RAFAC Astra

So the RAFAC Astra Hub was launched in the Weekly Update on 30 June, I think this might have been the last not sent to Personal Accounts, unfortunately there is no link from HQ SharePoint to this Hub, so you either need to bookmark it or access from this weekly update.

The Astra Hub has been launched on Bader SharePoint for HQ updates on Astra projects and to provide a channel for volunteers and permanent staff to make suggestions and provide feedback. The page contains a video with RAFAC Commandant, Air Commodore Tony Keeling, talking about Astra with WO Danny Smith, who is part of the Astra team. See the full video of the Astra interview here. The Astra Hub also contains its own newsletter.

You can then view submitted ideas, and submit your own suggestion here - Astra Dashboard

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Is that this?

Just seen this in their newsletter, which has no protective markings so I think I’m OK to share:

ASTRA ACTIVITY ADMIN WORKSHOP
Astra workshop was convened at RAF Cranwell to examine the level of the Admin burden required by CFAV to put on nonRtL activities at a local level. The intent of the workshop was to reduce to the absolute minimum acceptable, the amount of extra work involved whilst still assuring the activities’ safety and appropriateness.

It was important that the personnel involved included all the relevant stakeholders who would have interest in the output. The Astra premise is that if all the right people are in the room together a solution can be arrived at quickly and implemented soon after.

The workshop started by examining real-life examples of Regional (and Wing) variations in what is being requested to approve Non RtL activity, and looked at how consistency can be achieved. It> was quickly realised that ACTO 10 was a good starting point, an that by strengthening it’s wording in places, we should be able to stop additional local requirements being introduced.

The workshop also removed the need for TG 22 forms completely, and removed the need for AO/JIs to be produced separately for internal use (once some minor changes are made to SMS) It was however noted that some external organisations may still require these (eg DTE or MT/Travel cells.)

It was then a fairly straightforward matter to define agreed lists of what documents are required – and in some cases define their content)

The next steps are to complete the re-write of ACTO 10 for sign-off at HQ RAFAC and make some
changes to SMS which will be promulgated with explanatory notes in due course.

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Thats wont stop it

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I fear a trick is being missed here. Rather than AOs / JIs being something we produce manually and attach to SMS events, there should be a button in the SMS event to generate an AO / JI from a template and the contents of the appropriate fields.

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Makes challenging these things stronger though.

“ASTRA says this, ACTO says this… Fine then, I’ll escalate.”

What’s needed is for those above to actually stamp on it and not play “oh well yes, but it’s up to Wings to decide how best to implement the policy for their requirements”.

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Even harder when it’s a regional commandant saying it.

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This is in the works, but will take some time.

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There should be a link to the Astra site on the Sharepoint homepage now.

If anyone is adding additional requirements for non-risk-to-life activities over and above what’s required in order to authorise it, you should :100: start by asking them why (nicely) – there’s a very real chance it’s just because “that’s how we’ve always done it” and they aren’t aware certain hoops aren’t needed any more. And you can always ping the Astra Team at HQ if you need help.

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Could we get an anonymous “my Sqn/Wing/Region is adding additional unnecessary admin” reporting tool added to the Astra Hub?

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This.

If anything this. Empires would fall down though

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Actually, no. That’s too negative.

Can we have a “my Sqn/Wing/Region has identified a problem that needs an additional form - we should escalate this new best practice to HQ RAFAC so everyone can benefit” form?

Then we can consolidate at a Corps level, and remove the cruft?

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It’s an interesting point, we often go to war with Wing/Region/HQ when they impose restrictions from on high.

I suspect a lot of us would nod and go that makes sense if these restrictions were explained, which is difficult in our structure for a number of reasons, partly the national spread and that the majority of communication is by email and that as volunteers no one has time for the communication and just says it’s now harder to do what we used to do.

Maybe Astra is where we can realign and be 1 team, volunteers and those who are full time for the org, and be less negative about the levels across the org.

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You’re literally saying the same thing as the Astra team here. Literally. This is a major goal of Astra… see the 6 Astra principles. :heart:

You’re going to have to forgive a large amount of scepticism until the project is proven effective and the situations that have arisen are resolved.

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Indeed.
Once something of meaninful benefit is released, issued as a result of ASTRA im sure more will get on board.

I wonder how far through their processes they might be?

A “discovery” phase for a project like Astra, assuming it is being managed within recognised project management methodologies, could easily take 12 months plus, given the size of the organisation.

Feels more like “muck around and find out”. Does that fit into the following?

Quite. If I’m entirely honest, it’s one of the reasons I’ve avoided engaging with Astra; I don’t believe the structure (tools, processes, templates and scoping) has been correctly established.

My view is they’ll implement what they want to implement because it was their idea regardless of the necessity or impact… or lack of tangible benefit to the front line.

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