APMC Turnabout Defense Acquisition University

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					                           D I S T I N G U I S H E D                           G U E S T     L E C T U R E R


APMC “Turnabout” Makes Everyone a
Learner, Everyone a Teacher
                           JDAM Case Study Facilitating Open Dialogue,
                           Learning, Innovation
              M A J. T R OY S N O W , U . S . A I R F O R C E • D R . M A RY - JO H A L L




                                                                                                                           DISTINGUISHED GUEST
                                                                                                                           LECTURER TERRY LITTLE,
                                                                                                                           FORMER JDAM

                                                                                                                           PROGRAM MANAGER.




 FRONT ROW, FROM LEFT: STEVE YARNALL; ARMY LT. COL. ED O’CONNOR; RUTHANNE ZOMBOLAS; PATRICIA
 HAGAN; JAMES SENCINDIVER; GREG MAKRAKIS. BACK ROW, FROM LEFT: AIR FORCE LT. COL. JERRY
 WORSHAM; AIR FORCE LT. COL. SCOTTY FAIRBAIRN; AIR FORCE LT. COL. JONATHAN SUMNER; TERRY LITTLE;
 FRANK SWOFFORD; ARMY MAJ. ETHAN COLLINS; NAVY CMDR. TERRANCE HAID; ALBERT GRIGGS.


        n old axiom states that if you                tured question-and-answer session. Sep-       This “turnabout” approach, moving



A       want to learn something — a
        concept, an idea, a theory, or
        a skill — then teach it. With
        that in mind, APMC 98-3 stu-
dents literally took “center stage” at
the September Distinguished Guest
Lecturer (DGL) session.
                                                      tember’s DGL, however, departed from
                                                      that traditional approach.

                                                      Led by Ruthann Zombolas, the student
                                                      selected by peers as the Section C rep-
                                                      resentative, 12 students representing all
                                                      APMC sections asked questions of Sep-
                                                                                                    more toward encouraging students to
                                                                                                    ask “their” questions, established open
                                                                                                    dialogue between lecturer and students
                                                                                                    from the beginning.1

                                                                                                    Why JDAM?
                                                                                                    The JDAM program, which is still an on-
                                                      tember’s DGL — former Program Man-            going program, converts dumb bombs
Traditionally, DGLs deliver their pre-                ager of the Joint Direct Attack Munitions     to smart weapons using commercial
sentations, followed by a brief, struc-               (JDAM) Program Office, Terry Little.          practices. Originally begun as a tradi-

Snow and Hall are Professors of Systems Acquisition in the Program Management and
Leadership Department, Faculty Division, DSMC.

Photos by Richard Mattox                                                                           P M : J A N U A RY - F E B R U A RY 19 9 9   25
tional program in 1991, in 1994 Little                                                                                               in terms of real-time programmatics and
and his team streamlined the JDAM pro-                                      The Office of the                                        issues. During JDAM II, the DGL is the
gram using the principles, practices, and                                                                                            current JDAM Program Manager, Oscar
processes of Acquisition Reform, with
extraordinary results.
                                                                           Under Secretary of                                        Soler.


Since the Office of the Under Secretary
                                                                         Defense (Acquisition                                        DSMC’s APMC students use the case
                                                                                                                                     study to assess and evaluate one out-
of Defense (Acquisition and Technol-                                                                                                 standing example of cutting-edge
ogy) and Defense Acquisition University                                  and Technology) and                                         Acquisition Reform. Rather than a de-
were interested in the use of case stud-                                                                                             tailed analysis of functional and pro-
ies as a means to share lessons learned                                   Defense Acquisition                                        grammatic aspects, the JDAM I lesson
and to provide insight to all sides of an                                                                                            focuses on understanding leadership
acquisition relationship, DSMC, in part-                                     University were                                         and the transformation dynamics of
nership with Boeing, began developing                                                                                                cultural change.
a JDAM Case Study in May 1997.2 The                                       interested in the use
JDAM case study highlights how one par-                                                                                              Toward that end, DSMC established the
ticular office — the JDAM Program Of-
fice — implemented the policies and
                                                                           of case studies as a                                      following Terminal Learning Objective
                                                                                                                                     for JDAM I:
strategies emerging from Acquisition Re-
form and all it embodies.
                                                                              means to share                                            Given the early Phase II in the JDAM
                                                                                                                                        program, critically assess and evalu-
This joint DSMC-Boeing JDAM Case                                           lessons learned and                                          ate the transformation decisions,
Study is actually designated “JDAM I”                                                                                                   strategies, processes, and techniques
because it focuses on one particular time                                to provide insight to                                          the government and industry lead-
in the life of the program.3 For this rea-                                                                                              ers used to implement Acquisition
son, we asked students to limit their                                         all sides of an                                           Reform.
questions to this snapshot in time.
                                                                                acquisition                                          After a thorough study of the case, stu-
During week 13 or 14, the students begin                                                                                             dents develop and prioritize their ques-
JDAM II, a “present” look at the program                                       relationship.                                         tions for the DGL. Actually, the learning
                                                                                                                                     process starts with each student’s indi-
                                                                                                                                     vidual reading of the case study, aided
                                                                                                                                     by a concise set of structured, self-help
     Themes: Trust, Communication, Focus on Cost (less than $40K), Commercial, Competition                                           questions.

