Clear communication is mission-critical for an army
Battles are won or lost on the decisions commanders make. The quality of those decisions is based on the information they receive - the accuracy of which depends entirely on the communications system deployed.
A communication solution for the 21st century
With the British Army’s current land communication and information system (CIS), Bowman, approaching obsolescence, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) initiated a programme to bring its replacement to the field.
The Land Environment Tactical Communication and Information Systems (LE TacCIS) Programme consists of five projects, the largest of which is known as MORPHEUS. The Programme will address critical system obsolescence and introduce a more agile TacCIS solution, in both technical and business terms. This will enable emergent technology to be rapidly exploited for the benefit of its armed forces users, will be more responsive to changes in their needs, and will realise efficiencies in the way in which TacCIS capability is acquired and supported.
Ultimately, the new LE TacCIS solution will be designed to provide ‘information superiority’ to UK commanders in the field through better information exploitation between headquarters and individual troops on the ground.
The programme, worth an estimated £3.2Bn, is jointly funded by the UK’s Joint Forces Command (JFC) and by Army HQ.
Focusing on benefit realisation
Following two competitive tenders, TP Group won contracts for Phases I and II of the LE TacCIS Discovery Reboot. As this is such a complex programme TP Group prevailed due to intimate first-hand experience of the programme and its projects, based on previous stakeholder relationships from the senior delivery team. Crucially, the bid was also well written and competitively priced. The two phases last from September 2016 to March 2018, after which further support will be required.
TP Group initially supplied four specialists to provide client side support to various aspects of the programme’s governance. These covered a wide range of key topics from programme management, benefits management and measurement, dependency management and risk management to stakeholder management, schedule management and transformational change.
Crucial to the team’s approach was focusing on benefit realisation to ensure every element of dependency, risk, cost and schedule management were aligned to the overall realisation of programme benefits.
The British Army and taxpayer both benefit
The sheer number of stakeholders and dependent projects impacted or affected by the LE TacCIS programme created its own challenges. In order to overcome them the TP Group team developed a ‘Roadshow’ which was presented at six different MoD locations to ensure all dependent projects had an opportunity to understand the overall programme better.
The British Army now has the tools and processes in place for effective decision making when it comes to trading requirements, cost and time to make the best Balance of Investment decisions during the LE TacCIS programme.
In addition, strong programme governance will ensure public money is spent effectively. The result will be clear in-the-field benefits to military users and more effective military operations.
'An excellent exemplar of good practice'
Sarah Long CEng, TP Group Project Manager for LE TacCIS Programme Support, commented, 'It has been challenging and rewarding to provide an effective governance and management information solution for the LE TacCIS programme taking account of all the various tools and processes used by delivery, sponsor and portfolio teams to ensure that ‘Best for Defence’ decisions can be undertaken rapidly, supported by relevant information sources.'
The approach of Sarah and her colleagues was vindicated in December 2016 by the Office of Government Commerce (OCG) Gateway Review Report, which stated that 'A very clear performance structure for the LE TacCIS Programme and Morpheus Sub-Programme has been produced. It shows how the various discrete components fit together at Programme, Sub-Programme and Project level. At the project level, each Capability Manager is identified. This is an excellent exemplar of good practice.''