Functional Process Improvement Fundamentals
Department of Defense
"Improving the functional processes of the Department of Defense (DoD) is a key
element of the Defense Information Management (IM) program, and is critical to
success of the corporate information management initiative. Functional managers are,
and will continue to be, the driving force for major process improvement efforts in
-- Mr. Paul Strassmann, Former Director of Defense Information (DDI)
Before we can really understand the concepts behind the Functional Process Improvement Program (FPIP), we need to take a look at the conditions that spawned the need for the program. First, let's look at an overview of the concept of Information Resources Management (IRM).
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF INFORMATION RESOURCES MANAGEMENT (IRM)
By the mid 1980's, businesses began to realize that automation alone was not the answer to increased productivity. Businesses realized that information is a resource that needs to be managed for increased productivity and that automation is only a tool, although a very necessary tool, to provide managers access to the information that he/she needs to make decisions.
Furthermore, businesses realized that from an information point of view, the solution to productive organizations is not how much information can be automated. The solution is what information is necessary to support the functional processes that make up the business, thus allowing for efficient operations. While organizations were drowning in automated information, they were starving for the appropriate information which was needed to perform essential business operations. Automation of unnecessary information inhibits productivity. However, automation of the appropriate information which supports business processes can be a productivity multiplier.
The recognition of the importance of information as a major factor in changing organizations has grown considerably in recent years. Information is no longer viewed as a convenient way of getting work done; it is quickly being recognized as a critical resource essential for today's organizations to maintain their competitive edge.
John Naisbitt, in his book MegaTrends, lists 10 major transformations in our society. One of these transformations is a shift from the Industrial Age to the Information Age. This transformation began in the late 1950's when the number of white collar workers exceeded for the first time the number of blue collar workers.
In the Industrial Age, capital was the strategic resource; in the Information Age, information is the strategic resource. This change does not mean that capital is no longer important. It does mean, however, that information is more important as the factor for survival and success in the Information Age.
Alvin Toffler, in his book Power Shift, discusses the close relationship of knowledge, power, wealth, and the transformation in society. According to Mr. Toffler,
" a revolution is sweeping today's...world. No genius in the past.. could have
imagined today's deepest powershift; the astounding degree to which both force and
wealth themselves have come to depend on knowledge."
Toffler defines a power shift as a transfer of power. He defines a "powershift" as a deep-level change in the very nature of power. He further states that,
"Knowledge itself, therefore, turns out to be not only the source of the highest-quality power, but also the most important ingredient of force and wealth."
Put simply, knowledge has gone from being an adjunct of money power and muscle power, to being their very essence. It is, in fact, the ultimate force multiplier. This is the key to the powershift that lies ahead, and it explains why the battle for control of knowledge and the means of communication is heating up all over the world.
In the Information Age, knowledge is power and information is the means to obtain knowledge. Knowledge provides competitive advantage (e.g., what the customer needs, what the competition is doing, how to streamline business processes.). The only way to acquire knowledge is through information. Furthermore, this information must be the meaningful critical information that will transform business processes to make organizations competitive.
INFORMATION AS A CHANGE
AGENT FOR TODAY'S ORGANIZATIONS
AGENT FOR TODAY'S ORGANIZATIONS
How does information provide the knowledge - the power - to transform today's organizations?
In a 1958 article in the Harvard Business Review entitled "Management in the 1980's", Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Wistler made predictions about management in the future. By the late 1980's, they predicted the combination of management science and information technology would cause middle management to shrink, top management to take on more of the creative functions of management, and large organizations to shrink again.
In 1958, the world could not imagine how true these predictions were. What we have today throughout the American commercial business world is the transformation to downsized and flattened organizations with fewer middle managers. The tool that has contributed greatly to this trend is Information Technology (IT). IT, which was once the tool for organizational expansion, is now the tool for organizational downsizing and restructuring.
IT is not just automation nor is it just data management. IT also involves the management of information. When the way we manage information is the focus, the decision processes, management structure, and even the way work gets done begins to be transformed. When an organization focuses the management of information, whole layers of management can be reduced.
IT facilitates the changing of organizational structure from a vertical hierarchy to a flat organization. In the traditional vertically structured organization, groups are arranged by function. In the horizontal organization, teams are arranged by process. (We will explore this concept of "process management" in more detail in Chapter 2.)
How can horizontal organizations utilizing teams be managed? Since, traditional business organizations are vertical, there are few examples in business to look at a guide in managing horizontal organizations. However, it should be noted that more and more companies are examining team management as a survival tool.
