Many militaries procure enterprise defense technology in much the same way they purchase ships and aircraft: Setting aside significant upfront capital and pouring years into each business case and implementation. But in today’s fast-evolving digital environment, a high velocity approach is sometimes required—one that’s more rapid, iterative and agile.
Imagine beginning an IT infrastructure project five years ago that was planned to reach completion in 2015. In 2010 it would have been all-but-impossible to know the vast possibilities that technology could offer defense in 2015. Yet, because most defense technology projects are delivered using a “waterfall” model, many decisions had to be made to that end.
The waterfall model that’s traditionally favoured for defense IT projects typically involves defining the end solution in great detail upfront—including the technology, processes and resources required – then delivering a system in a single release or series of major releases over a number of years.
For many defense technology projects, in their complex, interlocking environment, this can often be the most suitable approach, particularly where projects must deliver a 100 percent solution from the outset. The updating of integral core systems, such as payroll for example, is better delivered in a single release—it simply has to be fully functional from day one, as the stakes are too high. Some finance and logistics projects may also fall into this category.