Defence Renewal Charter Summary

Defence Renewal is the Defence Team’s effort to change the way we work for the better, strengthen the vitality of the Defence Team, and ensure we deliver the best military capabilities for the best value for Canadians. To lead and guide these renewal efforts across the organization, the Defence Renewal Team (DRT) was established in August 2012.

In 2013, the DRT, along with officials from the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, spent several months engaging organizations across Defence through regular meetings, workshops, site visits and information requests in order to develop the Defence Renewal Charter [link] and Defence Renewal Plan.

With the results of this engagement, the DRT has identified nine focus areas of renewal organized under the broader themes of Performance and Organizational Culture:

Renewal Themes – Performance

1. Operations and Training - Summary

Operations and training comprise many of the inputs that enable the CAF to maintain its readiness to conduct missions: individual occupation training, collective training for CAF units, and front-line equipment maintenance. With the end of the combat mission in Afghanistan and a return to a more typical pace of operations, the focus of the CAF’s readiness and training activities is shifting. The CAF must be prepared and ready to meet a broad range of possible future tasks in line with evolving Government defence priorities.

2. Maintenance and Materiel - Summary

The maintenance of equipment and the supply of materiel – from clothing and individual weapons to ammunition and spare parts – are integral to the day-to-day activities of operational units. Maintenance and materiel processes have an important and direct link to the readiness of the CAF. Being ready to respond at a moment’s notice either at home or abroad means that Defence must be able to rapidly deploy the right people, equipment, and support when called upon by the Government. Defence has approximately 2,200 points of service (warehouses, depots, distribution centres, etc.) servicing units and operations at home and abroad.

With the acquisition of new and modernized equipment fleets as part of the CFDS, the demands on the maintenance and materiel program have increased. This is due not only to the expansion in the number of platforms, but the requirements associated with maintaining technologically advanced fleets. There is also a growing expectation that readiness levels of fleets must be maximized in order to meet operational demands in a security environment that continues to be unpredictable and volatile. These trends are expected to continue as future fleets planned under CFDS are delivered in the coming years.

3. Information Management and Technology - Summary

The demand for information management and technology (IM/IT) services within Defence has seen a steady and continuous growth in recent years. IM/IT services are critical to the effective and efficient administration of the entire Defence organization, and are an important enabler for modernizing and renewing business processes.

IM/IT services are also a critical enabler for successful military operations. The delivery of CAF missions and capabilities in the modern-day security environment is becoming increasingly reliant on being able to effectively operation in the cyber domain. This growing imperative of operational and cyber security requires tailored skill sets, resources, and capabilities.

The stand-up of Shared Services Canada (SSC) marks an effort by the Government of consolidate IM/IT services and move to a centralized business model to reduce duplication of services and to maximize economies of scale. This has resulted in a reduced scope of responsibility for Defence in this area, creating an opportunity to better focus the Defence IM/IT program.

4. Infrastructure - Summary

Defence administers one of the largest federal real property portfolios, comprising some 21,000 buildings, 13,500 public works (including 5,500 kilometres of roads, jetties, runways, and training areas), and more than 1,000 parcels of land covering 2.2 million hectares. Managing this portfolio includes everything from recapitalization, maintenance and repairs of existing buildings, and new construction projects, to disposal and remediation of outdated facilities.

5. Personnel - Summary

The recruitment, training, education, and career management of military personnel involves unique requirements and obligations, including the management of recruitment offices, schools, frequent rotations of personnel, and a complex training system designed to meet a diverse and wide range of present-day and future employment and leadership needs. At the same time, building a modern, technologically-advanced, and capable military is becoming increasingly dependent on having in place the right personnel with the right skill sets at the right time, and aligned to evolving capability and organizational needs.

6. Management Systems - Summary

Management systems comprise the structures and processes that govern how National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) operates on a day-to-day basis. NDHQ is an integrated civilian-military organization responsible for the strategic-level management, administration, and command and control of Defence. It leads and oversees the highest levels of the Defence business that turn Government of Canada objectives and policies into operational Defence practices.

The types of managers – both civilian and military – at NDHQ vary from those that oversee completely standardized tasks, to those that oversee very specific and unique tasks where no standard processes exist. Based on the nature and complexity of their role, different types of managers have varying ideal spans of control – or the number of direct subordinates a manager can effectively oversee and lead.

Renewal Themes – Organizational Practices

1. Strategic Clarity - Summary

Strategic clarity is the articulation of a clear organizational direction and strategy for success, and the translation of that strategy into specific goals and targets throughout all levels of the organization. It is an essential component of ensuring priorities and resources within an organization are aligned and focussed on delivery a set of commonly shared objectives.

2. Disciplined Business Execution - Summary

Operational discipline comprises a performance management culture with clear objectives and close monitoring of progress towards those objectives. This involves developing the right set of performance measures to objectively track, monitor, and report on progress. This is a critical practice in large-scale renewal efforts. The use of performance metrics and a regular monitoring and reporting cycle keeps leaders and resources focussed. It is also critical in holding individuals accountable for delivering on commitments.

3. Openness and Trust - Summary

A culture of openness and trust is defined by the presence of honesty, transparency, and open dialogue. It is an essential component for organizations where separate elements are expected to operate independently, yet be mutually supporting. It relies on information being readily shared, and having a common commitment to serve the interests of the greater organization over personal or localized interests. It is particularly important to renewal when initiatives require cross-functional coordination and support in order to succeed.

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