oversight

Defense Management: DOD Should Set Deadlines on Stalled Collaboration Efforts and Clarify Cross-Functional Team Funding Responsibilities

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2019-08-20.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

              United States Government Accountability Office
              Report to Congressional Committees




              DEFENSE
August 2019




              MANAGEMENT

              DOD Should Set
              Deadlines on Stalled
              Collaboration Efforts
              and Clarify Cross-
              Functional Team
              Funding
              Responsibilities




GAO-19-598
                                               Au




                                                    August 2019

                                               DEFENSE MANAGEMENT
                                               DOD Should Set Deadlines on Stalled Collaboration
                                               Efforts and Clarify Cross-Functional Team Funding
Highlights of GAO-19-598, a report to
                                               Responsibilities
congressional committees




Why GAO Did This Study                          What GAO Found
DOD continues to confront                       The Department of Defense (DOD) is up to 21 months late in fully addressing
organizational challenges that hinder           five of seven requirements of section 911 of the National Defense Authorization
collaboration. To address these                 Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017. These remaining five requirements are
challenges, section 911 of the NDAA             designed to strengthen collaboration within the department to foster effective and
for Fiscal Year 2017 directed the               efficient achievement of objectives and outputs (see figure).
Secretary of Defense to, among other
things, issue an organizational strategy        Remaining Requirements for the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Implementation of Section
that identifies critical objectives that        911 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, as of June 2019
span multiple functional boundaries;
establish cross-functional teams to
support this strategy; and provide
related guidance and training.
The NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017 also
included a provision for GAO to assess
DOD’s actions in response to section
911. This report assesses the extent to
which DOD has made progress in
implementing the requirements of                DOD has not addressed most of these remaining requirements of section 911
section 911, including establishing a
                                                largely because the Chief Management Officer (CMO) has not approved the
new cross-functional team on
                                                documents drafted to meet the requirements or coordinated department-wide
electromagnetic spectrum operations.
                                                review of the documents and provided them for Secretary of Defense issuance.
GAO reviewed documentation,                     According to Office of the CMO (OCMO) officials, some of the draft documents
interviewed cross-functional team               were provided to the CMO for review and approval as early as August 2018.
members and other DOD officials, and            After providing a draft of this report to the department for comment, GAO learned
compared DOD’s actions to section               that the organizational strategy was circulated for department coordination in
911 requirements and leading                    July 2019, with components expected to provide input by August 2019. However,
practices for cross-functional teams.           while the OCMO has set an internal time frame for the organizational strategy, it
What GAO Recommends                             has not set similar time frames for completing the other four remaining
                                                requirements, such as delivering guidance and training on cross-functional
GAO is making six recommendations,              teams. GAO previously reported that establishing internal deadlines with key
including that DOD set and ensure that          milestones and deliverables is important for tracking progress and implementing
it meets specific internal deadlines for        actions effectively.
review and approval of outstanding
requirements of section 911, and that          DOD established a cross-functional team pursuant to section 911 on
DOD clarify roles and responsibilities         electromagnetic-spectrum operations (EMSO), but according to a team official,
for providing funding for the EMSO             funding for the team was delayed. EMSO refers to those activities consisting of
cross-functional team. DOD concurred           electronic warfare and joint electromagnetic-spectrum management operations
with GAO’s recommendations and set             used to exploit, attack, protect, and manage the electromagnetic operational
deadlines for addressing the remaining         environment to achieve the commander’s objectives. According to the
requirements.                                  memorandum establishing the team, the CMO is required to provide
                                               administrative support to and coordinate with the team to ensure adequate
                                               resources are immediately available. However, team officials stated that this
                                               funding was delayed in part because of disagreements over responsibility for
View GAO-19-598. For more information,
contact Elizabeth Field at (202) 512-2775 or
                                               funding the team under the terms of this memorandum. Moreover, according to a
fielde1@gao.gov.                               team official, plans for funding in future fiscal years have not been developed. If
                                               DOD does not clarify roles and responsibilities for funding the team, the CMO
                                               and the EMSO team may face additional delays securing funding, which could
                                               negatively affect the team’s ability to conduct its work and meet its objectives.
                                                                                           United States Government Accountability Office
Contents


Letter                                                                                   1
               DOD’s Efforts to Implement Section 911 Requirements Have
                 Largely Stalled, and Funding Delays Have Slowed DOD’s
                 Newest Cross-Functional Team                                           6
               Conclusions                                                             15
               Recommendations for Executive Action                                    16
               Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                      17

Appendix I     Prior GAO Reports on the Department of Defense’s (DOD)
               Implementation of Section 911 of the National Defense
               Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017                           19



