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The Issues with the Department of Defense EA Program

You will have seen that the adoption of a logical, unbiased approach to analysing problem situations in the Logical Thinking Process from the Theory of Constraints (ToC). In this assignment you will explore and apply the logic behind to a real-life case study. 

For this assignment, it is assumed that you are an expert consultant and have been appointed to work on a report to review the issues in the case example. The project sponsor has asked you to develop three models to help explain and possibly address the issues with the DoD EA program.

The tasks are:

1.Complete a goal map for what you see should have been the goal of the EA program. You will need to take in to account the goal of the DoD to define this. Using this EA goal describe the necessary conditions or mechanisms that must be met to achieve that goal. These necessary conditions are conditions (or mechanisms) that must be in place for the goal to be achieved. These necessary conditions should be defined as to what is the minimum mandatory level (since if the necessary condition is being serviced at a level greater than this it is Waste). This goal map should relate to the CRT in that the UDEs in the CRT must relate to the necessary conditions defined in the goal map (otherwise why are they significant?). Given your goal map is historical you will need to look at the UDEs to understand what the important necessary conditions are.

2.To trace these symptoms or UDEs (Undesirable Effects) you need to produce a current reality tree (CRT) documenting the significant issues with the program (no more than 5-6) and a logical tracing of these issues to the ultimate root cause/s. The CRT has a specific format and it MUST match the format described in the Dettmer reading - it must also have clear logical arguments that can be read in English (For example, If Entity 1 and Entity 2 exist then Entity 3 is caused). You should be able to trace the ultimate root cause to one or two entities - keep asking 'Why?' as you move down the Tree.

3.To address the perceived issue (which will probably be a core difficult conflict - otherwise it would have been resolved already) you need to complete a conflict cloud. Again this has a specific format and needs very careful thinking and discussion to get it right. The conflict is resolved by not focusing on the conflict but focusing on the assumptions underlying the conflict. This avoids confrontation and allows a 'win-win' solution. If you have arrived at many conflicts or many root causes you have probably not gone low enough in your CRT - keep on asking why this is happening. You need to discuss this with your lecturer and team members. It is not something that will resolve immediately - it takes a lot of thought to arrive at the core conflict and developed conflict cloud. The cloud must include two totally opposite arguments or pathways. You must also suggest a possible injection to resolve the conflict and again this takes much deep thought.

The Issues with the Department of Defense EA Program

The Department of Defense is unable to achieve the goals and success because of the various problems. The Department of Defense is unable to follow the recommendations of GEO, and there has been rise several issues which mainly rose due to the lacking of proper managerial function. According to the theory of constraints, the organisation needs to change the model for profit improvement, and its important concept is that every organisation should contain at least one constraint. The constraint is the factor, which limits the organisation from getting what it strives for making a profit. For the Department of Defense, there are several constraints, and it needs to be recovered by identifying the system constraints, deciding how to exploit the constraint, subordinating everything else the constraint, elevating the constraint and then again continuing this for getting the desired outcome (Navarra et al., 2017). The logical thinking needs to be adopted by the Department of Defence, as its main objective is to increase the company’s profit. The logical thinking is mainly done by specifying the value of the services or product from the perspective of the customer, identifying the value streams, flow in the production and perfection in the production process (Craib, 2015). This study focuses the issues associated with the DoD EA program and the issues are identified and the reason behind it from the perspective of an expert consultant. This study will develop the models and explain them to address the issues rose with the DoD EA program.

The purpose of Department of Defense EA program is the greater alignment between IT and the business concerns and the main purpose of the enterprise architecture is to guide the process if planning and designing the IT capabilities of the enterprise to meet the desired organisation activities. The department of defence is required to develop the business enterprise architecture, which covers all the defence business systems (Rouhani et al., 2013). This can be the guide for the systems, and the architecture is intended to help for achieving the goals:

  • Enabling Department of Defense to meet the terms of all the applicable laws and including the financial management, federal accounting and the requirements for reporting

  • To permit, constrain and guide the operation of the defence business systems.

