How do we contribute to capability development and management within the UK MOD?
As a company, we have teams embedded within many key defence programmes from small projects through to Defence Major Projects.
All of these programmes are managed by a comprehensive capability development and management system as implemented during defence transformation (the ‘Levene Review’) and laid out in the Defence Operating Model, protecting critical national capabilities in accordance with the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy.
Capability Management is the means by which defence develops, delivers, generates, and operates military capability, through life, in order to meet the strategic tasks placed upon it by His Majesty’s Government… and all this starts with a Concept of Employment (CONEMP).
Inzpire teams and individuals play a key part in setting up many programmes for success. UK MOD © copyright 2023. AS1 Ciaran McFalls RAF.
The government, through foreign and defence policy and strategy, sets out the aims of the UK and directs defence with tasks to meet these aims. Further analysis by frontline commands will determine the capabilities needed to best meet these tasks. A series of capability audits will further explain where there are gaps and how these can be best met in terms of both capability and value for money through operational analysis and investment appraisal. By understanding and contributing significant expertise to this process, Inzpire teams and individuals play a key part in setting up many programmes for success.
Defence capability management is especially complex with our experts having to pull from a range of source documentation, command plans, and operating models when defining any capability requirement. The order of activity is critical, and it is essential that key stakeholders are consulted throughout.
The capability requirement is defined by a set series of documents each of which link back to a defence requirement through the critical ‘golden thread.’ The start of this journey, mapped during the concept phase, is set, and recorded by the CONEMP and it is this document that is often missed. It is produced by the user community and defines how that capability will be used, from which the user requirements can be derived. It is a solution agnostic narrative of what the capability must achieve, what and whom it will need to interact with, the environments in which it will operate and other pertinent details. It will describe the capability and its operating context – how it will contribute to UK strategic aims and the defence tasks it will fulfil.
From here, the requirement can be defined at each level of development through the CADMID (Concept, Assessment, Demonstration, Manufacture, In service, Disposal) cycle and into frontline use. The User Requirement Document (URD) and the System Requirement Document (SRD) will specify what the user needs and what the system must do for the capability to meet the needs of the customer. Each requirement will be set with a measurement of effectiveness (MoE) against which it will be assessed. If the CONEMP is no good, the end user will be unlikely to get the capability that they need…
Such an important document can be an incredibly complex piece of work requiring input from several different areas within defence and industry. By its nature it is a time consuming and involved endeavour. It is for this reason that it is frequently incomplete, reverse engineered or missed in total; it requires a dedicated effort. At Inzpire we have an extremely diverse and experienced team of capability and requirements managers as well as a cross section of defence-oriented experts who can assist in the production of a mature CONEMP.
Previously we have delivered support to MOD by providing CONEMPS to underpin various air platforms and weapons systems. With our growing cadre of space and cyber subject matter experts, our sphere of expertise continues to grow and the ability to contribute to capabilities in these areas with it.
Capability management is critical to all MOD programmes and this activity has traditionally been carried out by serving members of the armed forces. However, as the military shrinks in size these roles are increasingly left vacant. This is where Inzpire can support MOD by providing highly sought after SQEP to provide this service. It is these experts that contribute to a range of current and future platforms and weapons. Crucially, we can provide continuity to programmes from a customer perspective that is rarely achievable by serving military personnel.
Whilst CONEMP is very much a military process, it can equally be applied to procurement elsewhere and is not so dissimilar (although often more complicated) to customer journeys used to develop consumer products. A well-defined and thought-through CONEMP will set a firm foundation, ensuring that all elements of a requirement and its interoperability needs are met. It allows the requirement to be better understood by the suppliers who will produce the product or capability, and importantly, it provides the basis against which the procured capability will be assessed.
A small investment of time and effort at the early stage of any programme will be paid back ten-fold later in the process. Missing this important step inevitably leads to a confused, ill-defined requirement and can result in a failed programme.
Our team are here to help. If you have any questions, no matter how big or small, please get in touch.