Defence Renewal Annual Report 2014-2015 - Framework for Continuous Improvement

Alternate Formats

7. Continuous Improvement -- Change Synchronisation, New Initiative Management and Benchmarking

The portfolio of 32 Defence Renewal initiatives to improve performance and enhance organisational practices represent only a portion of the more than 200 strategic change initiatives that are currently being implemented across the Defence Team: either as creative solutions from Level 1 organisations; broader strategic change activities including the Defence Procurement Strategy and the move to Carling Campus; or, as Government of Canada sponsored initiatives such as Blueprint 2020 and Workplace 2.0. In an organisation as large as Defence, it is critical that they be prioritized and de-conflicted to ensure that senior leadership can articulate short, mid, and long-term priorities.

Work continued in FY 2014/15 to develop a method for influencing synchronization and coordination of all Defence strategic change initiatives, monitoring dependencies and interrelationships, identifying potential second and third order effects, and recommending mitigation where required. The intent is to convey a more comprehensive picture of the Defence change agenda, manage interdependencies and risk, set organizational priorities for sequencing of decisions and outcomes, and avoid dissonant messages – that change is deliberate and in step. Annex A provides the draft Defence Strategic Change Synchronization Matrix.

The DRT continues to welcome ideas -- regardless of source -- for renewal opportunities. Twenty-one proposals were registered during FY 2014/15 and each was considered using a value-based analysis to determine efficiency gains, likely effectiveness, possible dollar savings and then each was prioritized in the same manner used for broader Government, defence enterprise or Level 1 initiatives. Though none of the additional proposals were selected for further analysis as a new Defence Renewal initiative, ideas were shared with the appropriate Level 1 for consideration and a more fulsome response, or incorporated within the scope of a related project or initiative. Annex B offers a summary of the ideas received by the DRT in FY 2014/15.

Mindful of the fact that Canada is not alone in seeking improvements to the efficiency and effectiveness of its Defence institutions, the DRT initiated and completed the first phases of a research project to understand and evaluate trends in international defence reform. A number of close allies and defence partners were selected for review based on the similarity of their military structures to Canada and their recent reform activities. This survey sought to identify both initiatives that aligned closely to the Portfolio of Initiatives as well as those which fell under the broad themes of our renewal (i.e. personnel, materiel, infrastructure, etc.) and were motivated by a desire for greater efficiencies, enhanced effectiveness, cost avoidance or the realization of cost savings. Annex C provides a briefing on the survey.

Differences in the geography, history, political culture, military and departmental structures, as well as the size and scope of defence organizations meant that the character of reforms in selected countries was found to diverge as often as it aligned. Furthermore, although other nations’ reform/renewal programmes considered were typically established to accomplish specific objectives within a defined period of time, they could only be understood within the longer-term evolution of national defence institutions and policies. Although this complicates efforts to directly benchmark the outcomes of specific Canadian initiatives against those of another country, it nevertheless provides useful insight into how Canada’s efforts relate and compare to international trends more generally. Moreover, it confirms that we are addressing the appropriate challenges. The DRT will use this information to help target identified partners to gain additional details about the nature of specific initiatives and the progress of implementation.