Run a Tight Ship
The Defence Marine Support Services (DMSS) Group was recently established in Shore Force – Fleet
Command to provide marine support Capability to Defence end-users. This includes hundreds of assets,
ranging from large support ships to training vessels, tugs, fuel lighters, small work boats, and even moorings.
Through our solid reputation in working in other areas of Fleet Command, we were contracted to design and
develop an integrated governance and management system for the operational tasking, planning, coordination
and deployment of the DMSS Capability.
“We designed systems to achieve compliance
to Navy and Fleet Command requirements and
received excellent feedback on our services and
quality of deliverables, ultimately leading to
being invited back to the table.”
Our primary client was DMSS Group.
They are an organisation within Shore Force, responsible for the provision of In
Port, Out of Port and Sea Boat services to the Defence Services and Groups.
Being a brand new organisation, we became part of their small initial team and
over the eleven month engagement, we helped them form a framework to
develop solid relationships and information flow internally and with their
interfacing organisations, which was vital for success. This included engaging
key stakeholders in other Shore Force organisations such as National Port
Services Organisation, other Forces and the three System Program Offices
(SPOs) involved in delivering this Capability.
challenges, however we were brought
in during the early stages, which
helped the Group get ready for its role.
Of course designing and developing a governance and management
framework during organisation design isn’t easy, but it also helped with defining
some of their design requirements as we worked alongside each other.
The DMSS Capability wasn’t new and was being delivered by others, so the
transition of responsibility and new contracts to deliver the services in this new
structure added to the challenge. Navy adopted a phased in approach on
transitioning the Capability, so at least we were able to prioritise certain areas
for the Group.
and business advisory services to
Fleet Command for almost six years,
including Shore Force and Fleet
We also had experience in delivering services to Navy Port Services. In that
time, we have led the design, development and implementation of
governance and management frameworks across the Command, and had
formed strong relationships. While this DMSS Group engagement was a
competitive tender, our experience and knowledge of the Fleet Command
domain ensured we could align with their requirements and systems, and
didn’t require any costly ramp up before we could start – we hit the ground
We assembled an “A-Team” to support DMSS Group, and with them and their
key stakeholders, worked together to design and develop a tailored
framework. This allowed them to get on the front foot and be ready to deliver
their role as the Capability transitioned into their hands.
We tackled governance first, and developed a strategically-aligned
framework that was all based on understanding the risk to effective Capability
delivery. We designed governance reporting and forums that focussed on
effective information flow and decision making between the multiple
organisations involved. Then came Capability Management, where we
developed functions and interorganisational processes to deliver the DMSS
outcomes. All of this was clearly documented in new publications for Shore
From there we worked with the key stakeholders to define their
organisational risks, causes, consequences and controls. We did this through
collaborative bow tie analyses and also created a performance-based control
monitoring ability to proactively understand the level of each risk. All
ultimately driving to better decision making and continual improvement.
govern and manage their part of
Defence Capability and support the
three Services, other Defence Groups
and even visiting country’s Defence
It is only the start of their journey, but they are now in a good position to
understand their risks and continually improve their systems as their
All of our deliverables were accepted and the new publications are now part of
the Shore Force doctrine. Their systems have been designed to achieve
compliance to Navy and Fleet Command requirements, which will be presented
in upcoming assurance activities. We received excellent feedback on our
services and quality of deliverables. We were invited back to support Shore
Force in updating their systems of management and look forward to further
support as the need arises.