Smart Buyer is an integral part of the new Capability Life Cycle (CLC). It provides the primary means for tailoring the way in which projects pass through the CLC, based on key project risks.
Central to Smart Buyer is a new decision framework which enables project teams to identify key project risks and use that risk analysis to develop tailored project execution strategies. This decision framework has been designed for use in the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) and will be reviewed for whether or not it can be adapted for use in other One Defence delivery agencies.
Smart Buyer definition
A Smart Buyer first and foremost achieves good outcomes for its Customers.
A Smart Buyer will also enable appropriate financial return for its Suppliers.
A Smart Buyer undertakes the roles that Government must perform, and effectively outsources other functions when that is the Smart thing to do.
A Smart Buyer has the organisation, skills, and suitable decision frameworks to make timely decisions on the optimum procurement, project management and approvals strategies for each acquisition or sustainment program, based on its critical risk features. It has the agility to refine those strategies as new information becomes available.
A Smart Buyer also uses industry best practice tools and techniques to execute projects throughout the Capability Life Cycle, including through Sustainment, in a way that strikes the optimum balance between performance, time and cost.
The Smart Buyer decision framework
The Smart Buyer decision framework is a simple two-step process: risk analysis followed by tailored strategy development. The process is illustrated in the above diagram.
The analysis is undertaken initially to produce the tailored project execution strategy that will form a central part of the Gate 0 business case and which will be revalidated regularly as the project passes through the CLC. It is not a rules-based process, but instead one requiring the use of good judgement and experience to make smart decisions. It has been designed to get project leaders to ask the right questions at the early stages of a project. It steers project teams towards Smart approaches but does not undermine the accountability and responsibility of the Capability Manager and the CASG Project Manager for effective delivery.
What are the benefits of this new approach?
The approach to risk analysis differs from the existing approach in that it drives project execution rather than solely the prioritisation of resources.
Smart Buyer promotes risk-based tailoring of project approval and execution, rather than a “one size fits all approach”; the need for One Defence to focus on planning and governance; and for industry to focus on execution.
Once implemented Smart Buyer will make CASG more efficient and thus increasing its capacity to execute projects and programs; reduce the risk of major cost/schedule overruns; and get equipment into service more rapidly.