DLA sees full modernization by 2006

Defense Logistics Agency officials expect to complete in 2006 an eight-year initiative to improve how the agency buys and delivers food, water, clothing, shelter and warfighting equipment to troops, a top DLA information technology official said this week.

The agency's transformation to more efficient logistics planning and processing hinges on implementing SAP AG's back-office software and buying more commercial technology to replace Cobol-based proprietary applications, and introducing new hardware to update its mainframe computers, said Dave Falvey, DLA's program executive officer for enterprise IT architecture, speaking Nov. 4 during a luncheon at the E-Government Institute's E-Gov Program Management Summit 2003 conference.

Defense officials keep the modernization initiative on schedule and budget by involving top agency leaders, contractors and employees in decision-making, Falvey said. The Modernization Executive Board, which oversees the effort costing hundreds of millions of dollars, makes this happen, he said.

The board meets every two weeks for half a day, sometimes a full workday, to keep one another informed about business systems modernization projects. The meeting requires some agency leaders, program managers and employees to fly biweekly to Washington, D.C., Falvey said.

DLA also focuses on role and process changes that occur during modernization projects. An agency likely will need to remake roles, jobs and organizations when it commits to improving planning, processes and systems, he said.

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