   Perseverance                                                    Partnership                                                       • What are your general impressions
                                                                                                    Non




                                                                                                                                       (who, what, when, where, why, how)?
                                                                                                        -
                                                                                                      Dis
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                                                                                                                                     • Who are the primary protagonists?
                                              Com




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                                                                     Involvement                                                       What were their dilemmas, success is-
                                                                                                             re P
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                                   Focus                                                              IPTs
                                                                                                                                     • What were their assumptions? What
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                                                                           Collocation                                                 decisions did they make? Why? How?
                                                                                                  Involvement of OSD
             Direction                                                                                                               • What are your assumptions?
                                                                                                          Effective and              • What are the primary issues?
                                   Recruitment
                                                                                                          Efficient Program          • What are your recommendations for
         Off




                                                                              Pilot Status
                                                                                              Benchmark                                action?
            site




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                                         tic

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                                                                                                                                     • What are the important events?
                                     rge




         Training                                                                            Best Practices in Industry
                                    hin
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                                                             Commercial-like Practices
                            Ene




                                                                                                                                     • How much time elapsed during the
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                                                                                  offs




 Leadership Style                                                                        Rolling Down Select                           events described?
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                         Rewards                                                                                                     • Who are the players?
                                                                   Rew s
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                                                                         ard
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                                                                                                                       Performance   • What are their backgrounds?
                                                                     em
                                                                    nic
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                                                                  ort



                                                                 ass
                                                                 mu




                                                                                                                                     • What are their motivations?
                                                              Rep
                                                           Com

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        People                                                  Processes                                                            • What are their attitudes toward other
                                                           mo
                                                        18




                                                                                                                                       characters and events?
                                                                                                                                     • What does the organization look like?
                                                                                                                                     • What are the reporting relationships?
FIGURE 1. Ishikawa (Fishbone) Diagram                                                                                                • Who has influence over whom?

26      P M : J A N U A RY - F E B R U A RY 19 9 9
• What are the cultural overtones?                • What is the operating environment        discussion (six or seven students) to col-
• What are the histories and traditions             like?                                    laborate on an individual interpretation
  of the organization and teams?                  • What external factors impact the peo-    of the case. This individual interpreta-
• How do the structure, culture, history,           ple, teams, and organization?            tion uses another set of questions to
  and traditions factor into the current          • What is the industry like? Is it com-    guide students:
  situation?                                        petitive? Who are the competitors?
• What is the central problem, decision,          • What are the program or team             • Who are the primary players? How
  or opportunity to be analyzed?                    strengths and weaknesses compared          are they motivated? What were their
• What is the case about?                           to competitors?                            leadership styles?
• Does organizational change play a               • What are the socioeconomic, envi-        • What are the important events dis-
  role? If so, what forces exist both for           ronmental, and technical considera-        cussed in the case? When did the
  and against change?                               tions that impact the program?             events take place? Who was in-
• Which change forces are most com-                                                            volved?
  pelling? What can be done to either             After developing their questions, stu-     • What is the operating environment
  augment or mitigate the change?                 dents follow this effort by a workgroup      for the case? What is the external en-
                                                                                               vironment like? What is the internal
                                                                                               environment like?
                                                                                             • What are the primary problems the
    THE EIGHT-STAGE PROCESS OF CREATING MAJOR CHANGE                                           protagonists face?
1. Establishing a sense of urgency:
   • Examining the market and competitive realities.                                         The third aspect of the case study was
   • Identifying and discussing crises, potential crises, or major opportunities.            a section discussion of the dominant
                                                                                             themes throughout the case study:
2. Creating the guiding coalition:                                                           People, Processes, Partnerships, and
   • Putting together a group with enough power to lead the change.                          Perseverance. The Ishikawa (Fishbone)
   • Getting the group to work together like a team.
                                                                                             Diagram (Figure 1) visually identifies
3. Developing a vision and strategy:                                                         and categorizes root causes of program
   • Creating a vision to help direct the change effort.                                     success.
   • Developing strategies for achieving that vision.
                                                                                             After analyzing and synthesizing the
4. Communicating the change vision:
                                                                                             information in the case study, students
   • Using every vehicle possible to constantly communicate the new vision
     and strategies.                                                                         compare the leadership and cultural
   • Having the guiding coalition role model the behavior expected of                        dynamics manifested in the JDAM Case
     employees.                                                                              Study, to the Kotter model for leading
                                                                                             change. Depicted in Figure 2, this
5. Empowering broad-based action:
   • Getting rid of obstacles.
                                                                                             model is developed in John P. Kotter’s
   • Changing systems or structures that undermine the change vision.                        work, Leading Change.4
   • Encouraging risktaking and nontraditional ideas, activities, and actions.
                                                                                             The final exercise included brain-
6. Generating short-term wins:
                                                                                             storming questions the students
   • Planning for visible improvements in performance, or "wins."
   • Creating those wins.
                                                                                             wanted to ask Little. These questions
   • Visibly recognizing and rewarding people who made the win possible.                     were prioritized within each work-
                                                                                             group and then at the section level. Ad-
7. Consolidating gains and producing more change:                                            ditionally, each workgroup selected a
   • Using increased credibility to change all systems, structures, and policies             representative for the DGL session.
     that don't fit together and don't fit the transformation vision.
                                                                                             From these five representatives in each
   • Hiring, promoting, and developing people who can implement the change
     vision.
                                                                                             section, one person was selected to
   • Reinvigorating the process with new projects, themes, and change agents.                represent their section on the discus-
                                                                                             sion panel.
8. Anchoring new approaches in the culture:
   • Creating better performance through customer- and productivity- oriented                Assessing the
     behavior, more and better leadership, and more effective management.                    Value-Added
   • Articulating the connections between new behaviors and organizational                   At the end of the session, students as-
     success.                                                                                sessed the value-added of the class.
   • Developing means to ensure leadership development and succession.                       The data indicate that 82 percent of
                                                                                             students believed the length of the
FIGURE 2. Kotter Model for Leading Change                                                    class — three-and-one-half hours — was

