-time three-dimensional CAD collaboration for contributing, accessing, updating, visualising and coordinating models was an important criterion in choosing this tool.
A second important role for the EDMS will be to organise our change control process for the ILC baseline configuration. Using this tool, we will institute an EDMS-based change control process that will reflect the baseline configuration changes as they evolve during the ILC design effort.
A third important application - and maybe the most urgently needed - is its ability to provide workspaces for collaborative document management. We used to rely very heavily on Wiki spaces for this kind of environment. Now we will be able to work in a structured team environment for collaborative authoring, reviewing, and approving of documentation.
There are many other areas where the EDMS system will provide an effective way to perform our work, enable us to collaborate effectively and facilitate managing the engineering design effort for the EDR and beyond. For these purposes, the EDMS tool can be used to provide workflow management, as well as visualisation and digital mock-ups.
There will be some learning process involved in using the ILC EDMS and setting it up for the purposes of a given team. It will soon become second nature to the way we work. I therefore encourage anyone involved in the ILC design effort to take the time to learn the ILC EDMS and begin to migrate their collaborative work. Already, several groups have made this commitment, including the Americas Regional Team, the S3 damping rings R&D task force and the S4 beam delivery system R&D task force.
We plan to continue to develop our project tools to make them more and more useful, starting with creating common access to our ILC Doc, ILC Agenda and now the EDMS. I am optimistic that we chose well and are developing a very effective set of tools to collaborate, design and then build something as complex as the ILC.
-- Barry Barish