BG 13.047 - October 7, 2013
The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) are improving major business processes and maximizing operational capability and readiness to build a modern first class military. Throughout the renewal process, the Defence Team will continue delivering better results for Canada and Canadians.
Defence Renewal will find efficiencies within the DND/CAF and reinvest those savings back into operational capability and readiness. Defence is not alone in its efforts to examine new ways of working to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. Around the world, governments and private sector organizations are adapting to constantly-evolving realities ranging from globalization and rapid technological advances, to changing demographics and shifts in the expectations of citizens. Through Defence Renewal, DND/CAF will be better prepared to meet these challenges with the modern, first-class military envisioned in the Government’s Canada First Defence Strategy.
Defence Renewal was initiated by National Defence to better position resources and investments, to deliver the modern, combat-effective, multi-role military envisioned in the Government’s Canada First Defence Strategy.
To lead and guide renewal efforts, DND/CAF established a Defence Renewal Team (DRT) in August 2012. Under joint civilian-military leadership, the DRT comprises military and civilian representatives from across the Defence Team, with a mandate to support key activities relating to process renewal, such as:
By providing a central point of leadership, coordination and governance to these activities, the DRT will enable the implementation of the DND/CAF’s long-term vision.
The first major milestone in this renewal effort was the development of a Defence Renewal Charter. These documents set out clear goals, common objectives, timelines, and methods to measure progress and accountability, and a governance process to oversee Defence Renewal over the next five years.
Over several months, the DRT engaged military personnel and civilian employees across the country through formal and informal presentations, discussions and panels at many levels of the organization. These engagements have helped gauge understanding of Defence Renewal, helped determine what organizational practices initiatives DND/CAF will undertake and helped validate current performance initiatives. With the results of these engagements, nine themes of renewal emerged.
Six themes focus on performance initiatives:
Three themes focused on organizational practice:
Through the implementation of these initiatives, it is forecasted that by 2017-18, CND/CAF will find between $750M and $1.2B per year in reinvestment opportunities.
The overall intent of Defence Renewal is not to reduce the number of Regular Force, Reserve Force or civilian employees. However, it is clear that through improved business process, there will be an elimination of redundant or duplicative work to improve productivity. As some back office positions become redundant as a result of reorganization, improved business processes and technology, military and civilian personnel will be reallocated to areas of higher organizational priority.
As part of the detailed initial analysis, improvements to business processes and efficiency gains could result in the equivalent of 2 800 to 4 800 military and civilian personnel that can be re-allocated to higher priority activities. These efficiency gains are not cuts.
To use a simple example, changes to a specific business process in an individual work unit of ten military and civilian employees may reduce the administrative workload by 30%, freeing up employees to work on other priority activities. This would generate a net “savings” of three employees that could be reallocated to higher priority activities within the work unit or to other priorities within the organization.
Throughout this rebalancing process, Defence will maximize the use of attrition, alternation, and retraining wherever possible. We will also ensure that all employees are treated with respect and dignity, and fully supported as we transform the institution.
Achieving these renewal initiatives will ensure that National Defence’s resources are strategically focussed and that a comprehensive performance measurement system is in place to assess improvements, guide resource allocation and ensure accountability. Further, it will mean continuous improvement is a permanent feature of Defence’s business culture and processes.
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.
One of the initiatives of Defence Renewal is to increase the use of new technologies for training, namely simulators and live synthetic training. The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and the Canadian Army (CA) are already making good use of simulation, and as the technology continues to evolve, Defence will pursue further opportunities ahead..
For example, the RCAF currently uses a simulator located in the UK for training aircrew for its CH-149 Cormorant helicopter search and rescue aircrews. Investing in its own simulator and locating it at the flight school in Canada will allow the RCAF to increase simulator usage and deliver a more effective and efficient training program. Specifically, the CH-149 simulator will allow the RCAF to reduce the number of flying hours required to train a pilot on operational aircraft from 55 to 30 hours. This will improve training and increas availability of the helicopters for operations.
Moreover, having the simulator co-located with the flight school will generate scheduling efficiencies and reduce the length of the First Officer Pilot Course from 16 weeks to 10 weeks. This will increase crew availability at the operational squadrons.
Finally, transferring up to 400 flight training hours each year into the simulator will provide air force commanders the option of flying those hours on search and rescue missions instead, thus improving overall operational effectiveness.
