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CHIPS Articles: Department of the Navy Agility and Accountability

Department of the Navy Agility and Accountability
Promoting capabilities solutions and awarding innovation
By Sharon Anderson, CHIPS senior editor - July-September 2019
“The business of the Department of the Navy is to man, train, and equip Navy and Marine Corps forces for global operations . . . When it comes to the business of the Department, we must be as agile and accountable as the forces we send into harm’s way on our behalf.”

- Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly

In addition to serving as the Under Secretary, Mr. Modly assumed the responsibilities and authorities of the DON Chief Information Officer and Chief Management Officer in December 2017.

As Chief Management Officer, Under Secretary Modly is deeply committed to reform in the DON to ensure department resources are appropriately available to safeguard warfighter readiness and lethality.

Reform is necessary to eliminate redundancies, improve business processes, and rationalize systems — all for greater efficiency. Efficiency “leaks” limit resources intended to fund increased readiness and lethality, explained George Kovatch, Director of the Office of the Chief Management Officer.

Mr. Kovatch discussed the DON Business Operations Plan (BOP) at the DON IT East Conference, held June 3-5, 2019, in Norfolk, Virginia. The BOP was issued in October 2018 establishing the framework for the department’s continuing business reform agenda.

“The Department of the Navy Business Operations Plan for Fiscal Years 2019 – 2021” represents a strategic shift for the department, from oversight to leadership in ensuring that the department’s business operations effectively and efficiently achieve its mission to man, train, and equip Navy and Marine Corps forces for global operations, as stated in the BOP.

Through greater accountability, more agile processes, and improved management of business operations, the plan enables greater efficiencies, allowing the department to reallocate resources from business operations to readiness and to recapitalize naval forces for the future.

The BOP is a living document aligned with the National Defense Strategy (NDS). It includes 14 DON Strategic Objectives that support nine from the National Defense Business Operations Plan (NDBOP) with 198 discrete initiatives, Kovatch explained, as shown Figure 1.

Three of the 14 Strategic Objectives target IT reforms: (1) Optimize the DON’s information infrastructure; (2) Increase the DON’s ability to detect, defeat and recover from cyber-attacks; and (3) Increase the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence in the department. (See Figure 2)

The BOP will be updated semiannually, Kovatch said. During the BOP six-month review, the OCMO committed to continue to enhance lethality in a constrained fiscal environment through reform and achieve enduring readiness.

The OCMO provides executive leadership in the management of naval assets, personnel, information and funding.

The OCMO is comprised of five main lines of business:

  • Business Reform Process Reengineering.
  • Enterprise Business Systems.
  • Data.
  • Business Performance.
  • Enterprise Risk Management.

Kovatch explained that in developing the FY 2020 President’s Budget, the DON reviewed internal processes and programs to achieve reform and funding savings of more than $1.9 billion in FY 2020 and over $9.4 billion across the Five Year Defense Plan (FYDP), illustrated in Figure 3.

Due to these reform efforts, the BOP has resulted in significant accomplishments, shown in Figure 4, since its implementation in October, Kovatch said, including:

  • Restoring Military Readiness.
  • Laying the Foundation for Future Readiness.
  • Enhancing IT and Cybersecurity Capabilities.
  • Improving and Strengthening Business Operations.
  • Optimizing Organizational Structures.

While progress is ongoing across the DON, better alignment is needed to shift from a “system approach” to reform — to a capabilities-based solution, Kovatch said.

To this end, Under Secretary Modly intends to encourage and reward innovators and reformers across the DON for their agility and accountability in improving department processes, systems, technology and business operations via the Agility & Accountability Awards Program (A3P), Kovatch explained.

The Office of the Chief Management Office encourages feedback regarding your current reform activities, suggestions for reform initiatives and success stories. Please contact the DON OCMO Reform POC: Scott Santoro, Business Performance Lead (703) 695-3287 or scott.santoro@navy.mil.

George Kovatch, Director of the Office of the Chief Management Officer
George Kovatch, Director of the Office of the Chief Management Officer

Figure 1. The DON Business Operations Planis a living document aligned with the National Defense Strategy (NDS). It includes 14 DON Strategic Objectives and supports nine from the National Defense Business Operations Plan (NDBOP) with 198 discrete initiatives. U.S. Navy illustration
Figure 1. The DON Business Operations Planis a living document aligned with the National Defense Strategy (NDS). It includes 14 DON Strategic Objectives and supports nine from the National Defense Business Operations Plan (NDBOP) with 198 discrete initiatives. U.S. Navy illustration

Figure 2. Three of the 14 Strategic Objectives target IT reforms: (1) Optimize the DON’s information infrastructure; (2) Increase the DON’s ability to detect, defeat and recover from cyber-attacks; and (3) Increase the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence in the department.  U.S. Navy illustration
Figure 2. Three of the 14 Strategic Objectives target IT reforms: (1) Optimize the DON’s information infrastructure; (2) Increase the DON’s ability to detect, defeat and recover from cyber-attacks; and (3) Increase the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence in the department. U.S. Navy illustration

Figure 3. The DON reviewed internal processes and programs to achieve reform and funding savings of more than $1.9 billion in FY 2020 and over $9.4 billion across the Five Year Defense Plan. U.S. Navy illustration
Figure 3. The DON reviewed internal processes and programs to achieve reform and funding savings of more than $1.9 billion in FY 2020 and over $9.4 billion across the Five Year Defense Plan. U.S. Navy illustration

Figure 4. Execution of the DON Business Operations Plan has resulted in significant accomplishments. U.S. Navy illustration
Figure 4. Execution of the DON Business Operations Plan has resulted in significant accomplishments. U.S. Navy illustration
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