Appendix II    Summary of Requirements in Section 911 of the National
               Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017                          22



Appendix III   Leading Practices for Implementing Effective
               Cross-Functional Teams                                                  24



Appendix IV    Comments from the Department of Defense                                 26



Appendix V     GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                   29



Tables
               Table 1: Prior GAO Reports on the Department of Defense’s
                       (DOD) Implementation of Section 911 of the National
                       Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017
                       and Status of Recommendations, as of June 2019                  20
               Table 2: Status of Requirements in Section 911 of the National
                       Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, as of
                       June 2019                                                       22
               Table 3: Leading Practices and Key Characteristics of Cross-
                       Functional Teams                                                24



               Page i                                         GAO-19-598 Defense Management
Figure
         Figure 1: Status of the Department of Defense’s (DOD)
                  Implementation of Requirements in Section 911 of the
                  National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017,
                  as of June 2019                                                                  7




         Abbreviations

         CMO               Chief Management Officer
         DOD               Department of Defense
         NDAA              National Defense Authorization Act
         OCMO              Office of the Chief Management Officer



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         Page ii                                                  GAO-19-598 Defense Management
                       Letter




441 G St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20548




                       August 20, 2019

                       The Honorable James M. Inhofe
                       Chairman
                       The Honorable Jack Reed
                       Ranking Member
                       Committee on Armed Services
                       United States Senate

                       The Honorable Adam Smith
                       Chairman
                       The Honorable Mac Thornberry
                       Ranking Member
                       Committee on Armed Services
                       House of Representatives

                       The Department of Defense’s (DOD) National Defense Business
                       Operations Plan for Fiscal Years 2018–2022 highlights that collaboration
                       and communication among the Office of the Secretary of Defense,
                       military services, and combatant commands are essential to ensuring the
                       success of the readiness program across the department. 1 However,
                       DOD has faced organizational, management, and cultural challenges that
                       can limit effective and efficient collaboration needed to accomplish
                       departmental objectives. For example, we reported in August 2017 that
                       DOD’s efforts to implement a hierarchical, portfolio-based approach to
                       strategically acquire contracted services had not been successful. 2 This
                       effort failed for various reasons, including that it was met with strong
                       cultural resistance to changing DOD’s traditional decentralized approach
                       to managing services. We have highlighted these challenges in additional
                       reports, including our High-Risk report, which calls attention to agencies

                       1
                        The National Defense Business Operations Plan presents the department’s priority
                       business operation goals and objectives with specific and measurable priority and
                       performance goals. DOD previously referred to the National Defense Business Operations
                       Plan as the department’s Agency Strategic Plan.
                       2
                        GAO, Defense Contracted Services: DOD Needs to Reassess Key Leadership Roles and
                       Clarify Policies for Requirements Review Boards, GAO-17-482 (Washington, D.C.: Aug.
                       31, 2017). In that report, we noted, among other things, that our prior work had cautioned
                       that a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach may not work. We recommended, and DOD
                       concurred, that it needed to reassess the roles, responsibilities, authorities, and
                       organizational placement of key leadership that had been established at the DOD and
                       military department levels to lead this transformation.




                       Page 1                                                  GAO-19-598 Defense Management
and program areas that are high risk because of their vulnerabilities to
fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, or are most in need of
transformation. 3

Section 911 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal
Year 2017 contained multiple requirements to help advance a more
collaborative culture within DOD. 4 DOD’s Chief Management Officer
(CMO) is leading the department’s efforts to implement section 911. 5 This
section directed the Secretary of Defense to do the following, among
other things:

•   Formulate and issue an organizational strategy for DOD that identifies
    the critical objectives and other organizational outputs that span
    multiple functional boundaries and would benefit from the use of
    cross-functional teams to ensure collaboration and integration across
    the department.
•   Establish cross-functional teams that, among other things, address
    the critical objectives and outputs outlined in the department’s
    organizational strategy.
•   Issue guidance on cross-functional teams and provide training to
    members of those established teams and their supervisors on
    elements of successful cross-functional teams.
•   Provide training on leadership, modern organizational practice,
    collaboration, and the operation of cross-functional teams to
    individuals who have been appointed by the President and confirmed
    by the Senate to a position within the Office of the Secretary of
    Defense, or request waivers from this requirement.


