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RGS Helps Reduce Logistics IT

The Challenge

In May 2001, the Department of the Navy had an estimated 100,000 IT applications deployed on various desktops and networks across the enterprise. As requested by Congress, the Navy developed the Logistics and Readiness Functional Area Manager (FAM) process to register, analyze, and rationalize this portfolio of IT applications.

The primary goals of the FAM structure were to:

  • Significantly reduce the number of Logistics and Readiness IT applications and databases
  • Reduce IT overhead costs and facilitate the implementation of the Navy/Marine Corps Network (NMCI)
  • Enable and assist in the development of the Defense Financial Management Modernization Program (DFMMP, now the BMMP)
  • Promote web enablement, eBusiness strategies, and the use of common business and administrative processes across the department

RGS was brought in with the goal to help with IT portfolio management, cost visibility, and communications planning for the Chief of Naval Operations’ Logistics, Planning and Innovation Division (N40) in support of the (FAM) initiative.

The Solution

RGS implemented a phased approach to reduce the number of Navy IT applications. Initial analysis estimated the Navy was operating over 15,000 logistics IT applications, with no clear roadmap for reducing functional redundancy or managing new application development.

Phase I – Short-term rationalization

During the initial phase of the FAM process, we used a short-term rationalization process to reduce the application count from 15,000 to 8,000.

Phase II – Business Case Analysis reduces applications by 68 percent.

In Phase II, N40 and RGS developed and implemented a mid-term rationalization plan to further reduce the number of logistics applications. Our approach focused on four specific areas:

  • Business Case Analysis (BCA)
  • Logistics and Readiness FAM Support
  • Logistics policy, processes, and capabilities
  • Logistics IT strategy

RGS developed a BCA approach to determine the functionality of the remaining 8,000 applications in the Logistics and Readiness portfolio and identify instances of duplicate functionality. The results of this BCA process led RGS to develop a migration plan that reduced Logistics and Readiness legacy applications from 8,000 to 2,600 within two years. 

Ongoing Logistics and Readiness FAM support: The Umbrella Construct

Upon completion of Phase II, RGS restructured the oversight and management of the Logistics and Readiness IT portfolio by creating the Umbrella Management Construct. This divided the remaining applications into functionally related groups (or umbrella portfolios) and assigned accountability and authority for their management to a single functional IT portfolio management (PfM) professional associated with a lead Echelon II command. RGS provided N40 continued support through:

  • Cost visibility
  • Metric development and tracking
  • Portfolio management tools
  • Concept of operation development maintenance and execution
  • Program management and meeting administration

Logistics Policy, Processes, and Capabilities

One of the key objectives of the N4 Strategic Plan is to leverage IT to improve productivity and performance, so RGS provides IT portfolio management (PfM). Our PfM methodology:

  • Captures IT budget information for the entire Logistics Portfolio
  • Aligns IT systems to support N4 strategic goals
  • Defines the Logistics IT portfolio’s current state
  • Ensures all strategic/transition plans and IT architecture efforts are identified in the context of the existing Logistics process maps
  • Ensures that all these plans and efforts are vetted/approved through appropriate Logistics IT governance

RGS helped to charter the Logistics IT Executive Committee (IT EXCOMM) and its functional working groups. This organization helps adjudicate issues with the current-state IT portfolio as well as approve strategic direction and transition plans, and explore future opportunities and new technology to increase effectiveness and efficiency of N4 business processes.

Logistics IT Strategy

With the governance structure of the IT EXCOMM, RGS helped N40 build a Logistics IT strategy from the ground up. Together, we empowered the functional working groups to develop their own strategies to serve as the foundation for the overall Logistics IT strategy. We did a detailed analysis on all the input, identifying opportunities for IT consolidation, system reductions, and common IT solutions that would satisfy logistics requirements across the Navy more cost-effectively and efficiently. RGS then coordinated with the DoN CIO, SYSCOMS and the Navy Acquisition community to develop a coordinated enterprise approach to implementing desired process improvements. With proper alignment and buy-in in place, RGS helped to develop a communication plan describing the new processes surrounding logistics IT investment governance.

Results: 92% Reduction in IT Applications

From strategy through policy/guidance and governance to execution and communications, IT portfolio management is one of the most successful strategic change efforts undertaken by the Navy. RGS has supported the Logistics and Readiness community since 2001 to implement the FAM initiative, resulting in a 92% reduction (from over 15,000 to 1,213 today) in the number of IT applications across the entire logistics community.

RGS continues to support OPNAV N40 and the FAM initiative today. Our team works closely with N40 to link the FAM Portfolio Management process to a number of specific changes in business/financial practices, applied technology, and human capital. Our approach has:

  • Significantly decreased operating costs by improving logistics processes
  • Set the stage for improvements by identifying critical budget information for future IT investments to:
  • Promote accurate assessment of the financial impact of portfolio decisions
  • Ensure appropriate reallocation of IT savings 
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