  • Department of Defense needs to produce timely, accurately and with the financial information for managing the business.

  • The architecture helps in maintaining the systematic dimension of the performance levels like the skill of producing relevant, reliable and time cost information (Evans et al., 2015).

  • This architecture facilitates the combination of budget, accounting information and the program information systems.

  • Achieving the intended outcomes, the department of defence will be able to use architecture to realise the important benefits like the cost savings, avoidance and others. Like if, the direct architecture permits and implements the practical system, which would contribute to the increase in information sharing and improves the system ability (Kotusev, 2016).

            This is described in the statute that the Department of Defense’s business enterprise architecture and the process re-engineering labours are not completely reaching the future outcomes.  In respect to the process re-engineering, the managers reported that the efforts were effective for streamlining the business process. This is necessary for the Department of Defense to improve the usefulness and the effectiveness of the business enterprises. The portfolio managers have cited the challenges obstructing the usefulness and the efficiency of the initiatives like the accessibility of the training, parochialism and the absence of the skilled and efficient staff members and the cultural struggle to the changes. Department of Defense has opted for various efforts of improvement to address few challenges. Although the extra work is needed for, the managers for closing the gap provide the improvement and the suggestions. Most importantly, the detection of the challenges helps to increase the usefulness and the efficiency of these initiatives (Fischer et al., 2013).

Adopting the Logical Thinking Process

This is necessary for the Department of Defense to adopt the various efforts to efficiently modernise the nonintegrated and the duplicative business system and operation. This is also necessary for the Department of Defense to advance and use the definite and explained business entrepreneur structures. However, it does not contain such architecture and the products, which has provided a sufficient amount of the utility to the effective guide and constrains the planned systems investments (Smith, 2016). The necessary conditions, which are the recommendations the department of the defence need to follow, and they are:

  • Department of Defense needs to develop an active governance structure and the active communication strategy for achieving the stakeholders. In particular, the structure from 2001 lacks the authority and the effective responsibility. This also lacks the key units that made up the structure that has not completed as per their charters (Wan, Luo, & Luo, 2014).

  • Department of Defense lacks the developed program plans, which identifies the measurable goals for identifying the goals and measuring the outcomes that need to be achieved. This also does not have any defined task to be performed for achieving the goals and the required outcomes and the resources required for performing the task. Department of Defense has also not assessed the workforce capabilities as a part of the program planning, this is needed for the effective management of the architecture labours, and it does not have any plan for doing so (Gottron et al., 2017).

  • Department of Defense needs to perform the active configuration management, and this is the official approach in controlling the parts of the product for ensuring the integrity. The configuration management plan and the charter of the configuration control board are the drafts, and the board also has limited authority, even after the four years of development, the department has not signed any configuration manager (Bernal et al., 2016).

Department of Defense recognizes that all the above mentioned weakness should be addressed and this has just allotted the new business enterprise architecture leadership team. Department of Defense has also begun steps and stated the intentions to revise the governance structure and develop the program baseline, which will be used as the oversight and the managerial tool to assign the resources, measures, reports the progress and manages risks. Department of Defense also revises the architecture scope and establishes the fresh approaches for developing the scope of the architecture. However, there are much of the remains, which are needed to be accomplished for the establishment of the effective architecture program; until this is done the business system, modernization effort will remain at the high-risk (O'Rourke, 2015).

Fig 1: Current Running Tree of Department of Defense EA program.

The above diagram denotes the undesirable facts for the Department of Defense like Department of Defense are unable to achieve the stakeholders, and the stakeholders are unhappy, as the effective communication strategy is absent. Department of Defense is unable to maintain the effective configuration management leading to the improper plans and the blueprints. It was the responsibility of the management authority, which needs to be structured properly. Department of Defense faces the weaken integrity due to the ineffective configuration management, and even after four years, the configuration manager has not been signed.  Department of Defense lacks the developed program plans, which is required for identifying the goals and the desired outcomes (Fischer, 2014). This also consists of the defined tasks, which will bring success and would help to achieve the desired outcomes and the resources that are required for performing the task. Since the program plan is absent, the Department of Defense was unable to assess the workforce capability, and this is also needed for the management of the architecture efforts. The management is unable to maintain effective communications with the stakeholders. The management needs to have an effective communication strategy, which is the root cause of not being able to retain the stakeholders (Tate et al., 2015). The management authority needs to be structured, and they need to be more trained for recovering the weakness, and the program plan needs to be done by the management. This is the most important factor, which the management needs to maintain to figure out the aims of the company. The management also needs to figure out and measures the future goals of the company, and it is also important for the management to assess the workforce capability which cannot be assessed due to the absence of the proper program plan (White, Fisch, & Pooch, 2017).

