Delivering defence transformation for Total Support Force (TSF) – key next steps for 2012
Forty senior decision makers and leaders from defence industry and the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) met at PA’s Defence Leaders' Forum to discuss ‘Delivering defence transformation for Total Support Force (TSF): key next steps for 2012’. Short presentations to stimulate conversation were provided by the UK MOD, defence industry and PA Consulting Group.
The forum agreed that UK defence requires greater emphasis on capability-driven requirements supported by novel commercial models and increased dialogue across the community. This was considered to be the primary way to extract the maximum possible ‘value for defence’ from TSF. Five necessities emerged for defence:
Develop enduring force generation communities – TSF must evolve to ‘Total Capability Force’ teams underpinned by more stable relationships between private contractors, military personnel and civil servants. All personnel should be trained and equipped on the premise of ‘organise for war and adapt for peace’. Solutions will be tailored to meet each service’s distinct force generation philosophy
Enhance commercial capabilities – current MOD commercial models are not suited to the emerging, diverse demands implicit within TSF. Future contracts must be structured to consider a broader range of operational scenarios, response times and partnering arrangements. External support will be needed to help upskill staff or to design objective and innovative commercial models
Instil a capability-driven requirements approach – improved capability-driven requirements are needed to unlock latent savings opportunities without unduly bounding solutions. The aim must be to create capability packages targeted at specific needs rather than to think in terms of manpower substitution. Packages will be designed to interlock at the optimum points in the capability delivery chain, and will recognise the trade-off between cost and flexibility.
Seek early industry engagement – earlier engagement with industry will promote understanding of current best practice, inform requirements setting and engender mutual trust. Trade associations and industry days can be used to encourage constructive dialogue without infringing on commercial guidelines. The goal from the outset must be to ‘do it better’ rather than ‘do it cheaper’.
Exchange security guarantees for increased flexibility – recent experience has dispelled the myth that contractors would exercise freedom of choice and not turn up when needed in support of operations. Industry will be more willing and able to assure continuous service delivery closer to the front line in exchange for pre-agreed force protection commitments from the Armed Forces.
To find out more about how PA can help deliver the defence transformation agenda and structural changes across the defence community, please contact us now.