How MooD is being used to bring increased coherence and efficiency gains across the military portfolio
Defending our interests has never been more complex. The pace of change is accelerating; political pressure is greater than ever, the technology vastly more sophisticated and the enemy unpredictable.
The importance of achieving and sustaining superiority has never been greater. Yet efficiencies and savings have had to be found. New and radical solutions were needed. Common ways of doing things that for example overcame needless repetition and re-work that cost time and money. As Brigadier Alan Clacher pointed out, “We’d be re-inventing the wheel every single time, so something would arise, a new requirement, we’d need to plan a new operation, and people would always start from scratch.”
“This has delivered increased coherence in the joint environment in Afghanistan.”
Avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort is just one of the many challenges facing British operations and nothing is more challenging than the military effort in Afghanistan. In terms of just the supply chain not including all the equipment support, they have a supply chain that controls £4.5B of expenditure a year, over 200 million demands per year and over 11,000 locations worldwide. And commenting further Brigadier Clacher went onto say: “So getting the supply chain wrong, the design of the supply chain, means that we don’t get the right kit to right place at the right time, so not having the right body armour for somebody to go out into battle can result in fatalities, so there’s a real issue in terms of life and death. If we get it wrong, then that will have a hugely critical impact on our operational effectiveness, and potentially peoples’ lives”.
The scale and complexity is an immense challenge. You have a huge number of people – military, civilians and from other government departments all operating and needing to interoperate together as a single entity. And perhaps the most complex bit is getting them to speak the same language – just getting people to agree on a common definition was a difficult piece of work. All these businesses have to operate as part of a single enterprise. Brigadier Clacher continued: “We have effectively a retail operation, a whole operation to do with medical. We have a whole operation to do with ammunition; equipment, transport, distribution. We operate an airline, and so the challenge for us is that there are a huge number of moving parts how do you actually understand it all and how do you bring it together?”
“MooD has been critical in delivering operational effectiveness, resulting in significant benefits & savings”
In modern warfare agility is critical, MooD helps you deal with complexity and respond more quickly to changing events. And if that isn’t enough, a significant number of the processes happen outside the Military’s own boundaries but must still work together and be streamlined and controllable as part of the one overall system. “The genesis of the work we did was a realisation that industry could no longer do what they did in isolation from us and nor could the MOD do what we wanted to do in isolation from industry. So if you’re moving as we’re trying to do to an extended organisation where industry has a far greater responsibility for delivering and availability rather than just delivering kit. Unless you’ve got a lingua franca, a common lexicon, a common taxonomy, then that whole task becomes impossible. Here, MooD has been a critical enabler in bringing together the wider industry community, companies like BAE Systems and Finmeccanica, and has been key in delivering better contracting for availability.”
First you need to take control and be able to articulate the entire design as a single strategic view. And this has proved to be very successful. “MooD underpins and is the tool by which we actually articulate the design and develop the architecture.”
The MoD chose MooD because what they are doing within the programme needed to be very business focussed. “So the primary driver in selecting MooD was the usability for the non-technical users, and the ability of MooD to span the entire architecture as part of a Defence wide effort.”
“MooD has been a key enabler in delivering the programme”
MooD has a very powerful architecture engine – probably the best in the world and extremely highly rated in the industry. But architecture is not an end in itself but a means to an end. MooD uses the strength of architecture to construct a powerful management environment. “This has been a key enabler in delivering the programme and has been critical in delivering operational effectiveness, resulting in significant benefits & savings” Clacher says. “Also Risk is better managed and the quality of our data has improved.”
Brigadier Clacher went on to say “I think the real power is where you’re actually able to exploit the architecture and to be able to contrast and model the impact of changes against other key areas of the business”.
Using the software Brigadier Clacher’s team have been able to configure and deploy a highly visual decision making environment, with the required performance dashboards and control system to help drive better outcomes. The MooD control room is really designed to provide a decision making capability on top of the architecture in order to allow the impact of changes to be modelled and tested and to provide the information in a readily accessible mechanism for a range of key users.
“The results? Increased agility in meeting urgent operational requirements”
The clarity that this has brought to the logistics operation spans all levels connecting the man or woman on the battlefield to the policymakers at home. Lt Col Paul Winchcombe. “We now have total visibility of all the plans in the 2* cluster, over 120 plans so the guys that are doing the projects are updating the plans, and they don’t have to then add any extra information, because actually we can cascade up all of those plans to the 2*, 3* and the 4* level and the 4* can drill all the way down. With this we have delivered increased coherence in the joint environment in Afghanistan and much greater agility in meeting urgent operational requirements”.
“What we’ve got now is the ability to effectively create and model the impact of change and that can be done really quickly. Now we can work across the whole process firstly to improve equipment availability but secondly to drive out unnecessary costs”.
“Critical enabler in bringing together the industry community and delivering better contracting for availability”
An example of that at work was a requirement for an engineering system for one of the unmanned aerial vehicles, the proposal was that they would put in a separate engineering system to support that, but they already had perfectly good one supporting some of the other aerial vehicles which they were able to re-use at a saving of about £40 million.
And since then the savings have grown and are significant.
Brigadier Clacher, “If you actually haven’t got some form of toolset where you’re able to marshal that complexity then quite frankly all you’re doing is moving forward without any real understanding of the consequence”.
- Operational effectiveness across tri-service is up
- Improved integration throughout the supply chain
- Increased and simplified the role of industry
- Risk is better managed
- Data quality is up
- Delivered considerable savings