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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Modly says DOD needs to crack the whip to accelerate transformation

"Thomas Modly, deputy undersecretary of Defense for financial management, surprised his audience at a recent conference when he claimed that intolerance is a desirable attribute for achieving business transformation.

'We can't tolerate the way things are now,' he explained during his presentation at the Defense Finance 2006 conference in Arlington, Va., held by Worldwide Business Research Inc. of New York.

Modly was referring to DOD enterprise processes that are failing to keep up with Defense transformation and private-sector trends. While the military's warfighting capabilities have become increasingly nimble and adaptive, the Pentagon's business processes have remained sluggish and outdated.

While the private sector has greatly reduced its product development and systems acquisitions cycles, DOD is 'going completely in the other direction,' Modly said.

DOD formed the Business Transformation Agency, which Modly co-directs, last year to set standards to consolidate and streamline processes and to provide systems interoperability. While individual agencies are managing the transformation, Modly's office determines the overall path.

'We swept up processes being developed in different domains, defined them and described what they wanted to accomplish at an enterprise level,' Modly said. 'Once we established standards, no one at a systems level can invest in any system over $1 million that does not meet those rules.' "

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