2016 Defence Renewal Annual Report: Positive Momentum for Enduring Success

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Executive Summary

Overall, the aim of Defence Renewal is being met and the exercise is providing considerable benefit to the Defence Team. While some initiatives have proven to have challenges with respect to the timing and effort involved, most others are meeting expectations. Defence Renewal is having a positive impact on the readiness of the Canadian Armed Forces, and on the Department’s ability to help offset previous budget reductions and added pressures. Through Defence Renewal there is improved control of infrastructure and IM/IT support costs, and mission-ready equipment is increasingly available as a result of improved maintenance practices and routines.

As of FY 2015/16, a recurring impact of close to a quarter billion dollars has been reached.  Savings from previous years have been reinvested back to support the initiatives or to meet existing financial pressures including:

  • $182 million in Maintenance and Materiel to reduce financial pressures in our need to procure spare parts, maintenance services, and other materiel;
  • $24 million in Infrastructure reinvestments to modernize and maintain aging real property;
  • $18 million in Information Management to support the upgrade of systems and our capacity to implement new projects; and,
  • $16 million in Cadets and Junior Ranger Programs directed into increased participation at camps and other activities

As Renewal progresses, the Defence Team can anticipate a number of improvements to the way we conduct the business of Defence including:

  • enhanced long-term sustainability through better materiel management for a more effective investment in equipment fleets;
  • improved maintenance processes and execution aimed at improving the availability and serviceability of existing fleets;
  • improved management of personnel and infrastructure through centralization of service delivery and management functions.

Enduring change, however, takes time, investment, planning, and careful management to ensure it is both measurable and irreversible. Now in its third year, Defence Renewal is making real progress against the initiative’s four strategic outcomes:

  • overhead costs and process inefficiencies -- in critical areas such as materiel, information management, and infrastructure -- continue to be reduced, and a comprehensive framework to strategically reallocate resources to front-line military capabilities and readiness -- has been introduced;
  • Defence Renewal is assisting the Defence Team’s broader efforts to develop a comprehensive family of performance metrics -- and attendant targets -- to measure and assess progress, help inform resource decisions, and ensure accountability;
  • The role of information management and technology to support and enable process improvements across the Defence Team continues to grow, including the initial operational capability of the Defence CIO model and advances in critical efforts to ensure successful implementation of a modern and sustainable long-term approach to business intelligence; and,
  • Defence Renewal is contributing to the overall efforts to instill a culture of continuous improvement in how defence goes about its business by addressing strategic clarity, introducing more disciplined approaches to business execution, and fostering the conditions by which knowledge sharing across the Defence Team will be enhanced.  

Based upon the work conducted to date, Renewal is on track to be within the envisioned target range of $750M by FY 2019/20: an important contribution to ensuring that the CAF remains an effective force, while demonstrating strong financial stewardship of the Government of Canada’s financial resources.

Much of the work achieved by Defence Renewal to date has addressed concerns noted in prior studies, such as the Defence Transformation report. In the short term, the impact of Defence Renewal will have been to address immediate efficiency and effectiveness opportunities in the management of defence business. Going forward, Defence Renewal will transition into supporting the establishment of Continuous Improvement with the department, a principal objective of the program.

Continuous improvement within the department will embrace technology and innovation to support, reinforce, and enable process improvements, support decision making with business intelligence, and assist in driving the delivery of results for the Government of Canada. Defence faces the immediate future with positive momentum for enduring success: confident that we have increasingly taken further steps to move from targets towards a culture of continuous improvement -- finding better ways to conduct the business of defence -- and poised to further reinvest in operational capabilities and readiness.

Doug Haferkamp
Defence Renewal Team Lead