                                                                                            P M : J A N U A RY - F E B R U A RY 19 9 9   27
just right or even too short to assess                                            be switched to another class in APMC
the issues within the case.                                                       99-1.
                                                          In an effort to
The bar chart (Figure 3) displays the rel-                                        Acquisition Reform will continue as
ative value students assigned to each part                                        one of the dominant themes, not only
of the lesson. Overall, students felt that                 continuously           within APMC, but also throughout the
the information and learning method-                                              entire DSMC curricula.
ology added value.
                                                      improve the quality         Editor’s Note: For information on at-
In an effort to continuously improve the                                          tending a DSMC course, visit http://
quality of instruction, the faculty con-                                          www.dsmc.dsm.mil/registrar/
ducted a post-instruction review and rec-             of instruction, the         applic.htm on the DSMC Web site.
ommended improvements to the case
study. The data indicate a slight drop                                                           ENDNOTES
in the value added from the case dis-
                                                      faculty conducted a         1. A requirement that students develop
cussions (Figure 3) to the comparison                                             questions for this turnabout DGL ses-
with Kotter’s Model for Leading Change
(Figure 2). Experience from the class-
                                                          post-instruction        sion was actually built into the cur-
                                                                                  riculum as part of the JDAM Case
room was that the JDAM case too easily                                            Study.
fit this change model, and the analysis                     review and            2. Harman, Dr. Beryl A. and Daniel G.
did not provide an appropriate challenge                                          Robinson, “DSMC & Boeing Cultivate
to the students.                                                                  an Unconventional Educational Part-
                                                          recommended             nership Beyond the Norm,” Program
As a result of that assessment, improve-                                          Manager, Vol. XXVII, No. 4, DSMC 145,
ments are being made to further chal-                                             July-August 1998.
lenge students’ critical thinking skills.              improvements to            3. To read the JDAM Case Study in its
The Definition of Acquisition Reform                                              entirety, go to http://www.dsmc.
segment (Figure 3) received the lowest                                            dsm.mil on the DSMC Web site.
score, suffering, in many cases, from lack                the case study.         4. Kotter, John P., “Leading Change,”
of time. Since this is important but not                                          Harvard Business Review (March-April
an Enabling Learning Objective, it will                                           1995).


     5
                                                                      N = 249   Students rated each of the following
                                                                                components of the case study:
                                                                                    A Workgroup Discussions of Case
     4                                                                              B Section Discussion Issues Within
                                                                                       the Case
                                                                                    C Comparison between
                                                                                       JDAM and Kotter’s Model for
     3                                                                                 Leading Change
                                                                                    D Workgroup Reports Model —
                                                                                       Workgroup Discussion
                                                                                    E Developing Questions for
                                                                                       DGL (Terry Little)
     2                                                                              F Definition of Acquisition
                                                                                       Reform
                                                                                Using the following rating scale:
                                                                                    5 Extremely Valuable
     1                                                                              4 Quite Valuable
                                                                                    3 Valuable
                                                                                    2 Only Slightly Valuable
                                                                                    1 Not At All Valuable
     0
             Note       Case        A        B        C      D    E        F
FIGURE 3. JDAM Case Study Survey Results
28       P M : J A N U A RY - F E B R U A RY 19 9 9

				
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