Project Management

Managing Effective Collaboration in the Early Acquisition Life Cycle Stages of an Enterprise Application for the DoD

Randall Schmidt, PMP

Executive Summary
Like outside of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), collaboration inside the DoD is critical to program success, especially for enterprise-wide applications. DoD program managers face challenges unique to the DoD, including culture, organization dynamics, and an abundance of complex statutory and regulatory requirements. Methods explored in this paper can assist the program management office (PMO) in achieving needed collaboration, and putting these in place right up front improves the chance for success.

Organizational Dynamics
Implementing an enterprise application in the DoD carries challenges unique to the environment. Enterprise application in this domain refers to one that spans boundaries of many DoD departments and agencies. Working across these units is one challenge; working harmoniously inside a single component is another.

The military works under a strict and disciplined chain of command. This means lineage of order. A member acts on the orders given by his or her direct leader, who likewise executes orders from his or her superior. Skipping a link in the chain of command is verboten. Not only does an officer not give orders to someone outside of his or her direct chain of command, likewise, a soldier/sailor/airman does not conduct official communications with a peer in a different command without his or her mutual superiors first…

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