Defence industry is heading towards uncharted waters. Complex in nature, planning, resourcing and executing future Defence projects will require a significant pivot from what is considered best practice today. With significant investment already tabled including new submarines, fighter jets and in more technologically complex areas such as cyber-security, the risk comes in many guises – over extension, adaptability over life, intellectual property, silo creation, skills shortages and capital investment. Historically, risk averseness and bureaucracy has polarised the industry resulting in delays and wasted deployment of resources and intellectual capital. Innovative thinking is required to ensure the industry meets and exceeds tomorrows headwinds.
Defence industry, both government and commercial, should be postured in such a way that allows creativity, decision making and accountability to emerge when problems arise. Significant time and cost gains can be achieved if talented, experienced and focussed teams, coupled with the exploitation of networked technologies, are authorised to make decisions. We support Defence organisations by assessing project structures and processes for better alignment and equipping organisations with the structures, systems, tools and skills to manage complexity, inefficiency and waste. The industry would also be better served by opening its system to adjoining industries, academia and the general public permitting optimisation, intellectual energy and diversity. This would also include an ability for decommissioned assets to be recycled or repurposed once they become obsolete, emphasising a new cradle to cradle strategy in through life asset management. Australia is blessed with a defence capability and network that is respected worldwide. Future mission success will depend however on its ability to reach out and partner with others as inter-connectedness, collaboration and shared consciousness become the new force multipliers.