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SPOTLIGhT ON REFORM
STRENGTH IN STRATEGIC PLANNING
Strategic Planning Stream
Sometimes change is critical to develop greater
skills and capabilities. In the Defence context,
this change includes being able to deliver the
Government’s requirements for meeting the future
defence needs of Australia.
Resisting change can be tempting and is usually
counter-productive, especially when others have
moved on to develop greater skills and capabilities.
The Australian people expect, quite rightly, that
their considerable investment in Defence will
be utilised to implement all necessary change to
ensure a secure future.
The Defence White Paper 2009 Defending
Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030
outlines the changes required to be implemented.
The Strategic Reform Program (SRP) is our program
to adapt for the future identified in the White
Paper and ensure that the right capabilities are
delivered and represent best value for money and
match Australia’s strategic needs. Strategic Policy
Division (the Division) has played a key role in this
journey by leading the Strategic Planning Stream
(the Stream) of the SRP.
Reforms under this stream aim to strengthen
the link between strategic planning and the
development of military capability to ensure
capability development remains aligned with
strategic goals and provides support for improved
governance and systems in relation to major
acquisitions. The Stream will meet this objective
› Implementing a five yearly White Paper
planning cycle. The planning cycle will consist
of the annual Defence Planning Guidance (DPG)
for the first three years following a White Paper,
with the fourth year (prior to the development
of a White Paper) to include a strategic risk
assessment, a force structure review and an
independent audit. A new White Paper is
prepared in the fifth year.
Result: The five-yearly White Paper cycle has been
implemented as directed by Government.
› Tightening linkages between strategic
guidance, force development and
capability decisions. A Force Structure
Development Directorate will be responsible
for integrating strategic guidance into the
end-to-end process of capability development
from five-yearly White Papers through to
Government approval. It will also develop the
processes for the force structure review that
informs each new White Paper. A large part
of the Directorate’s work will be to prepare the
strategic basis for all capability proposals in
conjunction with key stakeholders.
Result: The Directorate has been established and
staffed by subject matter experts including a DSTO
representative. The Directorate has streamlined
the process for providing strategic guidance
to capability projects. Work continues on the
processes for the force structure review and the
White Paper cycle.
› Documenting strategic planning. Two key
documents that will underpin the strategic
planning stream of the SRP are:
- Defence Planning Guidance (DPG). The
DPG sets out strategic guidance for force
structure, force posture (the sum of Defence’s
international engagement, force disposition and
international activities) and ADF preparedness,
including concurrency guidance.
- The next Defence Planning Guidance, DPG
2011, will also address strategic guidance for
enterprise and enabling functions including
ICT, S&T, logistics, estate and sustainment.
Guidance will be based on an analysis of risk
in the future strategic environment, including
emerging trends and the contingencies Australia
might face in the future. The DPG will also
ensure tighter linkages with corporate planning,
enterprise-level risk management and resource
- It will be the Government’s premier classified
Defence planning document between White
Papers and will be considered annually, in
sufficient time to set strategic direction for
Defence’s corporate and budget planning cycle.
Result: DPG 2010 has been prepared and the
Government is considering it. DPG 2011 has
commenced with a draft due by April 2010.
- The strategy Framework 2010 Handbook.
The Strategy Framework 2010 documents
the changes in the process, language and
structure of strategic planning resulting from the
Mortimer and Pappas Reviews, the White Paper,
the SRP and associated initiatives.
It demonstrates the ‘strategy-led’ nature of
Defence in the post-White Paper environment.
It complements the new edition of the Defence
Capability Development Handbook, which
covers how Defence introduces and manages
capability. The Strategy Framework 2010 uses
a seven-component model (see below) with
chapters covering each component: Government
direction; strategic guidance; strategic planning
for operations; international engagement;
preparedness; capability; and budget planning.
Speaking on the subject of innovation, Dr Harch
updated conference delegates on the key focus
areas for DSTO’s science and technology program
for 2010 and beyond:
› Operations support
› Support to the force-in-being
› Acquisitions support, and
› Enabling research.
Discussing the impact of the White Paper on
DSTO’s science and technology program planning,
Dr Harch also identified several key areas of focus:
› ‘Future-proofing’ Defence capability
› Enhancing DSTO’s governance
› Simplifying business mechanisms, and
› Clarifying science and technology support to
non-Defence national security capabilities.
DSTO has also implemented a number of Strategic
ABOVe: Deputy Chief Defence Scientist (Information and Weapons Systems) Dr Warren Harch, speaking at the ADM2010
Reform Program deliverables, including the
establishment of an external advisory board,
the development of technology road maps and
earmarking dedicated funds for innovation of
critical importance to the ADF.
Dr Harch also spoke about DSTO’s Corporate
Enabling Research Program, which enables
DSTO to conduct research into key science and
technology areas DSTO considers necessary to
meet Defence needs now and into the future.
The Program includes initiatives focusing on
Assessing and developing emerging technologies,
such as nanotechnology and biotechnology will
also require innovative approaches. Dr Harch
flagged the need for DSTO, industry and research
institutions to adjust their thinking about ways
to partner into the future, with technology
development becoming a non-linear and holistic
process, requiring multi-party collaboration.
The spotlight shone on DSTO innovation in late February when Deputy
Chief Defence Scientist – Information and Weapon Systems, Dr Warren
Harch, addressed an assembly of senior Defence personnel and industry
representatives at the ADM2010 Conference in Canberra.
By Lorraine Mulholland
Result: The Strategic Framework 2010 handbook
was endorsed by the Defence Committee on 14
December 2009. It has been distributed to senior
Defence decision-makers, strategic planning staff,
students at the Australian Defence College, and
interested parties outside of Defence. It will be
published on the Defence intranet and internet
The handbook will be reviewed in October 2010 to
ensure it continues to reflect SRP reforms.
› Operational Planning. The Division also
completed a review of staff functions
associated with operational planning, resulting
in a new single source of strategic guidance
the CDF Planning Directive. This will ensure
better coordination between stakeholders and
reduce the number of products that support
operational planning. The new CDF Planning
Directive has two parts, which can be developed
sequentially or in parallel depending on the
need for urgency. Part A contains the strategic
context while Part B articulates planning
direction. The Directive is jointly agreed by Vice
Chief of the Defence Force, Deputy Secretary
Strategy, and Commander Joint Operations prior
to CDF approval. Further details can be found in
The Strategic Framework 2010 Handbook.
Achieving this objective requires the Stream to
engage with all relevant stakeholders across
Defence. In particular, First Assistant Secretary
Strategic Policy, Rebecca Skinner, is a member of
the Options Review Committee and the Defence
Capability Committee which supervise key
capability projects. Her membership of these
committees contributes to effective capability
development decisions by ensuring projects are
aligned with strategic guidance right from the start
and helps ensure strategic, technical, financial and
schedule risks are managed.
What lies ahead?
Whilst the Division has delivered most of its
initial commitments from the SRP, we will need
to follow through on these important changes as
part of the five-yearly White Paper cycle. This
planning cycle will be continuously improved
to deliver to Government improved capabilities
aligned to strategic priorities. This will contribute
to greater preparedness by Defence to meet the
Government’s strategic priorities in a rapidly-
changing world, ensuring that Australia can meet
its future defence needs whilst delivering SRP
savings and efficiencies.
Figure 1: Revised Strategy Framework Model
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