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 National Defence must be able to rapidly deploy the right people, equipment, and support when called upon by the Government. National 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.
On our flight lines, maintainers are working hard, long hours to keep our aircraft ready and safe. There is no shortage of activity or energy.
However, when we step back and ask which of those activities are making a difference, we find that about 15-20% of a maintainer’s time is spent actually working on the aircraft. A multitude of other tasks and duties consume the time: getting the right tools, collecting parts and consumables, discussing repairs with peers / supervisors, waiting for parts, foreign object damage (FOD) assessments, paperwork, and a host of headquarters-directed training events. Strong cultures of “we’ve always done things this way” and “I don’t know how we do it, but we just get it done,” coupled with a heavy layer of paperwork hold back attempts to make things better.
By improving the time our maintainers are working on the equipment from just 20% to 30%, we will see our readiness levels surge. Renewal is going to focus on identifying better ways of doing business, making sure the right parts and tools are available, and minimizing the administrative burden. At the end of the day this renewal initiative will let maintainers spend more time doing the job they signed up and trained for.
The demand for information management and technology (IM/IT) services within National 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 operate 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.
Defence personnel will experience improved IT support services through Defence Renewal. Today, users are faced with a myriad of telephone numbers, email addresses and websites to choose from in order to access IT services. Moreover, these options vary from location to location, resulting in inconsistent levels of service and frustration when personnel transfer or relocate to a new location.
For example, if a person located at the Belleville Armouries is seeking help with their desktop workstation, they need to contact the Army IT service desk at CFB Kingston. If the same person requires assistance with their telephone, they will need to contact the Air Force IT support at CFB Trenton.
A user at CFB Kingston posted to an Army unit belonging to Central Area calls the Army’s Central Area consolidated Service Desk located in Petawawa for IT support. If the same user changes positions and is posted to the Army Doctrine and Training unit across the road at CFB Kingston, they are required to call a different service desk.
By renewing IM/IT services, their delivery and management, end users who today face a number of confusing choices will have access to the same service options and experience the same quality of service no matter where they work in Defence.
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.
Defence relies on contracts with the private sector to deliver many real property maintenance services, such as janitorial services, roofing repairs and asphalt maintenance. The time and administrative costs at bases and wings to manage multiple work orders is significant. For example, in fiscal year 2011-2012, CFB Petawawa administered 6 748 work orders. If we assume it takes one hour of administration time just to set up each work order, which equates to approximately 900 days per year in administration costs. By consolidating the number of real property maintenance contracts into larger, long term agreements through Defence Renewal, we expect to reduce the time CFB Petawawa spends on setting up work orders by 30%.
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.
Defence Renewal will improve the military career management process by leveraging technology and better planning in order to reduce travel. For example, Career Managers used to travel to every base and station to interview personnel in the occupation for which they were responsible in order to engage them and pass and receive input on the members’ careers. By implementing video teleconferencing, the engagement and communication can continue at greatly reduced costs. Through this approach, we expect that travel expenses for Career Manager annual visits will be reduced by up to 60-80%.
A second example concerns travel expenses for the Annual Selection Boards. Typically, 80 boards are held in Ottawa annually at a total cost of about $300,000 due to travel expenses for board members to meet in Ottawa to assess thousands of candidates’ files. By focusing the membership of Annual Selection Boards to personnel within the National Capital Region, we expect to reduce these expenses by 50-60%.
Finally, through new modelling of how personnel are moved geographically throughout their careers and through a new business model for moving company contracts, we expect to reduce the expense of moving personnel in the future. An accurate estimation of savings has yet to be determined; however the budget for geographical re-location has been baselined at 75% of its former amount.
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.
The current organizational structure within DND/CAF’s NDHQ presents significant opportunity for renewal. There are too many layers and roughly 50% of the managers within NDHQ manage too few people. This inefficiency manifests in excess full-time equivalent requirements, slower decision making, and creation of low-value work.
The Renewal program’s Lean Headquarters initiative will correct these inefficiencies. In the new NDHQ, managers’ responsibilities will be increased and aligned to industry best practice. The end result will be a leaner, more flexible and more dynamic NDHQ - unlocking the talents of junior-level employees, giving them more autonomy and access to senior leaders, and accelerating decision-making processes.
As fewer managers will be required in NDHQ to produce the same level of operational readiness, these legacy roles will be transitioned into new roles and functions that will enhance DND/CAF’s operational capabilities.
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 shared objectives.
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.
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.