The underlying principles for Defense Reform
are to focus the enterprise on a unifying vision, commit the leadership to change, focus
on core competencies, streamline organizations for agility, invest in people, exploit
information technology, and break down barriers between organizations.
The DRI Report released in 1997 identified four pillars, or
major areas, of Defense Reform: Reengineer adopt best practices, Consolidate
reorganize, Compete apply market mechanisms, and Eliminate
reduce excess support structures. These four pillars were expanded in 1999 and are
now structured around the Departments business processes:
- Adopting Best Business Practices;
- Quality of Life;
- Financial Management;
- Savings Through Eliminating Unneeded Infrastructure; and
- Transforming Acquisition and Logistics.
As some initiatives reach their end state and other, new
initiatives begin, the structure of the DRI has evolved over time. However, the purpose
and underlying principles have remained the same, providing a consistent point on the
horizon toward which the DoD leadership can steer, as they move on the road to reform.
Only two formal organizations were created to support the
Defense Reform Initiative: the Defense Management Council and the Defense Reform
Initiatives Office. The Defense Management Council (DMC) was established in winter
1998 as the "Board of Directors" to oversee the continued reengineering of the
Department of Defense. The DMC ensures that reform initiatives directed by the Secretary
of Defense are carried out, recommends reforms to the Secretary, and reviews the Defense
Agencies performance contracts. The DMC is a first: an attempt to create a Board of
Directors of the senior military and civilian leadership of the Department to provide
direction on a range of critical reform and reform-related issues. The Deputy Secretary of
Defense chairs the DMC, and membership includes senior decision makers from the Office of
the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the uniformed Services.
The Defense Reform Initiatives (DRI)
Office was established in May 1998 to provide executive leadership to all levels of
DoD management to facilitate, coordinate, and introduce reform initiatives complementary
to other ongoing reforms, within and outside the Department. The Defense Reform Office
operates with a small staff of eight and reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of
Defense. It is their responsibility to monitor this monumental effort and keep it moving
toward its ultimate destination.
To date, the Department has issued a total of 17 Management Reform Memoranda (MRMs) and 54 Defense
Reform Initiative Directives (DRIDs), covering a wide range of issues for changing the
way it does business. Actions on 95 percent of these are complete. Many of the early
Directives dealt with downsizing in OSD. These downsizing efforts are now complete. Many
of the open Directives deal with process changes that are currently underway.
The MRMs and DRIDs generally assigned responsibility for the
reform effort to someone in a key leadership role in the Office of the Secretary of
Defense or a Defense Agency. Some of these leaders act as "process owners" for
DoD core processes such as acquisition management, financial management, human resources
management, information management, installation management, and logistics management.
Other leaders head organizations that play a key role within that process. Many of the
initiatives impact more than one core process. Quite often, in these cases, the MRM or
DRID assigns shared responsibility or coordination requirements. In all cases, the
initiatives focus on changing a DoD process in some way, whether it is introducing,
changing, or eliminating steps; harnessing IT; restructuring the responsible organization;
or impacting the people who work the process through training, job redesign, or reduction.