Defence program delivery is at a crossroads. The choice is whether to continue to bemoan the situation or to act. Innovative solutions are called for. Much has been written about the broken system of defence procurement. Reports have suggested that it is a problem of capacity, with more than 1,200 procurement positions vacant in National Defence in 2022. But is it a simple problem of capacity? No.

Providing DND with additional resources will not, by itself, address the issue. Capacity is not the same as capability. ADGA believes that the problem has been viewed from the wrong direction. Capacity is an input problem. Delivery is an output objective. Whether modernizing command and control systems, digitizing information management, or supporting a brigade in Latvia, the focus must be on the objective.

Defence procurement is hindered by a culture of near zero tolerance for risk. Concern regarding financial probity is justified when taxpayer money is at stake. However, increasing layers of governance and bureaucracy have resulted in literally hundreds of interdepartmental process steps between the identification of the need to the realization of the benefit. Distorted perceptions of industry influence have reduced the efficacy of industry engagement to the point that requirements rarely articulate accurately what industry can provide and often stifle innovation.

For ADGA, the key question is not “how many?”, but “how?”. For over 55 years and with over 2,800 cumulative years of service from our employees, ADGA has worked as an ally with DND providing defence services and solutions. The insights ADGA has gained from this experience drive a belief that the solution is to construct a new relationship model: “Value-added Program Management” or VaPM. This approach distinguishes itself from the typical “Staff Augmentation” relationship model in two fundamental ways.

First, ADGA’s innovative approach does not simply augment traditional program teams on a piecemeal, bums-on-seats approach, but rather provides holistic program delivery capability.  ADGA brings years of experience to offer agility, lean and empowered management, and the right number of highly qualified, skilled, experienced personnel familiar with DND-specific processes to get the job done. 

ADGA has pioneered defining competencies, not labour categories, with competent people hired to get the job done without micromanagement or a hierarchy of approvals for each decision. For ADGA, the drive is supporting the mission, whether in the battlefield or behind the lines.

Second, such an outcome driven approach works collaboratively with the department to deliver the program, not supplement person hours. ADGA invests in understanding our client’s priorities, issues, concerns and working culture. The desire for defence procurement success is as strong for ADGA as it is for the Canadian Armed Forces.  As much as 25% of our employees are veterans and ADGA is passionately committed to the success of those who serve.

Importantly, the VaPM model does not alter the accountability regime. Our client remains responsible for delivering results. ADGA will operate to benchmarks, metrics and KPIs outlined by the department. Thus, the true value of applying a new program management approach to defence procurement is measured by our client.

Instead of providing single bodies who have to be managed by the department, a whole team offering provides an almost turnkey project management solution. This frees up DND employees, both uniform and civilian, to work on other critical missions, thereby effectively doubling available capacity. ADGA and the department become allies in the objective of delivering outcomes to the highest standards of performance.

ADGA is focused on offering this innovative value-added program delivery capability. It is not a simple numbers game. It is not about delivering people to government. It is first, primarily, and always about reliably and efficiently delivering defence outcomes to Canada.

Outcome driven; performance measured. That is ADGA’s Value-added Program Management.