SEA unveils a new approach to programme assessment at the Close Combat Symposium, Shrivenham

Published 25th July 2017

Cohort plc company SEA, working with decision support specialists Arke Ltd, will outline a new procurement approach that will help decision-makers to define and deliver projects at the Close Combat Symposium to be held at the UK Defence Academy, Shrivenham between 25-27 July.

The rapid advance in future soldier technology, from exoskeletons to increasing the effectiveness of weapons, helmets, torso protection and night vision systems, is placing additional pressure on choosing the right procurement route. Decision makers are wrestling with programme assessment as to whether the technology they are being offered is what is needed, provides value for money and can be delivered successfully within budget.

SEA and Arke, who have worked together on programmes including Future Dismounted Close Combat (FDCC), Delivering Dismounted Effect (DDE) and Reducing the Burden on the Dismounted Soldier Capability Vision (RBDS CV), have devised a method of “achievability” analysis which helps to establish exploitation barriers and therefore reduce programme delivery risk.

SEA Principal Consultant Darren Stinchcombe and Principal Consultant Charlotte Watson from Arke will outline the new approach to an audience of military personnel (UK and overseas), MoD research community (Dstl), acquisition staff (DE&S) and industry representatives at the Shrivenham symposium, which has been organised by Cranfield University.

Stinchcombe says the approach integrates architectural, cost and benefits analyses with an assessment of achievability. In turn, this enables the early identification of issues relating to dependencies, constraints, cultural problems, industrial behaviour and capability management.

The approach links Battlefield Missions to Use Cases in both training and operational activities. These activities can then be examined from a strategic, economic, financial, commercial and management perspective to determine the investment case. The outcome is an effective achievability assessment based on comprehensive modelling and simulation to deliver robust and grounded evidence to support decision makers.

Stinchcombe explains:

“The approach provides an agenda for programme risk reduction, allows realistic planning for capability exploitation and can be used to support the agile acquisition of capability. The approach is aligned to HM Treasury’s ‘5 Case’ approach, enabling project teams to develop business cases that can withstand robust scrutiny.”

He adds:

“Using this assessment of achievability model identifies and manages ‘real’ programme risk from the outset, provides insights to ensure budgets are invested in deliverable capability, and helps to deliver optimised capability for least cost.”