3
 GAO, High-Risk Series: Substantial Efforts Needed to Achieve Greater Progress on
High-Risk Areas, GAO-19-157SP (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 6, 2019). DOD currently
manages six of the areas we have designated as high risk: (1) weapons systems
acquisition, (2) contract management, (3) financial management, (4) business systems
modernization, (5) support infrastructure management, and (6) approach to business
transformation.
4
Pub. L. No. 114-328, § 911 (2016).
5
 Prior to February 2018, the Deputy Chief Management Officer led the department’s
efforts to implement section 911 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017. The CMO assumed
these responsibilities effective February 1, 2018, in accordance with section 910 of the
NDAA for Fiscal Year 2018, which disestablished the position of the Deputy Chief
Management Officer as a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed position and
established the CMO position.




Page 2                                                   GAO-19-598 Defense Management
Central to these requirements is the use of cross-functional teams.
According to academic literature and subject-matter experts with whom
we spoke, cross-functional teams rely on individuals with different types
of expertise to work toward a common, well-defined goal, and are thought
to deliver better and faster solutions to complex and fast-moving
problems. As of our January 2019 report, DOD had established one
cross-functional team under section 911, which has since been
disestablished. 6 The team had been responsible for managing the
transfer of background investigations for certain DOD personnel from the
Office of Personnel Management to DOD. Because those responsibilities
were transferred to a newly created Personnel Vetting Transformation
Office within DOD, department officials made the decision to disestablish
the team. According to a DOD official, the team was disestablished as of
January 2019.

The John S. McCain NDAA for Fiscal Year 2019 subsequently introduced
new requirements on DOD’s implementation of section 911. Among other
things, sections 918 and 1053(c) of the act required the Secretary of
Defense to establish a cross-functional team pursuant to section 911 of
the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017 on electronic warfare in order to identify
gaps in electronic warfare and joint electromagnetic spectrum operations,
capabilities, and capacities within the department across personnel,
procedural, and equipment areas. 7

Section 911 also included a provision for us—every 6 months after the
date of enactment on December 23, 2016, through December 31, 2019—
to submit to the defense committees a report setting forth a
comprehensive assessment of the actions that DOD has taken pursuant
to section 911 during each 6-month period and cumulatively since the
NDAA’s enactment. We have issued four reports to date and made five




6
 In addition, as we reported in January 2019, the department previously considered its
cross-functional business reform teams to be responsive to section 911, but plans to no
longer do so.
7
 Pub. L. No. 115-232 §§ 918 and 1053(c) (2018). DOD established the team as the
electromagnetic spectrum operations cross-functional team, with electromagnetic
spectrum operations comprised of electronic warfare and spectrum management. See
Secretary of Defense Memorandum, Establishment of the Electromagnetic Spectrum
Operations Cross Functional Team, (Feb. 2, 2019). As a result, we use the term
electromagnetic spectrum operations when referring to the team in this report.




Page 3                                                  GAO-19-598 Defense Management
recommendations to DOD. 8 In our most recent report, issued in January
2019, we reported that DOD had made limited progress in addressing the
remaining statutory requirements from section 911 and was reducing the
number of cross-functional teams it considered responsive to section
911. 9 We also reported that DOD’s enterprise business reform efforts
were driven by nine cross-functional teams, but progress had been
uneven. 10 We recommended, and DOD concurred, that DOD establish a
process to identify and prioritize funding for implementing these business
reform teams’ initiatives. Appendix I provides information on these four
reports, including the status of DOD’s implementation of
recommendations made in these reports.

In this report, we describe the extent to which DOD has made progress in
implementing the requirements of section 911 of the NDAA for Fiscal
Year 2017, including the establishment of a new cross-functional team on
electromagnetic spectrum operations.

To assess DOD’s progress in implementing the section 911 requirements,
we reviewed documentation and interviewed Office of the Chief
Management Officer (OCMO) officials on DOD’s efforts to finalize its draft
organizational strategy; DOD’s guidance on cross-functional teams; its
training for cross-functional team members, their supervisors, and
presidential appointees; and its report on the successes and failures of
cross-functional teams. We compared DOD’s efforts to the requirements

