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CHIPS Articles: Cost-Saving Culture Enables $200 Million in Financial Benefits

Cost-Saving Culture Enables $200 Million in Financial Benefits
PEO C4I demonstrates data-driven efficiencies and readiness to enable the fleet for ASN RDA Geurts
By Rita Boland, PEO C4I Public Affairs - January-March 2019
The Navy’s Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I) is reaping the rewards of years of cultivating a culture focused on cost-wise readiness. In mid-February, organization members had the chance to showcase the breadth of these projects—as well as their benefits to the fleet—to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition (ASN[RDA]).

In FY18, PEO C4I achieved more than $200 million in financial benefits, completing 48 Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) Should Cost initiatives across nine of the 10 program offices in the command (the tenth has a different mission and is ineligible for direct CPI Should Cost projects). The total dollar amount is approximately an order of magnitude more than the FY18 target of around $22 million. The financial benefits come in the form of both time and money; all dollars saved by the PEO are reinvested directly into organization programs that deliver C4I and space systems capabilities to help enable a more networked and agile fleet. The Battlespace Awareness and Information Operations Program Office (PMW 120) led the way with $85.2 million in cost savings despite only having an annual target of $4.25 million. The Information Assurance and Cyber Security Program Office (PMW 130) also achieved extraordinary results, realizing $69.8 million with a target of $1.9 million.

“We’re focused on being good stewards of the taxpayers’ money and finding ways to deliver our capability affordably,” said Rear Adm. Carl “Chebs” Chebi, program executive officer, PEO C4I. “Our leadership across the command is empowering this mindset that every dollar matters, and that we must be metrics-driven in making decisions. I promised our program offices that money they saved wouldn’t be taken from them, that it would be available for them to reinvest in their own efforts. The results speak for themselves. Our programs are finding creative ways at all ranks to spend less in certain areas so they can achieve more in others, far exceeding anything we formally planned.”

The presentation to Secretary Geurts took place in the PEO C4I Digital War Room, allowing display of various data visualizations on multiple screens to help showcase that CPI is about more than saving money, it also finds ways to create efficiencies across all areas of operations and deliver meaningful real-world impacts. The meeting with the secretary focused on an overview of the command’s CPI thought leadership as well as presentations on three specific efforts.

Dave Crotty, the technical director of PMW 130, presented an effort he led on the Voice and Crypto Modernization initiative that involved a replacement of more than 63,000 crypto devices. A multi-command team found that only 21,000 devices required conversions to meet operational needs. The 66 percent reduction in conversions allowed the mandate to be funded within the existing budget, preventing cost increases or capability decreases.

Jon Kershaw, the expeditionary assistant program manager in the Shore and Expeditionary Program Office (PMW 790), spoke on implementing Should Cost as part of culture and not as a limited activity or “one-off” action. In FY18, Kershaw led PMW 790 to submit the most initiatives with 10, and already in FY19, he has submitted and validated four projects. (See Figure 1.)

Finally, Dawn Swisher, who serves as the deputy director of cybersecurity in the Space and Naval Command’s (SPAWAR) Office of the Chief Engineer, explained two Rapid Improvement Events she ran during the year related to the Risk Management Framework (RMF) process—a mandatory process to ensure systems meet required cybersecurity standards.

SPAWAR is the systems command associated with PEO C4I. The goals and achievements in Swisher’s efforts helped showcase the broad range of CPI because they focused on saving not only money, but also time. Her first event resulted in a reduction of time for the RMF process from 18 months to eight months, saving time across all program offices and improving the security posture of the fleet by increasing awareness of cyber risks.

“Our CPI program took years to build, but now it’s ingrained in the way we do business at the PEO and with our partners,” said Scott Gegenworth, PEO C4I’s director of CPI. “Now that we have the data and metrics to show how successful we’ve been over time; we’re spreading our message so others can benefit from what we’ve learned.”

Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I) provides integrated communication and information technology systems that enable information warfare and command and control of maritime forces. PEO C4I acquires, fields and supports C4I systems which extend across Navy, joint and coalition platforms. More information can be found at

Figure 1. Total FY18 CPI Financial Benefits = 200.73 million
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