The Purpose of the Department of Defense EA Program

Fig 2:  The evaporation cloud conflict chart

The goal of this report is to manage the Department of Defense business process in an optimised manner as Department of Defense’s process re-engineering and business enterprise architecture are not achieving the intended outcomes. From the above discussion on Current Running Tree, it has been deduced that core conflict or cause is ineffective management, authority and structure (Ullman, 2016). To resolve this core conflict, an Evaporating Cloud Conflict chart has been prepared based on those perceived issues. The Evaporating Cloud Conflict chart can be seen below in figure

2. As the Evaporating Cloud Conflict structure dictates, it has two conflicting ‘Want’, their prerequisite ‘Need’, a shared objective or goal and injection, which can also be perceived as a solution. In this conflict cloud, the two conflicting ‘Want’ is as follows: assigning a new leadership team and not assigning a new leadership team (Boito et al., 2018). The prerequisite for assigning a new leadership team is that it will help develop and adopt new policies and protocol, which will help increase the efficiency of Department of Defense (Hudson, & Tsurumaki, 2017). On the other hand, the prerequisite for not assigning a new leadership team is that the current leadership team will utilise the existing structure and workforce in a better way to increase the efficiency of the organisation (Bulluss et al., 2014). The prerequisite for the both ‘Want’ serves the commonly shared objective, which is to better management of the business process of Department of Defense. However, the prerequisites are also at odds with each other. If no new leadership team were assigned, they could not implement new policies or ideas whereas if new leadership were to be assigned, they would reconstruct the existing structure, which will be a waste of existing structure. Hence, there are two conflicting ‘Want’ for this particular cause. Both pathways can be able to achieve the shared objective in a standalone manner. However, it might not be the most optimised ways to achieve the common goal for either of the arguments. The assumptions between these two arguments are that one cannot co-exist with the other even though neither of them is the most optimized pathways. Hence, there is a need for a solution which is also known as ‘Injection’ in the Evaporating Cloud Conflict structure. For this study, the injection can be the assigning of a new leadership team which will implement new structure and policies using the existing workforce. In this way, both of the problems can be handled at once, and conflict between the two ‘Want’ will dissolve. The new leadership team will be able to tackle the weakness, and the authoritative problem showed by the existing leadership team (Fischer, 2014). Along with that, they will also be able to make full use of existing structure and experienced workforce. This way it will be a much-optimised pathway to achieve the commonly shared objectives. The solution or injection also nullify the conflicts between two pathways and showed the way for better singular alternative (Rouhani et al., 2015). To summarise, by using the Evaporating Cloud Conflict model, this singular alternative way managed to avoid confrontation and creates a win-win situation for the organisation for optimised management of the business process.

Current Running Tree of Department of Defense EA Program


Therefore, from the above discussion, it can be concluded that the Department of Defense is facing various issues, which are affecting the company’s profit and not allowing the company to measure their goals. The Department of Defense has to structure the management department as there is lacking proper effective communication with the stakeholders, customers and the absence of proper program plan and others. The managerial department is required to be structured by following the theory of constraints, which ensures that every company should have at least one constraints and this constraint are identified in this study, which is needed to be reduced by the logical thinking process. The main objective of the logical thinking and the theory of constraints to increase the business profit of the company, which the Department of Defense is lacking behind. The Department of Defense can be able to solve the issues by the theory of constraints, logical thinking and following the recommendations.


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