8
 GAO, Defense Management: DOD Has Taken Initial Steps to Formulate an
Organizational Strategy, but These Efforts Are Not Complete, GAO-17-523R (Washington,
D.C.: June 23, 2017); Defense Management: DOD Needs to Take Additional Actions to
Promote Department-Wide Collaboration, GAO-18-194 (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 28,
2018); GAO, Defense Management: DOD Senior Leadership Has Not Fully Implemented
Statutory Requirements to Promote Department-Wide Collaboration, GAO-18-513
(Washington, D.C.: June 25, 2018); and Defense Management: DOD Needs to Implement
Statutory Requirements and Identify Resource for Its Cross-Functional Teams,
GAO-19-165 (Washington, D.C.: Jan. 17, 2019).
9
GAO-19-165.
10
  Our January 2019 report included our assessment of DOD’s actions pursuant to section
921 of the John S. McCain NDAA for Fiscal Year 2019, as required by the statute. Section
921 requires the Secretary of Defense, acting through the Chief Management Officer
(CMO), to reform its enterprise business operations in order to increase effectiveness and
efficiency of mission execution. The CMO is required to submit to the congressional
defense committees a plan, schedule, and cost estimate for conducting these reforms,
and we are required to provide a report that verifies whether the plan is feasible within 90
days of that plan being submitted. DOD submitted the plan on April 24, 2019. We expect
to provide our report on that plan in September 2019.




Page 4                                                    GAO-19-598 Defense Management
in section 911 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017. To assess DOD’s efforts
to establish the new cross-functional team on electromagnetic spectrum
operations, we interviewed OCMO and other officials involved in the
establishment of the team to discuss their efforts and reviewed
documentation associated with the establishment of the team. We
evaluated these efforts against the requirements for cross-functional
teams in section 911 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017, as well as leading
practices from our prior work on implementing effective cross-functional
teams. 11 To assess the team against these requirements, two analysts
independently reviewed the testimony and documents provided and
compared them to these requirements. In any cases where there was a
disagreement, the analysts discussed any differences. If they were not
resolved, a third analyst reviewed the assessments and made a
determination.

We conducted this performance audit from December 2018 to August
2019 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to
obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for
our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe
that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings
and conclusions based on our audit objectives.




11
   We previously reported on eight leading practices for implementing effective cross-
functional teams. See GAO-18-194. We identified these leading practices by reviewing
literature and case studies on the use of cross-functional teams in the private and public
sectors, as well as interviewing six academic and practitioner experts. Leading practices
for effective cross-functional teams are aligned with leading practices for interagency
collaboration. See GAO, Managing for Results: Key Considerations for Implementing
Interagency Collaborative Mechanisms, GAO-12-1022 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 27,
2012).




Page 5                                                    GAO-19-598 Defense Management
DOD’s Efforts to
Implement Section
911 Requirements
Have Largely Stalled,
and Funding Delays
Have Slowed DOD’s
Newest Cross-
Functional Team
DOD Has Continued to        DOD is up to 21 months late in fully addressing five remaining
Delay Full Implementation   requirements of section 911 related to DOD’s organizational strategy and
                            cross-functional teams, as shown in figure 1 and discussed below. 12
of Section 911
Requirements




                            12
                              App. II lists the requirements of section 911 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017, the
                            corresponding due date, and the date completed, if applicable, for each requirement as of
                            May 2019. In addition to these five remaining requirements, DOD is also required to take
                            actions to streamline the organizational structure and processes of the Office of the
                            Secretary of Defense by June 23, 2018. As we reported in January 2019, OCMO officials
                            have revised the draft organizational strategy to identify the actions that the department
                            has taken in response to this requirement. As noted, however, the organizational strategy
                            has not been issued. We will assess these actions against the requirements of section
                            911 after the organizational strategy has been issued.




                            Page 6                                                   GAO-19-598 Defense Management
Figure 1: Status of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Implementation of
Requirements in Section 911 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal
Year 2017, as of June 2019




Note: In addition to the requirements depicted, the Secretary of Defense is also required to take
actions as the Secretary considers appropriate to streamline the organizational structure and
processes of the Office of the Secretary of Defense by June 23, 2018. DOD has identified those
actions in its draft organizational strategy, but as noted, the organizational strategy has not been
issued. We will assess these actions, if any, against the requirements of section 911(e) after issuance
of the organizational strategy.



Specifically, DOD has not fully addressed the following statutory
requirements:

1. Issue an organizational strategy: DOD has not issued its
   organizational strategy, which as of June 2019 is 21 months past the
   statutorily required issuance date of September 1, 2017. In January
   2019, we reported that OCMO officials had revised the draft
   organizational strategy, incorporating, among other things, the criteria
   that distinguish cross-functional teams established under section 911
   from other types of cross-functional working groups, committees,
   integrated product teams, and task forces, as required by section
   918(b) of the John S. McCain NDAA for Fiscal Year 2019. 13 The
13
  Pub. L. No. 115-232, § 918(b)(1) (2018). GAO-19-165.