A clue in how a horizontal organization can be managed may be obtained by looking at other non-business horizontal "organizations."
Peter Drucker, in a 1988 Harvard Business Review article titled "The Coming of the New Organization," suggests we look at a symphony orchestra. In an orchestra, several hundred musicians play for one director. There is no chain of command and no middle management. The director interacts directly with individual players. Tom Peters, author of the landmark book, In Search of Excellence, uses the example of a movie studio production process as an example of a flattened organization. In a movie studio, the director interacts directly with individual actors and others on the set without going through an elaborate vertical structure.
What enables both a symphony orchestra and a movie studio to work effectively? What provides the glue to keep all of the "players" from going their own independent direction? What keeps them working to effectively and efficiently produce a common product? There are at least three factors that both of these horizontal organizations share which are critical to their success. Each of these factors are important considerations for government organizations planning to rightsize, or restructure, their organization to a horizontal structure.
The first factor is that each of the individual players/actors must have a common sheet of music by which to play or a common script from which to act. Put simply, they all must share a common vision and each individual must know what needs to be done to accomplish their common purpose. Put into business terms, these organizations must have a detailed business plan of where the organization is going and a specific guide on how they are going to get there. This plan must be understandable and each individual must know precisely how he or she fits into this plan.
Secondly, in both organizations, all individuals have clearly defined roles. The players and actors know when to come in, how to do their part and when to exist. They not only know what part they play, but they also know how their part interacts with other players and actors. The director also has a clearly defined role which is critical to the success of the enterprise, In fact, this role may be perhaps more critical than director positions in a hierarchial structure. The Individual players are directly dependent on how the director interprets the business plan. TRUST is very important at this point. Each member of the organizational team must trust one another to carry out their individual responsibilities.
Finally, the information system must support the business plan, which lays out the processes that must be performed in order to accomplish the mission, and the individual roles. The information system, be it automated or manual, must provide the common sheet of music so that each individual clearly knows how he or she fits into the organization and how they relate to others in the organization. In addition, the information system must provide each player, actor, and director the critical information needed to perform their individual roles. Each team member needs sufficient information on what is expected of them. If the system does not provide the essential information, confusion will result, and the mission of the entire organization will suffer.
Many people are skeptical of the changes taking place around them. Those skeptics in the federal government claim that the federal government can not, should not and will not operate under these new non-traditional ways of management. They fail to recognize the entire world as we know it is changing and so must the federal government. Even at the highest levels of our leadership, these new ways of thinking are taking hold.
IRM AND THE FEDERAL LAW
"Each agency shall be responsible for carrying out its information management activities in an efficient, effective and economical manner, and for complying with information policies, principles, standards, and guidelines prescribed by the Director (OMB)."
Paperwork Reduction Act, Section 3506
The federal government has become a voracious consumer of information. It continues to increase its requirement for information with every new program it creates. Because of these new programs the government has begun to collect more and more information from the program applicants. This is so it will have all the data it feels it needs for proper management or administration of the program. It also wants to project the appearance of being fair. Because the federal government has the responsibility to evaluate the effectiveness of each program, heavy reporting requirements for the recipients of the program is needed. Government research projects and studies result in many reports making it a prime information generator.
Today's technology provides the government with the ability to better manage and control the inflow of information. It also aids in the dissemination of information to the people. However, this improved management and control of information may lead to some governmental agencies increasing its demands for information from the private sector.
With the increasingly larger role the government is playing in the management of information, government information managers must constantly be aware of the conflict between "freedom of information" and the demands of both privacy and national security. Government information planning must take into account this delicate relationship it has with our society.
Paperwork Reduction Act (Public Law 96-511) 1980 & Paperwork Reduction
Reauthorization Act (Public Law 99-500) 1986
Within the public sector, Congress officially introduced information resources management (IRM) across the Federal government by enacting the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1980. The Act was enacted to ensure that Federal Information Processing (FIP) resources and telecommunications technologies were acquired and used in a manner that improved service delivery and program management, increased productivity, reduced waste and fraud, and wherever practical and appropriate reduced the information processing burden for the Federal government and for persons providing information to the government. OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs was assigned overall authority for implementation of the Act.
Major points of the Act include:
Defined information as a resource.
Directed agencies to designate a senior official for Information Resource Management (IRM).
Required agency IRM plans and reviews.
THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) INFORMATION MANAGEMENT (IM) PROGRAM
Let's continue this discussion by examining how the DoD chose to implement the philosophy of managing information as a resource. It is important to remember the DOD mission. This mission (as stated in the January 10, 1991, Plan for Implementation of Corporate Information Management In DOD, signed by the Deputy Secretary of Defense) is:
"The Department of Defense is responsible for providing the military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of the United States.
The Department of Defense (DoD), in establishing its IRM program, had to constantly keep in mind this mission statement. Therefore, how did the department choose to establish the required IRM program?
DOD Directive 7740.1
To implement the Congressional and OMB guidance on Federal IRM policy within the Federal structure, DOD implemented DOD Directive 7740.1. This directive established and defined the Department's IM program. It standardized organizations and activities associated with:
Information technology, data element usage, information collection, privacy of records, information security, statistical activities, forms, reports and records.
DOD IRM MANAGEMENT STRUCTURES
DOD IRM MANAGEMENT STRUCTURES
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command Control, Communications & Intelligence (ASD(C3I))
The DOD assigned the ASD(C3I) the responsibility of establishing DOD IRM policy. The Assistant Secretary of Defense (C3I) has the overall responsibility to implement the Defense Information Management (IM) program, the Defense Corporate Information Management (cIM) initiative and principles of cIM throughout the Department of Defense. Much of the day to day responsibility rests with the Director of Defense Information (DDI).
In November 1990, the Secretary of Defense assigned the ASD(C3I):
Authority to establish and implement DOD IM policies, processes, programs and standards.
To chair the Major Automated Information Systems Review Committee (MAISRC).
To serve as the Department's information management official.
To establish an organization to implement corporate information management throughout the Department of Defense.
Director of Defense Information
In response to the November 1990 direction given by the Secretary of Defense, the ASD(C3I) established the Director of Defense Information at the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary level. The DDI has "overall responsibility for implementing the corporate information management program across the Department." The ASD(C3I) has specified that the DDI's responsibilities for information management processes, programs, and standards include:
information technologies and architectures,
systems development methods and tools,
information technology and data standards and;
ADP equipment acquisition processes.
In addition to the above, the DDI has the following additional responsibilities:
Implements the cIM program.
Develops and provides guidance on the common models, tools, and methodologies to be used by functional personnel in performing their responsibilities for the management of information incidental to their function.
Oversees the implementation of cIM policies, processes, standards and programs and provides guidance to correct problems that may develop.
Recommends appropriate funding levels for all cIM initiatives, programs and information systems during the PPBES process.
Resolves functional or technical integration issues which cross major functional boundaries.
Validates designation of cIM standard systems and associated business cases (functional economic analysis).
Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)
On June 25, 1991 the Deputy Secretary of Defense signed DOD Directive 5105.19. This directive established the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), formerly known as the Defense Communications Agency (DCA). The change in name was intended to reflect the agency's expanded role in implementing the DOD Corporate Information Management Initiative. DISA was created to act as a combat support agency of the Defense Department and is under the control of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for C3I.
DISA provides support and guidance on technical and operational C3 and information systems issues that affect the DOD departments, agencies and commands. It ensures the interoperability of the Worldwide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS), the Defense Communications System (DCS), theater and tactical command and control systems, North Atlantic Treaty Organization and/or allied C3 systems, and those national and/or international commercial systems that affect the DOD mission.
DISA provides the following services:
Through its Center for Information Management (CIM) Office, DISA supports the Director of Defense Information by providing information management technical services to the DOD community. This office serves as the primary implementor of the DOD Corporate Information Management (cIM) Initiatives. The center supports information management principles and programs and their technical implementation. One major area of assistance is the implementation of the Functional Process Improvement Program.
Manages DOD-wide standards for information technologies and architectures; software; systems development methods and tools; data standards and ADPE acquisition processes.
Coordinates DOD-wide data management methods, programs, and procedures.
Ensures DOD technical programs and plans are consistent with established technical and data standards.
Develops and maintains the DOD enterprise model and supports Functional Requirements Manager(s) with standard tools, methods and models.
Provides technical expert resources to the Functional Integration Manager(s) for each designated functional area.
In coordination with related activities, prototypes, and tests systems development approaches, including design and implementation of consolidated data bases for use across functional areas.
In addition to DOD-wide technical integration regulations, DISA also acts as the Technical Integration Manager for assigned functional areas.
