The Australian Defence White Paper 2016, released today, will require a major increase in project delivery capability across defence. For the first time, an integrated approach to capital investment planning is being used which will provide the framework for a more coherent and efficient approach to managing the development of future Defence capability. However, whilst a single investment program will reduce the risk of incomplete or fragmented approaches to investment, there will be a corresponding need to seriously ramp up capabilities in program and portfolio management.
Coupled with a more complex (but potentially beneficial) management environment, there is also a major increase in the volume of projects and programs with an expenditure of approximately $195 billion (in today’s terms) planned for the next decade. Some of the projects and programs in the pipeline include:
- Increasing the submarine force from 6 to 12 regionally superior submarines with a high degree of interoperability with the United States.
- Three Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers (under construction).
- A new class of nine future frigates.
- New replenishment vessels.
- More capable offshore patrol vessels,
- New manned and unmanned aircraft for border protection.
- A new large-hulled multi-purpose patrol vessel, the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Protector.
- The F-35A Lightning II program.
- Twelve E/A-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft.
- More air-to-air refuellers will be acquired to support future combat, surveillance and transport aircraft.
- New personal equipment for soldiers.
- A new generation of armoured combat reconnaissance and infantry fighting vehicles, as well as new combat engineering equipment.
- A new long-range rocket system to further enhance fire power,
- Armed medium-altitude unmanned aircraft to enhance surveillance and protection for the land force.
- Extending the life of and acquiring new weapons and equipment for the amphibious ships.
- New light helicopters will be acquired to support Special Forces operations.
- Upgrades to ADF bases and logistics systems, including fuel and explosive ordnance facilities.
- Upgrade training and testing facilities, health services and information and communications technology.
- Air lift capability will be increased to comprise 8 heavy lift C-17A Globemasters with additional heavy lift aircraft to be considered in the longer term, 12 upgraded C-130J Hercules, 10 C-27J Spartans and 10 CH-47F Chinook helicopters. Sea lift capability will be strengthened by extending the
Add the White Paper’s commitment to Australian industry involvement in most of these projects and the volume of work that will require effective project governance, management and controls becomes apparent. To download the white papers see: http://www.defence.gov.au/WhitePaper/
Fortunately Australia already has an effective forum focused on improving the capability of government and industry to govern and control its projects and programs. The Project Governance and Controls Symposium, hosted by the University of Mew South Wales Canberra (ADFA), is focused on developing this capability and providing a forum for exchanging learning and ideas. The 2016 Symposium is scheduled for May 10th to 12th, see: http://www.pgcs.org.au/
The Australia government has laid out the plans, its up to the project management profession to realise the intent, effectively and efficiently. Watch this space…….
 Where the term ‘program’ is used to mean a series of projects (of very different types) managed together to achieve benefits that would not be available if they were managed separately. See: www.mosaicprojects.com.au/WhitePapers/WP1022_Program_Typology.pdf
 Improving the project delivery capability of Australian government departments is the focus of the separate Shergold report, see: https://mosaicprojects.wordpress.com/2016/02/20/the-shergold-report-calls-for-better-governance-and-better-project-controls/