Page 7                                                           GAO-19-598 Defense Management
     revised draft of the organizational strategy also includes steps DOD
     plans to take to advance a collaborative culture. As we reported in our
     June 2018 report, these steps, as outlined in the draft strategy, align
     with our leading practices for mergers and organizational
     transformations, which we recommended that DOD incorporate into
     its strategy. 14 Based on our review of OCMO’s current draft of the
     organizational strategy, we found that it addresses all required
     elements laid out in section 911 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017.
     That January 2019 draft strategy, according to an official from
     OCMO’s Administration and Organizational Policy Directorate, was
     provided to OCMO leadership for review as early as August 2018, but
     has not been approved. A senior OCMO official stated that approval
     of the draft was delayed to ensure it aligned with the National Defense
     Strategy, issued in January 2018, and the National Defense Business
     Operations Plan, issued in May 2018, and to incorporate additional
     requirements of the John S. McCain NDAA for Fiscal Year 2019,
     which was enacted in August 2018. In addition, according to senior
     OCMO and Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense officials, the
     Acting CMO and the Deputy Secretary of Defense informally
     discussed the draft organizational strategy, but those conversations
     did not lead to the Acting CMO formally approving the draft for
     department-wide coordination. In May 2019, a senior OCMO official
     told us that the Acting CMO was fully committed to completing
     department-wide coordination of the draft strategy in June 2019 and
     advancing it for issuance by the Secretary of Defense in July 2019.
     After providing a draft of this report to the department for comment,
     we learned that the organizational strategy was circulated for
     department-wide coordination on July 12, 2019, with components
     expected to provide input by August 5, 2019.


14
  GAO-18-194. We identified leading practices and implementation steps for mergers and
organizational transformations that can help agencies transform their cultures so that they
are more results-oriented, customer-focused, and collaborative. The leading practices
include: (1) ensure top leadership drives the transformation; (2) establish a coherent
mission and integrated strategic goals to guide the transformation; (3) focus on a key set
of principles and priorities at the outset of the transformation; (4) set implementation goals
and a timeline to build momentum and show progress from day one; (5) dedicate an
implementation team to manage the transformation process; (6) use the performance
management system to define responsibility and assure accountability for change; (7)
establish a communication strategy to create shared expectations and report related
progress; (8) involve employees to obtain their ideas and gain their ownership for the
transformation; and (9) build a world-class organization. See GAO, Results-Oriented
Cultures: Implementation Steps to Assist Mergers and Organizational Transformations,
GAO-03-669 (July 2, 2003).




Page 8                                                     GAO-19-598 Defense Management
2. Issue guidance for cross-functional teams: DOD has not issued
   guidance for cross-functional teams, which, as of June 2019, is 20
   months past the required date of September 30, 2017. In June 2018,
   we reported that OCMO officials had revised the draft guidance to
   fully address all section 911 requirements and incorporate leading
   practices for effective cross-functional teams in the guidance,
   consistent with our February 2018 recommendation. 15 Based on our
   review of this draft, we found that it addresses all required elements
   from section 911 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017, as well as all of
   the leading practices for effective cross-functional teams. That draft
   guidance, according to an official from OCMO’s Administration and
   Organizational Policy Directorate, was provided to OCMO leadership
   for review as early as August 2018, but has not been approved by the
   CMO.
3. Provide training to cross-functional team members and their
   supervisors: OCMO officials have provided some of the required
   training to members and leaders of a recently established cross-
   functional team described later in this report. The training included
   several required elements, including information on the characteristics
   of successful cross-functional teams, conflict resolution, and how to
   appropriately represent the views and expertise of functional
   components. However, OCMO officials have not provided training to
   supervisors in team members’ functional organizations as required.
     We reported in February 2018 that DOD had developed a draft
     curriculum for this training that addressed the section 911
     requirements. 16 An OCMO official told us it has not altered the
     curriculum since then, but that the department has still not provided
     the training to team members’ supervisors because the curriculum
     has not been approved by the Acting CMO or the Secretary of
     Defense. Such approval, though not required by statute, would
     demonstrate senior leadership support for cross-functional teams, a
     leading practice we have identified. Further, according to an OCMO
     official, department-wide coordination and approval would serve to
     strengthen the effectiveness of the training. However, the need for this
     training is evident. For example, when we observed one of the training
     sessions, a member of a cross-functional team stated that he did not
     believe his supervisors knew what cross-functional teams were.


