KPMG – Health of Capability Dashboard

Army Strategic Asset Management Project Health of Capability Dashboard (HoCD)

1     Executive Summary

Due to the vast scale and complexity of assets and people, the Australian Army was seeking to improve its strategic asset management decision making, in line with the Defence Data Strategy. The Health of Capability Dashboard (HoCD) project resulted in an innovative asset management capability that provides an end-to-end view of the development, introduction, and sustainment of assets; and Army’s ability to generate prepared forces for operations. HoCD is a step change in advancing Defence’s asset management maturity to a level unachievable 5 years ago, which significantly benefits Army’s ability to make informed strategic decisions and ultimately better protect Australia.

1.    Project Description

Project objective and scope

  • In 2019, it was recognised that no commercially available, ‘off the shelf’ data analytics/ business intelligence platform was available for Army to take an end-to-end view of Land Capability and to generate prepared forces.
  • Within 18 months, KPMG co-developed a solution which was deployed to the Defence network. HoCD is seen by Army as an enabler to reform. It is seen as a step change in decision making by aggregating enterprise data, applying business rules, and using predictive analytics.
  • A ‘Walk, Crawl, Run’ approach was taken to validate business rules, to ingest extant and available Defence data, to deploy the tool to the Defence network, to populate user defined inputs, and to make it all visible ‘as is’.
  • HoCD achieved Initial operating capability (IOC) in September 2021. It is now in a sustainment phase with rollout to more users underway as well as a roadmap for enhancement. Future focus will be to support HoCD so that senior officers and staff officers have confidence in using the solution as part of Army’s day-to-day business where decision making can be informed by using live data.

Best practice asset management principles

An Integrated Approach and Methodology for Asset and Asset Information Management including Data Analytics, Life Cycle Costing and Workforce Modelling:

  • The HoCD brings to life the Asset Management System (Land Capability System) for Army. It provides the Enterprise and Transactional Asset, and Organisation and People information into the decision support tool, where it can be compared to the Organisational Strategic Plan (the CPD[1]). This feeds the Risk and Review functions, supporting Asset Management Decision Making and Strategy and Planning functions. It provides key performance information against the Measures of Effectiveness (MOE) as well as supporting the Asset Lifecycle Delivery Activities know in Defence as the Capability Life Cycle (CLC).
  • The HoCD provides Army the ability for strategic preparedness4 analysis (readiness and sustainability views), drawing on large structured and unstructured data sources. This represents a ‘step change’ for Army to conduct strategic asset management and provides an integrated view of Land capabilities with Fundamental Inputs to Capability (FIC) elements[2].

Degree of originality and ingenuity

The HoCD team worked with Army stakeholders from across the enterprise to define processes, measure results and analyse complex issues. This has evolved to the development of a web-based application to help Army better make data informed decisions and manage their major assets and capabilities through innovative design and technology. In doing this, the HoCD team has helped digitise many unstructured data sources and the solution is now referencing millions of data points across multiple contexts and enterprise data sources.

View of Army Capability

Multiple analytics views – map view services, traditional grid style reporting view, sunburst view to allow greater user interaction for slicing / dicing information

Digital Twin for Predictive Analytics

Using advanced predictive analytics combined with reliability modelling to simulate “future” performance of Major Defence equipment’s such as Tanks and Helicopters based on the usage profile.

Powerful visualisation and different charting techniques allows user to quickly to see the pattern of usage, adjust parameters and perform simulation comparisons. Similar “What if” scenarios took months of preparation and data integration. HoCD does it in under 15 minutes!

Cost Modelling

Uses custom build Python bots and SQL machine learning services to ingest complex financial data giving Defence a holistic view on multi-year budget softness and pressures.

Data Management

Simple user interface that gives the user the ability to upload and refresh data models. This bypasses traditional ICT request that typically takes up to 6 weeks to fulfill in Defence.

Project Management

Our project management and governance approach was to engage Army stakeholders, and prioritise planning and development in line with Army’s vision of data driven capability management, schedule and governance.

  • Our plan took a programmatic view of project management to integrate with other initiatives and safeguard Army’s return on investment.
  • Stakeholder engagement was essential to drive direction of development and maintain alignment to Army’s transformation strategy and project objectives.
  • Supported and planed senior leadership briefings and project governance meetings to support internal Army briefings or collaboration with outside agencies, services and groups.
  • Used a flexible approach to project management which allows for Agile product development and project delivery aligning to the Defence Capability Framework and governance.
  • Regular project reporting on: schedule, budget, development progress, and achievements; and risks, controls and issues.

Benefit/Value to Customers

The HoCD provides numerous benefits such as:

  • Creating an enterprise view for the Army Operating System and allows sensible decisions, supported by data, to change
  • Allowing Army to turn its mind to using data analytics to support implementation of its organisational strategy
  • Providing a view of Army’s requirement definition to help manage its IIP[3] ‘spend curve’

Army’s leadership is excited to have the potential to use digital twins to run simulations for emerging current issues and planned future force changes.

2     Opinion as to specific contribution made by the nominated team

“The Health of Capability Dashboard is an innovative tool that will help Army to have a more informed view of its capability by providing high quality, verified data and analytics for decision-making accessed via a single digital platform. The HoCD gives users access to enterprise data aggregated at the level of detail they need it and applies advanced analytics to model likely scenarios. The HoCD team are working collaboratively with business units across Army Headquarters to understand user needs and identify the data required to deliver a tool that will have a significant meaningful impact for Army Headquarters and the way strategic decisions are made.”

