Tag Archives: Defense Efficiencies Initiative

Savings and consultants

Last Friday, I wrote a post about a measure by the US DoD to produce efficiencies by publishing the actual cost of the preparation of each report and study in the front of each document.

As part of that same  “Defense Efficiencies Initiative” launched in 2010 by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, there were as well the following two:

“[…] immediately cut the dollars allocated to advisory studies by 25 percent.”

“[…] cut the size of the staff support contractor cadre by 10 percent per year for three years […]”

Another report (1) by the Congressional Research Service  [PDF, 86KB] assessing the efficiency of Gates’ initiatives found these ones as the ones with the higher potential savings for the DoD.

Nearly everyone working in a big corporation can sympathise with such initiatives, having sometimes wondered where is the added value of certain reports or the cost/benefit of shiny consultants’ teams brought in to solve an important issue based on noise-affected inputs received by insiders in too-short time to digest them only to produce yet another costly report and leave having created barely anything else but costly entropy.

A former colleague has a wall in his office covered by a collection of tens of leaflets from what he calls “strategic consultants”. I took on his habit of picking those leaflets, and even though I don’t collect them I do publish them in my Twitter account from time to time:

That much for the perceived value of consultants.

(1) Cost of Congressional Research Service assessment not available.

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Savings and reports

Yesterday I had a hilarious conversation with 3 work colleagues on the cost of several things: ranging from the cost of having 30 people enclosed in a day-long meeting to the cost impact of having the toilets of a whole office building not working for two days (cost measured by the extra time needed for fulfilling physiological needs).

This reminded me of the US Department of Defense’s “Defense Efficiencies Initiative” launched in 2010 by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

One of the initiatives was to:

“[…] publish the actual cost of the preparation of each report and study prepared by DOD in the front of each document. “

See the implementation in the picture below:

Cost of DoD Strategic Management Plan FY 2012 - FY 2013: $169,010 (FY 11 dollars).

The cost of preparing the Department of Defense Strategic Management Plan FY 2012 – FY 2013 was $169,010. You may see the document here [PDF, 1.6MB] and judge by yourself whether you find it worthy of those 169k$.

Now, imagine if in the next crowded meeting you are attending the first slide of the first presentation said “Gentlemen, with this meeting today we’re consuming: xxk€”. The same applies for IT systems down, facilities not operating as they should, etc.

NOTE: Researching and writing this post took me about an hour. The cost of that hour? You name it 🙂

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