Friday, September 9, 2011

New transition boss of DMO warns the staff that business as usual is over

The monthly self-serving DMO report is out (PDF) for September. The new DMO helper CEO Mr. King starts off with his first pep talk to the staff which has a different version of history.

"I feel very privileged to be taking on the role as CEO DMO and would like to publicly acknowledge Dr Gumley for his tireless efforts over the last seven years. Both the Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, and the Minister for Defence Materiel, Jason Clare, have commended Dr Gumley for his hard work and dedication. I agree that he did a very difficult job very well. I am determined to pick up where Dr Gumley left off, and take the organisation forward."

Yeah, they say that, but they put the chess pieces in play to force Gumley out. Gumley did such a good job that he ignored key warnings by people trying to show him the location of the rot. Don't weep for the highest paid and under-performing bureaucrat.

Then, King continues until the end by stating DMO staff are not doing their job.

"Our status as a prescribed agency positions us to get our job done, and to achieve outcomes. I encourage you all to conduct yourselves accordingly, especially when working with the broader Defence community, so that the appropriate message is conveyed to our customer base. The strong message to convey is one of working together to contribute to outcomes,not on being separate for our own sake."

If Gumley was such a super-star, why would the self-licking ice-cream cone brigade need to be reminded of this?

This paragraph is worth quoting in full:

"Having said this, I recognise that the DMO does hold deep specialist knowledge in a number of areas. In this specialist adviser role we have an obligation to inform stakeholders across Defence, of issues that will impact on performance. For example, capability managers (and their representatives) need to be informed if they’re being overly optimistic or ambitious with a project. While these conversations aren’t always easy, it is important that this information is conveyed in a professional and engaging manner. In these situations, the emotion and passion has to be removed from the conversation, so that risks and other issues can be clearly understood and action can be taken."

So again, if Gumley was so valuable and the DMO has such "deep specialist knowledge", why would they have to be warned about doing their job in a professional manner? Unless, they were not?

And at this point, I have to quote another paragraph in full because it continues the warning that people in the DMO are not doing their job.

"Every time we put up a cabinet or ministerial submission for procurement or sustainment, we are literally making an offer to do something in a specified time for a specified price. If we get any of this wrong, the military won’t be able to plan for its new capability accurately. It’s far better to be frank with capability managers and explain the complexities or trade-offs involved with a procurement or sustainment contract, than to promise something we physically can’t deliver. Collaboratively engaging with our customer base will make these important, but sometimes difficult,conversations easier."

Heavy stuff. I'd quote the next paragraph, but guess what? It is another warning.

Thank goodness Gumley handed over such a well oiled machine for a seamless transition.

For the new leadership to be successful, they will have to change the toxic reputation DMO has with industry. This will be the "complex" DMO work that has to be done.


Anonymous said...

Ahhh DMO, the scorn of Those who go into harms way.

MRH, Tiger, SeaSprite, all fantastic DMO projects.

Super Hornet, C-17, no DMO. On time, on capability, operators happy.

Tail wagging the dog.


Anonymous said...

If the operators are so happy, Rex, then how come so many at 81Wing are leaving, particularly pilots and, mostly, the experienced ones?

Anonymous said...

What does 81wg have to do with DMO or a non DMO acquisition?

I was pointing out how operators of Rhinos are happy with a working non-DMO screwed up platform.


Atticus said...

7,500 employees(and expanding) and a budget of 1.2 billion to do WHAT?You forgot Eurotorp, the F35 and AWD debacles. How many years does it take to purchase vehicles?(gold plated)

Snorbak said...


Although I am no fan of the DMO, they actually were involved in the C17 & Super buys.

Anonymous said...

Snorback, they just did the paperwork after being instructed to do so. In addition they had to be tied down together with the RAAF to stop them "modifying" itto suit Australian conditions

Snorbak said...


Mod which one, Super or C17?

From what I understand of the Super buy, we recieved aircraft in current block II config that were allocated for the USN with the USN pushing on our behalf for no downgrade in spec, which is, in fact, what we recieved.

Re the C17, I have known the individual responsible for this project for the best part of 30 years & there was no requirement for the aircraft to be australianised & screwed up. In fact the whole process was on budget, on time & seamless.

Anonymous said...

Because DMO and DOD were kept away from it. The relevant Minister at the time decided, ask your friend.The RAAF and DMO wanted a myriad of changes as usual.These are the first projects that they were kept away from.
As a classic example of the process in the hands of DMO ask your friend how the Tiger was finally chosen in the last few weeks before decision

Anonymous said...

My Dear Rex,

Who do you think are "the operators" of the air combat aircraft such as what you call the Rhino?

Does the term "jackass" sound familiar?

Anonymous said...


81WG is classic Hornets nit Rhinos. jackass.


Anonymous said...

Did Gumley get a medal?