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Navy PEO MLB Seeks Industry Collaboration to 'Normalize Business IT'

Industry and academia can aid the U.S. Navy in realizing it technical vision, beginning with a focus on changing the culture.

Dave Spencer, acting technical director of the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office, Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions (PEO MLB), tells attendees at the monthly luncheon hosted by AFCEA’s Northern Virginia Chapter that it has done its due diligence in establishing a technical vision to help change how the Department of Navy does business. Courtesy Northern Virginia Chapter

Dave Spencer, acting technical director of the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office, Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions (PEO MLB), tells attendees at the monthly luncheon hosted by AFCEA’s Northern Virginia Chapter that it has done its due diligence in establishing a technical vision to help change how the Department of Navy does business. Courtesy Northern Virginia Chapter

The U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office for Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions (PEO MLB) has done its due diligence in establishing a technical vision—and an accompanying radar graphic—to help change how the Department of Navy (DON) does business.

Now, realizing that vision requires collaboration from industry and academia for proven technical solutions and best practices, particularly when it comes to realizing a pillar focused on changing the culture, Dave Spencer, PEO MLB acting technical director, shared Thursday during a monthly luncheon of AFCEA’s Northern Virginia Chapter.

“We need experts in human center design, we need folks who can help us change the culture, we need folks who are experts in agile … and [communications],” said Spencer, who establishes and drives the technical vision for the PEO MLB. “We are broken up into communication silos that are very hard to penetrate. It’s very hard to get others to talk to each other.”

Spencer spoke to the four pillars that comprise the PEO MLB Technical Vision, which supports the PEO MLB Strategic Plan and emphasizes innovation enablement, workforce empowerment and digital/data transformation.

The question the PEO MLB staff asked themselves when devising its vision document Spencer posed to the luncheon attendees: “How are we going to normalize business IT?”

Guiding the answers are the office's four pillars:

  • Change the culture. Drive meaning and purpose for the PEO MLB workforce and shape customer and stakeholder perception through shared beliefs, values and behaviors. Employees who have been in the DON workforce for a long time possess skills no longer relevant in today’s ecosystem, Spencer suggested. “Changing the culture to adapt to new ways of doing business is absolutely paramount.”
  • Remove impediments to innovation. Create and provide every advantage and opportunity to promote and incentivize innovation in the organization. This pillar led to the creation of “innovation days” that occur now twice a year and encourage the workforce and collaborators to “do nothing all day but work on something they are passionate about,” Spencer said. Last year’s winning pitch from the previous Innovation Day was from William Yip, technical director of the MyNavy HR IT Solutions Services platform. Yip created his own design for a system status dashboard to find any parts of systems or websites that were not functioning properly.
  • Data driven. Leverage data to the fullest extent possible to garner insights, drive strategic decision making and deliver intelligence within our organization and to customers. “Whether in the boardroom or the battlefield, decisions are only good if they are being driven. How do we drive data into our decision-making process?”
  • Digital transformation. Evolve and adopt digital technologies, processes and tools to deliver value to customers.

The technical vision for the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office, Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions (PEO MLB) includes a technology radar, instead of a traditional technology road map, because road maps are linear by nature and establishes time bound milestone expectations.  Courtesy PEO MLBThe Technology Radar graphic dovetails with the office's vision, and intentionally omits traditional road map designs and timelines, Spencer noted. The radar is intended to to communicate journey paths through the technology frontier, the office's website states.

 

PEO MLB has established an industry engagement process. For details, email peomlb.fct@us.navy.mil.