Be a part of the change

  • Published
  • By Michael Dent
  • Capital Improvements Branch

It’s a fact. The AEDC Commander has promised to study a new DOD organization structure and that the results of that study will be rolled out in May of this year.

The purpose of the change is to better support our National Defense Strategy, or NDS, by realigning to a Wing-Group-Squadron organization. Division Leadership and the Command Section have been actively working to define what the actual structure will be. There is speculation at the AEDC AF branch levels as to what the new organization will look like. From what my leadership has shared with me, various organization models are being considered.

Change is difficult, but one of the best ways to handle change is to be part of it. If you haven’t already been asked to provide your ideas on the organization model that best supports your organization, you may want to do some homework so that you are prepared, when asked. Here is how the Capital Improvements Branch, or TSSI, developed its ideas for consideration.

Our objective was to document our Branch’s responsibilities and then compare various organization scenarios to see which scenario best facilitated accomplishment of those responsibilities.

The exercise began with a review of the AEDC strategic plan and concentrated on the three focus areas: Pursue Mission Excellence, Invest in our People, Improve and Sustain the Complex. The NDS, titled, “Sharpening America’s Military Edge”, has a section that is very applicable to Capital Improvements in its direction to “Reform for greater performance and affordability.”

  • Deliver performance at the speed of relevancy
  • Organize for innovation
  • Drive budget discipline and affordability to achieve solvency
  • Streamline acquisition

Using the NDS as a guide to address the AEDC focus areas, we distilled our thoughts into the following objectives that we then used as scoring criteria for the exercise.

  1. Maintain systems engineering discipline
  2. Effectiveness at executing Capital Improvements roles and responsibilities
  3. Project manager training and mentorship
  4. Plan and execute projects based on requirements and not on wants
  5. Fits into the organization structure model

We brainstormed numerous organization scenarios. During this step we purposely were not considering which scenario was preferred, just different models in which TSSI could align to support the mission.

The Branch conceived five potential courses of action, or COAs, to rate our scoring criteria against. Three of the COAs had Capital Improvements as part of a Test-Sustainment Group where TSSI was its own squadron in one scenario and in another scenario fully matrixed out to the Test Squadrons. The third COA was a hybrid of the TSSI squadron scenario and the fully matrixed version. COA four had Capital Improvements in the Mission Support Group and then COA five as part of the Program Management Office.

The next step was to consider how each organization model supported the Capital Improvement mission or weakened our ability to accomplish the mission. Pros and cons for each COA were brainstormed. It is reasonable that one may have a preconceived notion of what the best model will be. However, assessing the ability of each model to support the five criteria described above inserts impartiality into the process. Each pro and con point was assessed and assigned a score between one and 10 on how well it supported each scoring criteria. Adding up the scores pointed to an organization structure that facilitates the mission of Capital Improvements. A potentially subjective assessment of possible organization structures turned into an exercise that provided a modicum of objectivity.

The analysis will continue when the Capital Improvements’ assessment is considered along with the Asset Management Branch as part of the overall Test Systems Sustainment Division.

If you are interested in providing constructive input to your leadership as the new organization structure is coalescing, now is the time. Every branch in our current organization has its unique mission with their own perspective on how best to accomplish the mission. Your input could be of great consequence in ensuring we maximize our resources to advance our Nation’s defense strategy.