Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 5 2010 Contents 20 www.defence.gov.au/defencemagazine
SPOTLIGHT ON REFORM: CDG
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To create a stronger, more agile and harder-hitting Defence Force, the Government
has agreed to invest around $245,000 million to $275,000 million in developing Force 2030.
Naturally, expenditures of such large sums of money require careful consideration of
all possible, affordable capability options.
“The Capability Development Reform Stream’s
reforms are much wider, with active involvement
and input from Strategy Executive, the Defence
Materiel Organisation (DMO) and the Defence
Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO),
along with close involvement of Navy, Army,
Air Force and the rest of the Defence groups
in the Stream’s reforms.”
To that end, the Capability Development Reform
Stream is focused on improving the quality of
advice to Government on major capital equipment
These reforms could be mistakenly considered
a Capability Development Group (CDG) centric
activity. However, the Capability Development
Reform Stream’s reforms are much wider, with
active involvement and input from Strategy
Executive, the Defence Materiel Organisation
(DMO) and the Defence Science and Technology
Organisation (DSTO), along with close involvement
of Navy, Army, Air Force and the rest of the
Defence groups in the Stream’s reforms.
The Stream has instigated more than 100 actions
to assist with the reforms. These actions have
been drawn from many sources, including the
Defence Capability Plan Companion Review,
the Government’s response to the Defence
Procurement and Sustainment Review (Mortimer
Review), the 2008 audit of the Defence Budget
(Pappas Review), and the ANAO’s Performance
Audit No.48 2008-09 Planning and Approval of
Defence Major Capital Equipment Projects.
and incorporated in the Handbook. The interim
version of the DCDH is available on the Defence
Restricted Network at: http://intranet.defence.
Revised capability committee arrangements:
The membership of capability development-related
Defence committees has been reviewed, resulting
in a small, but significant, number of changes to
membership and processes. These changes were
made to ensure that the right people are involved
at the right time in the capability development
process to make the right decisions.
Committee charters for the Defence capability
committees are being drafted to reflect the
new membership arrangements and more
clearly describe the roles and responsibilities of
committee members. The committee business
rules are also being updated as part of the broader
review of Defence’s Governance Framework.
Desk officer skilling: Following a comprehensive
review of CDG’s desk officer skilling needs,
including a training needs analysis, a new Desk
In addition, the Stream has adopted 18 of the
recommended actions from the Mortimer Reform
Stream to aid in managing the interface between
these two streams.
These reforms are about improving the way we
conduct the capability development business.
With all this activity, one could ask, how is this
translating to practical reform outcomes? The
simple answer is there is a significant and growing
portfolio of reforms that have been rolled out. For
Interim DCDH: The Defence Capability
Development Handbook (DCDH) will be used to
communicate to Defence and Defence industry
personnel the way capability development will be
conducted across Defence. The DCDH replaces the
2006 Defence Capability Development Manual and
provides a body of knowledge, best practices and
processes for capability development.
An interim DCDH was released on the Defence
intranet for use from February 2010, with the
final version expected to be published to a
broader audience later this year, once other
inter-related reform stream activities are refined
Officer Skilling Program (DOSP) was delivered to all
new CDG staff in February 2010.
The DOSP addresses issues raised in the Defence
Procurement and Sustainment Review and
the ANAO’s Performance Audit No 48 2008-09
Planning and Approval of Defence Major Capital
Equipment Projects about the need to ensure
that CDG staff are adequately skilled to develop
Cost estimation: Obviously, with such large sums
of money committed to delivering Force 2030, the
capability proposals submitted to Government for
its consideration need to accurately forecast the
likely costs involved, often years in advance of the
contracts being signed for the equipment.
To up-skill staff, new cost estimation training has
been developed and rolled out. To date, more than
70 staff have received the basic cost estimation
training. In addition, more than 50 staff have
undertaken the intermediate cost estimation
course, with attendees from CDG, DMO and the
Department of Finance and Deregulation.
More monthly courses are scheduled out to
September 2010 and of note, on the June
2010 course, two New Zealand Defence staff
participated. The new training has been widely
acclaimed for its content and quality and will lead
to better information being available to inform
strategy-led capability development: Working
in close cooperation with the Strategic Planning
Reform Stream, practices and procedures to
institutionalise the Force Structure Review process
have been adopted to ensure that the strategic
basis for major capability investment projects is
used consistently and accurately throughout the
capability development process.
Once a project is included in the Defence
Capability Plan (DCP), the Strategic Policy
Division’s Force Structure Development Directorate
produces an Authoritative Strategic Guidance
(ASG) document. Each ASG is critically reviewed
and analysed to ensure that there is consistency
between the higher level strategic documentation
and the scope of the project.
The ASG is then fully incorporated into the
capability development documentation and
becomes the strategic basis for further developing
the project’s capability requirements. This provides
a tangible and auditable link to the decisions
made at the Force Structure Review and ensures
compliance with Government’s strategic direction
through the White Paper.
New role for capability managers:
The Capability Development Reform Stream
also provides support to the Procurement and
Sustainment Stream, especially in regard to
the new role for capability managers (CMs)
in the capability development and acquisition
processes. The CMs will have the responsibility
to exercise oversight and coordination of all
elements necessary to introduce the full level
of operational capability into service by the date
specified by Government.
The DCDH, when released later this year, will
capture these new processes.
Liaison with other Defence groups: Within
CDG, the Directorate of Capability Support
(DCS) provides advice and support to CDG desk
officers in the areas of infrastructure, workforce
planning, logistics planning, and information and
DCS also facilitates interaction with Defence
Support Group, People Strategies and Policy Group,
Joint Logistics Command and Chief Information
Officer Group to ensure the relevant fundamental
inputs to capability are appropriately considered
throughout the capability development process.
The DCS also has a strategic role in assessing the
combined impacts of DCP projects across its areas
of responsibilities, and working with other Defence
groups to identify opportunities for savings
through the improved consolidation or timing
for multi-domain projects.
These Capability Development Reform Stream’s
reforms, which include many other initiatives not
described in this article, are evidence that SRP is
delivering positive results. There is more work to
be done, but progress has been excellent and there
is a widespread willingness to identify more areas
of reform as the Capability Development Reform
Stream helps assist in delivering a stronger, more
agile and harder-hitting ADF.
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