INFORMATION MANAGEMENT (cIM)
INFORMATION MANAGEMENT (cIM)
"The primary objective of CIM is business process improvement. The role of
information technology is supportive and allows the adoption of more efficient
and effective business area management practices."
Report to the House and
Senate Appropriations Committee
April 18, 1991
On November 16, 1990, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum implementing CIM within the Department of Defense using the concepts laid out in September 11, 1990 Plan for Corporate Information Management for the Department of Defense. The objective of the DOD cIM initiative is to increase military effectiveness while complying with the July 1989 Defense Management Report cost reduction targets. According to an April 1991 report to Congress by ASD (C3I):
It's major tenet is that "members of the Department [of Defense] will be encouraged to examine and improve continuously the processes in which they are engaged -- and to raise, at all levels, new ideas and approaches that will contribute to a sound, affordable program to maintain adequate U.S. military strength."
The Department of Defense is required to implement a series of Defense Management Review Decisions (DMRDs), which are designed to improve the overall effectiveness of the Department by streamlining functional processes and centralizing the management of technology.
Corporate Information Management is one of the programs resulting from the Defense Management Report. The Corporate Information Management (cIM) Initiative mandates that satisfying functional requirements is our primary objective. Information technology is secondary but directly supportive of our primary objective.
Principles of Corporate Information Management (cIM)
Principles of Corporate Information Management (cIM)
The CIM principles identified in the plan are as follows:
1. Information will be managed through centralized control and decentralized execution.
2. Simplification by elimination and integration is to be preferred to automation whether developing new or enhancing existing information systems.
3. Proposed and existing business methods will be subject routinely to cost-benefit analysis.
4. New business methods will be proven or validated before implementation.
5. Information systems performing the same function must be common unless specific analysis determines they should be unique.
6. Functional management will be held accountable for all benefits and all directly controllable costs of developing and operating their information systems.
7. Information systems will be developed and enhanced according to a Department-wide methodology and accomplished in a compressed time frame in order to minimize the cost of development and achieve early realization of benefits.
8. Information systems will be developed and enhanced in the context of process models that document business methods.
9. The computing and communications infrastructure will be transparent to the information systems that rely upon it.
10. Common definitions and standards for data will exist DOD-wide.
11. Wherever practicable, information services will be acquired through competitive bidding considering internal and external sources.
12. Data will be entered only once.
13. Access to information will be facilitated, and/or controlled and limited, as required. Information will also be safeguarded against unintentional or unauthorized alteration, destruction, or disclosure.
14. The presentation between the user and the system shall be friendly and consistent.
In applying the principles of the CIM initiative to the functional areas of DOD, the following objectives guide the application of information technology:
1. Mission requirements and functional economic analysis are the drivers for all DOD programs.
2. Security and Survivability are basic to the defense mission.
3. Mission needs determine information production and availability; mission responses must not be bounded by information supply.
4. Flexibility and speed are crucial to mission responsiveness. Systems design must follow suit.
5. Defense is a joint, multi-Service effort. Supportive information systems are to be constructed from standard, jointly used elements.
6. The DOD will use the competitive marketplace of the U.S. to obtain innovative and cost effective approaches to improving mission support. The design of information systems must encourage competition and ease of introduction of more effective processes.
7. Information management is a process for improving the productivity of all information work. Although it uses computers, it is primarily focused on overall organizational effectiveness and productivity.
The mission of DOD IM is to provide effective and efficient business operations throughout the department. The Department of Defense has taken a proactive approach to managing information. Various offices have been created at all levels to ensure that information and its related technologies are managed in a rational, effective and efficient manner.
According to the April 1992 DOD CIM Status Report, the value of the CIM initiative to DOD is in its ability to deliver mission results. CIM, while implementing substantial technological innovations, keeps as its primary mission the improvement of DOD mission processes and functions.
As the Defense budget is reduced, the Department will constantly have to improve its IM
functions. It was this fact that led to the adoption of the DOD cIM Initiative. CIM's goal,
restated, is to reduce the cost of defense information management, while still fulfilling the vital
mission of supporting the overall defense mission.
Activity - Student Exercise (Chapter 1)
Activity - Student Exercise (Chapter 1)
SUMMARY REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What DOD office has the responsibility to formulate the Department's IRM policy?
2. What DOD agency has the responsibility for implementing the Department's IRM policy?
3. What office is responsible for implementing the corporate information management initiative throughout the department?
4. What is the goal/objective of the DOD CIM Initiative?