15
 GAO-18-513.
16
 GAO-18-194.




Page 9                                           GAO-19-598 Defense Management
4. Provide training to presidential appointees: OCMO has not
   provided the required training to individuals filling presidentially
   appointed, Senate-confirmed positions in the Office of the Secretary
   of Defense. Section 911 requires these individuals to complete the
   training within 3 months of their appointment or DOD to request
   waivers. As of June 2019, 24 of 36 such officials had been appointed
   and in their positions for more than 3 months, and, according to an
   OCMO official, none had received their training or been granted a
   training waiver. 17 An OCMO official told us in October 2018 he had
   revised the draft training curriculum following our February 2018
   report to include all the required elements in section 911. 18 However,
   as of May 2019, OCMO officials had not provided a copy of the
   revised curriculum for our review. After the curriculum is approved, the
   officials stated that they plan to recommend to the Secretary of
   Defense that all presidential appointees in the Office of the Secretary
   of Defense receive the training, rather than request waivers.
5. Report on successes and failures of cross-functional teams:
   OCMO has not completed an analysis of the successes and failures
   of DOD’s cross-functional teams, which, as of June 2019, is 3 months
   past its required completion date. Section 911 requires that an
   analysis of the success and failures of the teams and how to apply
   lessons learned from that analysis is completed 18 months after the
   establishment of the first cross-functional team. With the
   establishment of the first cross-functional team on personnel vetting in
   August 2017, the required completion date for the report was
   February 25, 2019. An OCMO official stated that OCMO planned to




17
  Pub. L. No. 114-328, § 911(f)(2) (2016) permits the President to waive the training
requirement if the Secretary of Defense determines that the individual already possesses,
through training and experience, the skill and knowledge to be provided through the
required training.
18
  GAO-18-194. Section 911 requires the training to include the following four elements: (1)
leadership, (2) modern organizational practice, (3) collaboration, and (4) the operation of
cross-functional teams. In February 2018, we reported that the draft training curriculum
addressed only one of the required elements—the element about the operation of cross-
functional teams. We recommended, and DOD concurred, that the CMO should either (1)
provide training that includes all of the required elements in section 911 or (2) develop
criteria for obtaining a waiver and have the Secretary of Defense request such a waiver
from the President for these required elements.




Page 10                                                  GAO-19-598 Defense Management
     conduct an analysis on the personnel vetting team, but had not yet
     begun and had not set a time frame for doing so. 19

DOD has not addressed most of these remaining requirements of section
911 because, according to an OCMO official, the Acting CMO has not
approved the draft documents prepared by OCMO staff to satisfy the
requirements. Moreover, the Acting CMO has not coordinated most of the
documents department-wide and provided them to the Secretary of
Defense for review and issuance. Specifically, according to an OCMO
official, the Acting CMO has not reviewed or approved the guidance on
cross-functional teams or curricula for cross-functional team members,
their supervisors, and presidential appointees. 20 These delays occurred in
part because the department has not established and communicated
internal deadlines for reviewing, coordinating, and approving these
documents. According to OCMO officials, the primary reason they have
not met these other outstanding requirements, including the guidance and
training for cross-functional teams, is that they would like to have the
organizational strategy approved and issued first, so that it can be
reflected in the accompanying materials. However, while the OCMO has
set an internal time frame for the organizational strategy, it has not set
similar time frames for completing the remaining requirements. 21


19
  In August 2017, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum authorizing a cross-
functional team to address challenges with personnel vetting and background
investigation programs. The cross-functional team was established to assist with the
transition of background investigations for certain DOD personnel from the Office of
Personnel Management’s National Background Investigations Bureau to DOD’s Defense
Security Service. Section 925 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2018 required DOD to
implement a phased transition plan to transfer the conduct of background investigations of
certain DOD personnel from the Office of Personnel Management to DOD. Pub. L. No.
115-91, § 925 (2017). According to a DOD official, DOD has since disestablished this
team and subsumed its roles and responsibilities into a new Personnel Vetting
Transformation Office.
20
  As noted earlier, after providing a draft of this report to the department for comment in
June 2019, we learned that the organizational strategy was circulated for department
coordination on July 12, 2019, with components expected to provide any input by August
5, 2019.
21
  In its response to our draft report, DOD provided new information on a timeline for
completing the outstanding section 911 requirements. Specifically, DOD updated its
internal deadline for submission of the organizational strategy to the Secretary of Defense
from July 2019 to August 2019. DOD also stated that it plans to issue the guidance on
cross-functional teams and training for cross-functional team members, their supervisors,
and presidential appointees by September 2019 and complete its report on the successes
and failures of cross-functional teams by November 2019.




