23 June 2009

People > Process

Another excerpt from the 3 June 09 testimony to the House Armed Services Committee's Defense Acquisition Reform Panel. The speaker is retired AF LtGenl Ron Kadish, who chaired the 2006 Defense Acquisition Performance Assessment. Emphasis is added.

LtGen Kadish: “It's remarkable that the people we have out there doing this every day can make this work still under the systems that we impose on our self. And all for good reason. There are a lot of heroes out therereally making this work and I would almost say in spite of the system

I don't think process is going to fix this problem. When we add process and improvements, we tend to really add things and not take things away. And under that approach, I think we will just increase complexity. So I would advise a lot of caution in adding things without asking the question, "What are you going to take away to make these processes more integrated and less complex?"

And at the end of the day, it's the people doing the job, making more right decisions than wrong decisions that our going to produce the outcome here. And it really does. It might really come down to the fact that we could make an administration system and as good as we can make them in human terms. But its going to come down to people doing the job every day. And we've got to select them right. And we've got to support them and make them perform and hold them accountable.”

There's a lot there I can hang my hat on. It's stuff I've been saying and writing about for several years now, so this is a nice bit of confirmation that I'm on a good track.

I really should have some t-shirts made that say "I don't think process is going to fix this problem." Let me know if you want one too and we can do a bulk order...


Mark said...

I think the good General has been reading a certain Rogue-ish blog!

Gabe said...

He certainly must be. Sheesh, why didn't he say this while still in the military!

RhetTbull said...

What, no link to the transcript? You gonna share? Those words weren't in his written testimony . Do you have an actual transcript of the hearing?

The Dan Ward said...

@Rhet - My bad! I totally should have included a link to the testimony transcript.

I believe I got the transcript in a MS Word document. Lemme poke around and see if I can track it down. I know I have it on a CD I burned before leaving my last office, but it doesn't appear to be in my gmail or my laptop just yet... Stand by.