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NEWS -- ARMY HQ FEATURE ON GOVERNANCE 9
Army September 16, 2010
By Lt-Col John Brennan
"Why are we doing this?"
Recently, COs and RSMs from around
the country have taken part in the CA
Challenge Command Team Workshops in
locations from Darwin to Melbourne and
all points in between.
Initially, the above question related
to the whole concept, but once into the
nitty gritty of the two days, focus turned
to why Army continues to use processes
and procedures which we all know can be
improved or changed.
The Command teams were given
briefings on Army reform, the Strategic
Reform Program, and change manage-
ment methodology, including a lean
familiarisation workshop. This gave the
leaders of Army a chance to brainstorm
a variety of issues, and propose some
'quick wins' or 'just do its'.
While it was acknowledged that gov-
ernance remained a major challenge to
streamlining Army processes, most par-
ticipants agreed that they came away with
a greater understanding of the reform
agenda, and with some extra tools with
which to implement the CA's Challenge.
Workshopping challenging changes
CA CHALLENGE COMMAND TEAM
Many minds make light work: COs and RSMs have been brainstorming ways
of improving processes and procedures.
By Lt-Col John Brennan
'HOW can I do this job better?'
'How can I get a better end result
where it counts?
'Does this job really need doing?'
Army will be rolling out a targeted
Lean training program over the next
few months to help us all answer
these critical questions.
Lean management programs are
rolling out across Army with 6 Av
Regt and 1 Av Regt already underway.
Comprehensive Lean training will
be initially delivered to around 300
personnel Army-wide while around
an additional 400 key personnel will
receive familiarisation training.
Some of this training has been
part of the CA Challenge Command
Team Workshops, with a one-day
Lean familiarisation program present-
ed to commanders and RSMs.
Lean is not about cost cutting. It
is not an acronym, rather it is a name
given to a change management meth-
odology. Lean is a package of simple,
commonsense ideas and tools based on
the approach that savings will follow if
you find ways to improve performance.
Lean looks at 'end to end' pro-
cesses rather than just arbitrary cuts
that don't take account of impacts on
other parts of Army.
The flow-on effects of changes
in one part of Army can often make
something harder to achieve, over-
burden someone else, or simply shift
The US and UK militaries have
both used Lean successfully to stream-
line aspects of the way they work.
Lean is currently assessed as
the most appropriate tool to assist
reform efforts, but does not neces-
sarily supersede other leadership and
management tools already in place.
One thing won't change -- the need to
work more efficiently to free up time
and money to focus on better training.
"Why do most military vehicles
have four fuel cards each?"
This was just one issue identi-
fied by CA Challenge Command
Teams. In a unit of approximately 50
vehicles like say 8/12 Mdm Regt or
Norforce, this was an administration
"The cards can't be used with
any other vehicle, and the cards
needed to be checked and audited
regularly in accordance with laid
down regulations, monthly at least.
If fuel isn't purchased on a card
in any calendar month, the card is
cancelled and cannot be reactivated
for more than six weeks.
So, to keep the system alive, we
would need to refuel each vehicle in
the regiment four times, once from
each outlet, to keep the cards active
Brig David Mulhall said, "there's
no other way to say this. It's simply
dumb. AHQ will take on the chal-
lenge of finding a better way".
Outcome: AHQ is actively pur-
suing this matter with JFLA who cur-
rently have a fuel card solution out to
tender. AHQ advocates a single fuel
card solution and we will keep Army
EXAMPLE OF A CHALLENGING POLICY
ARMY LEAN MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS
model goes lean THE CA challenge command teams
were also asked about the circula-
tion of a draft consultation paper
on travel and removals entitlements
which had caused concern from
The paper had been circulated
to encourage discussion as part of
the Strategic Reform process but
instead alarmed members who were
not aware of the internal consultation
DGPERS-A Brig Gerard Fogarty
says units should not be alarmed by
this ongoing review, or the consulta-
"Army's views are well repre-
sented at the senior level and at the
working group level both informally
and formally. The CA will not agree
to a reduction to any individual
entitlements without first thoroughly
understanding all the impacts of pro-
"It should be absolutely clear
that all of the reviews undertaken as
part of the Strategic Reform Program
(SRP) will be deliberately thorough
and we should not be alarmed by
their thoroughness," Brig Fogarty
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