Page 11                                                   GAO-19-598 Defense Management
                             Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government emphasize the
                             need to establish time frames to implement actions effectively. 22 In
                             addition, as we reported in June 2018, establishing time frames with key
                             milestones and deliverables to track implementation progress are
                             important for agency reform efforts. 23 By not setting and following clear
                             internal deadlines for meeting the outstanding section 911 requirements,
                             DOD has continued to fall short in meeting statutory requirements and
                             missed opportunities to effectively implement its cross-functional teams
                             and advance a collaborative culture that could bolster broader efforts
                             within the department, such as reforming its business operations.


DOD Established a Cross-     Sections 918 and 1053(c) of the John S. McCain NDAA for Fiscal Year
Functional Team on           2019 required the Secretary of Defense to establish a cross-functional
                             team pursuant to section 911 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017 on
Electromagnetic Spectrum
                             electronic warfare to identify gaps in electronic warfare and joint
Operations, but the Team’s   electromagnetic spectrum operations, capabilities, and capacities within
Efforts Have Been Slowed     the department across personnel, procedural, and equipment areas. In
by Delayed Funding           addition, section 1053(d) of the act required the electronic warfare cross-
Decisions                    functional team to, among other things, (1) update the department’s
                             Electronic Warfare Strategy in coordination with the Electronic Warfare
                             Executive Committee by February 9, 2019, and (2) provide assessments
                             of the electronic warfare capabilities of the Russian Federation and the
                             People’s Republic of China in consultation with the Director of the
                             Defense Intelligence Agency by May 10, 2019. 24

                             Section 918 of the John S. McCain NDAA for Fiscal Year 2019 required
                             the team’s establishment by November 11, 2018; however, DOD did not
                             establish an electromagnetic spectrum operations cross-functional team
                             until February 2019, and the team did not begin its work until April 2019. 25

                             22
                               GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, GAO-14-704G
                             (Washington, D.C.: September 2014).
                             23
                              GAO, Government Reorganization: Key Questions to Assess Agency Reform Efforts,
                             GAO-18-427 (Washington, D.C.: June 13, 2018).
                             24
                              Pub. L. No. 115-232, § 1053 (2018).
                             25
                               According to DOD, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations are those activities
                             consisting of electronic warfare and joint electromagnetic spectrum management
                             operations used to exploit, attack, protect, and manage the electromagnetic operational
                             environment to achieve the commander’s objectives. Department of Defense, DOD
                             Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, (as of May 2019).




                             Page 12                                                 GAO-19-598 Defense Management
An official from the team told us that the standup of the team was delayed
due to the extensive department-wide review of the February 2019
memorandum that established the team. 26 Because of the delayed
establishment of the team, DOD officials estimated that the required
update to DOD’s Electronic Warfare Strategy would be completed by the
end of September 2019—7 months after the statutory deadline—and that
the required assessments would be provided by fall 2019. 27 According to
the team’s establishment memorandum, the team will continue its work
until at least fiscal year 2022.

In addition to the requirements discussed above, section 911 of the
NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017 includes specific requirements for cross-
functional teams established under that section, including that each
team’s objectives be clearly established in writing and that the team
should establish a strategy to achieve those objectives. We found that
DOD and the electromagnetic spectrum operations cross-functional team
have addressed 10 of 11 of those requirements for cross-functional
teams. We also found that the team demonstrates several of the leading
practices for cross-functional teams. 28 For example, we found that the
team has a well-defined team structure and well-defined team goals.
However, as previously discussed, DOD has not fully addressed the
section 911 requirement for training for cross-functional team members’
supervisors.

We were also told by team officials that DOD was delayed in providing
administrative support and funding to support the team’s operations.
According to the memorandum establishing the electromagnetic spectrum
operations team, the CMO is responsible for providing administrative
support to the new team, to include providing the team with office space,
information technology equipment, contracting, human resources,

26
 Secretary of Defense Memorandum, Establishment of the Electromagnetic Spectrum
Operations Cross Functional Team, (Feb. 2, 2019).
27
  We will continue to review the electromagnetic spectrum operations team’s work to
address these requirements in our subsequent report on section 911, as required by Pub.
L. No. 114-328, § 911(g)(1) (2016), which is expected to be issued this winter.
28
  See GAO-18-194. In that report, we identified eight leading practices associated with
effective cross-functional teams: (1) open and regular communication, (2) well-defined
team goals, (3) inclusive team environment, (4) senior management support, (5) well-
defined team structure, (6) autonomy, (7) committed cross-functional team members, and
(8) an empowered cross-functional team leader. These leading practices and their related
key characteristics are reproduced in app. III.




Page 13                                                 GAO-19-598 Defense Management
security, cross-functional team training, and other services, as
appropriate. 29 The memorandum also requires the team to work with the
CMO to develop resource requirements for team operations for fiscal
years 2019 and 2020 to ensure adequate resources are immediately
available.