Lieutenant Colonel Julian Fleming 

Staff Officer Grade One Logistics Plans | Directorate of Logistics Plans

04 March 2022

“For the last two years I have had the pleasure of working with the KPMG team to develop the Army Technical Workforce Model in support of the Land Force 2030 Technical Workforce Review. Our task was to understand the future technical requirements for the Army workforce, during the largest strategic realignment in recent history.

The Army Technical Workforce Model (which has now been incorporated into the Health of Capability Dashboard) is a powerful tool capable of adding science to the art of workforce design. The KPMG development team worked closely with Army to truly understand our decision points and capture the variables required to enable a model capable of adapting from current to future focus. Within very short time frames we were able model ‘good ideas and gut feels’ to rapidly eliminate poor options enabling the team to focus on viable solutions. This clear, data driven process was crucial in generating rapid iterations for analysis resulting in sound solutions backed by data to ensure Army is Ready Now and Future Ready.

KPMG adapted to the impacts of COVID on the Technical Workforce Review working with our Army team to ensure the model continued to develop despite ongoing uncertainty and rapidly changing strategic requirements. Army also used the Technical Workforce Model to test a number of other Directorates Capability Reviews. Working with those other organisations the KPMG team was able to quickly identify areas where the reviews had used faulty analysis in their propositions. The model results closed the knowledge gap and enabled a coherent workable solution for presentation to Senior Leadership.

I appreciate the support provided by the KPMG team and commend their submission to the Asset Management Council Awards.”

Major Matthew Jefferies

Deputy Director Technical Workforce Review – Army

03 March 2022

“The Capability Sustainment functionality in HoCD provides us with the ability to compare unstructured cost models developed during the initial planning phase to ongoing budget and actuals data in the enterprise system. It is a repeatable, structured, and transparent way of allocating the costs specific to Products and Projects. This provides us with the ability to identify cost pressures, isolate anomalies in the data and manage pressures into the future with enhanced visibility.”

Project Sponsor

3     General Comments

Successful delivery throughout COVID-19

First Virtual Hackathon in KPMG Australia, Designed and delivered during COVID lock-down

  • Objectives were to explore visualisation solutions to:
    • provide HoCD the ability to deliver simple and interactive reporting capability with existing HoCD data sets, and
    • explore existing technology stack to deliver visualisation solutions.
  • Hackathon teams joined from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra over a two day period (Saturday and Sunday)
  • “Teams” channels were set up to allow for planning, design, and development sprints
  • Army senior sponsors were involved throughout and formed part of the judging panel

Morning fitness sessions led by our client (Army/PT instructor)

Team dinners and barbeques

In-person team building whenever restrictions are eased

Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary evening bushwalk/nature discovery

Our ways of working

Lessons learned

While project objectives stayed consistent, our experience in the past 18 months is that short-term priorities can change, and that planning, and stakeholder engagement is key to responding to changes in priorities.

Our Team:

The HoCD core delivery team reflects extensive experience in Defence, combined with specialist technical knowledge and skills needed to meet Army’s objectives:

How we deliver:

Our approach is to maximise and accelerate the delivery of incremental product features.

The HoCD project utilised an Agile development approach based on the Scrum methodology. Agile is a project management philosophy designed by software developers that focusses on iteration and rapid development with ongoing customer feedback to maintain responsiveness to change. Scrum is a software development methodology consisting of a collection of processes and artefacts and is one of several methods of implementing the Agile values.

A key feature of Scrum is dividing requirements into broad features called ‘epics’, consisting of more narrowly defined requirements called ‘user-stories’. The user-stories are delivered by allocating and completing smaller ‘tasks’. The development follows a six-weekly cycle called a ‘sprint’ in which a number of prioritised user-stories are completed and deployed so that, by the end of each sprint, there is a functional and useful product known as version 1.0 of the product. This approach to project management is different to the frequently used ‘waterfall’ approach which takes a more traditional method of design scheduling completing projects by stages with a planned delivery at the end.      

[1] CPD – Capability Preparedness Directive, is Defence’s contract with Government to undertake specific operations. Under the Defence capability architecture, the force structure2 that is in place, when combined with its preparedness to undertake operations, delivers military capability. This allows for the separation of preparedness management (which relates to the current force-in-being3) from the longer-term investment processes associated with new capital equipment.

2 The force structure of a unit includes: personnel strength, technical equipment, and the organisation of its sub-components.

3 The force-in-being is a Defence term used to describe the present force as distinct from future force structures.

4 Preparedness is conceptually broken down into the components of ‘readiness’ and ‘sustainability’. This division is intended to recognise the separate nature of the management processes underlying the achievement of military readiness and the many factors influencing the length of time for which a military force may sustain operations on a particular mission

[2] FIC: Command and Management, Organisation, Major Systems, Personnel, Supplies, Support, Facilities, Collective Training, Industry. These Fundamental Inputs to Capability must be integrated and managed within a defined or constraining financial envelope in order to realise and sustain a capability: a deficiency in any one adversely impacts the whole.

[3] The Integrated Investment Program (IIP) outlines all elements of the Government’s defence investment, including new weapons, platforms, systems, and the enabling equipment, facilities, workforce, information and communications technology, and science and technology, published with the 2016 Defence White Paper.

Scroll to Top