2016 Defence Renewal Annual Report: Positive Momentum for Enduring Success

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

In FY 2014/15, the Defence Renewal Team took steps to understand the interdependencies and challenges posed by the more than 200 strategic change initiatives that are currently being implemented across the Defence Team at the direction of the Government of Canada, as Defence-wide efforts, or as change activities within specific Level 1 organisations. The resulting Defence Strategic Synchronisation Matrix (DSSM) and attendant interdependencies was briefed early in FY 2015/16.

This fiscal year saw further refinement of the methodology for influencing synchronisation and coordination of Defence strategic change initiatives, monitoring dependencies and interrelationships, identifying potential second and third order effects, and recommending mitigation where required. The observations of the updated DSSM are now part of the monthly updates provided by the Defence Renewal Team to the senior leadership.

Ideas to improve Defence and how it conducts its business are welcome. Twenty-three proposals were received during FY 2015/16 and each was examined using the value-based analysis introduced fiscal year. While no ideas were selected for further detailed analysis by the Defence Renewal Team, many were determined to be of interest to Level 1s and shared with them for further consideration. Moreover, the fact that there’s a modest appetite and interest in sharing good ideas suggests that members of the Defence Team are embracing the concept of continuous improvement: encouraging that interest – and learning from it -- will continue to be the focus of Defence Renewal Initiative 8.2.

Reforming the business of Defence is not unique to Canada, and building on the initial analysis developed last year, the Defence Renewal Team examined what our partners are pursuing in their respective efforts to modernize, renew and transform their militaries and ministries of defence.

The intent of this research and analysis was to put our efforts into context amongst those of our allies and to learn from how others are working to achieve the same goal of creating efficiencies. The Defence Renewal Team considered their defence reforms to identify activities that are in line with our initiatives in the areas of maintenance, procurement, IM/IT, infrastructure, personnel, lean headquarters, governance and innovation.

As well, in FY 2015/16 senior Defence officials met with international counterparts from New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia to discuss a number of topics including defence reforms: their meetings were informed, in part, by detailed briefings about defence reforms in each nation. In addition, more comprehensive analysis focussing on how specific countries were reforming their defence governance systems was developed.

While analysing the defence reform efforts of our allies is useful, it is equally important to examine the reform, transformation and modernisation agendas of other government departments. Research on select other government departments provided valuable insight on how they are promoting innovation, engaging with their employees, and bringing about changes in workplace culture. The insights are applicable to the various Organisational Practices initiatives and are helping to further refine and advance these initiatives.