Oops 2006: DOD’s management approach for the GIG–in which no one entity is clearly in charge or accountable for results–is not optimized to enforce investment decisions across the department. The DOD Chief Information Officer has lead responsibility for the GIG development effort, but this office has less influence on investment and program decisions than the military services and defense agencies, which determine investment priorities and manage program development efforts. Consequently, the services and defense agencies have relative freedom to invest or not invest in the types of joint, net-centric systems that are consistent with GIG objectives. Without a management approach optimized to enforce departmentwide investment decisions, DOD is at risk of not knowing whether the GIG is being developed within cost and schedule, whether risks are being adequately mitigated, or whether the GIG will provide a worthwhile return on DOD’s investment. The department’s three major decision-making processes are not structured to support crosscutting, departmentwide development efforts such as the GIG. In some significant respects, the department’s processes for setting requirements, allocating resources, and managing acquisitions encourage investing in systems on an individual service and defense agency basis.
Oops 2004: The most critical challenge ahead for DOD is making the GIG a reality. While DOD has taken steps to define its vision and objectives for the GIG on paper and in policy and is beginning to make a heavy investment in the GIG as well as systems that will be heavily dependent on the GIG, it is not fully known how DOD will meet these objectives. For example, it is not known which investments should take priority over others and how these decisions will be enforced. Moreover, it is not known how DOD will assess the overall progress of the GIG and determine whether the network as a whole is providing a worthwhile return on investment, particularly in terms of enhancing and even transforming military operations. According to DOD officials, the enhancements DOD is making to its planning and budgeting processes are meant to begin addressing these questions. Until DOD implements an investment and oversight strategy for the GIG as a whole, it is at risk of making investments that do not fit DOD’s vision for the future.