However, according to a team official, funding was not provided to the
team until late May 2019—over 3 months after the team was established
and over 1 month after most of the team members were provided by their
home units to work on the team full time. According to a team official, this
funding was to be used for several team requirements, including
dedicated office space, computer systems, travel funds, and contractor
support. This funding was delayed in part because of disagreements over
responsibility for funding the team under the terms of the memorandum
establishing the team. Specifically, according to a team official, OCMO
officials believed that funding should be provided by another organization,
such as the Joint Staff. Team and Joint Staff officials told us that they
believed the OCMO was responsible for this funding based on the
memorandum establishing the team. A team official further stated that
funding was provided only when the Deputy Secretary of Defense
directed that funding be provided to the team. OCMO officials told us that
because the team was not a budgeted activity for fiscal year 2019, the
team was added to DOD’s unfunded requirements list. The Under
Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) identified funds for the team via the
unfunded requirements process at the end of April 2019.

However, a team official told us funding for the team for future fiscal years
has not been identified and responsibility for providing that funding is still
unclear. OCMO officials told us that the team will continue to rely on the
unfunded requirements process for funding, since the team is not a
budgeted activity for fiscal year 2020, and would need to compete for
funding through DOD’s program budget review process for fiscal year
2021 and later fiscal years. Those officials also told us that the team has
not yet signed a memorandum of agreement that is required to execute
transfer of the funds to the team. A team official told us the team had not
yet signed the memorandum because it believed the memorandum would
transfer responsibility for funding the team from OCMO to the team. As



29
 Secretary of Defense Memorandum, Establishment of the Electromagnetic Spectrum
Operations Cross Functional Team.




Page 14                                             GAO-19-598 Defense Management
              noted previously, team officials believe the OCMO is responsible for this
              funding based on the memorandum establishing the team.

              According to a team official, this delay in funding hampered the team’s
              ability to achieve full operating capability. For example, until late May the
              team was working from the Pentagon Conference Center and OCMO
              conference rooms with only one secure laptop. A team official told us in
              June 2019 that though the team has moved into its own office space, that
              space does not have the level of security required for the team to work on
              a third of its initiatives. As a result, the team was also delayed in
              conducting mission analysis, work plan development, organizational
              design, and production of executive-level briefings. A team official told us
              the team expects to be at full operating capability in late July 2019.

              Leading practices for implementing effective cross-functional teams
              highlight the importance of senior management providing teams with
              access to resources. In addition, Standards for Internal Control in the
              Federal Government state that agencies’ management should assign
              responsibility to achieve the entity’s objectives.30 If DOD does not clarify
              roles and responsibilities for providing funding for the new cross-
              functional team, the Acting CMO and the electromagnetic spectrum
              operations team may continue to have delays in funding and those delays
              may negatively affect the team’s ability to conduct its work and to meet its
              objectives.31


              Section 911 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017 called for organizational
Conclusions   and management reforms to assist DOD in addressing challenges that
              have hindered collaboration and integration across the department. The
              department has taken some steps to implement the section 911
              requirements, but still has not met statutory time frames for implementing
              key requirements intended to support its cross-functional teams and to
              advance a more collaborative culture within the department. Setting

              30
               GAO-14-704G.
              31
                In January 2019, we reported that a key challenge facing DOD’s cross-functional
              business reform teams was that some lacked resources to fully implement their approved
              initiatives. We recommended, and DOD concurred, that DOD establish a process to
              identify and prioritize funding for implementing these business reform teams’ initiatives.
              However, this finding and recommendation were limited to the business reform teams and
              therefore do not apply to other cross-functional teams, including those established in
              response to section 911.




              Page 15                                                  GAO-19-598 Defense Management
                      specific internal deadlines would help ensure action on these outstanding
                      statutory requirements. Moreover, DOD has established a new
                      electromagnetic spectrum operations cross-functional team under section
                      911—one of the only requirements for which the department has made
                      progress since our last report—but has not ensured that the team will
                      have the funding it needs beyond fiscal year 2019 to maintain full
                      operational capability and accomplish its assigned objectives. Senior
                      leadership commitment to fully supporting this team and fulfilling all
                      section 911 requirements could help the department make important
                      advances in the type of collaboration necessary for the department to
                      accomplish some of its most ambitious goals.

                      We are making the following six recommendations to DOD:
Recommendations for
Executive Action      The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the CMO meets DOD’s
                      August 2019 deadline for final submission of the organizational strategy
                      to the Secretary of Defense for review and issuance. (Recommendation
                      1)

                      The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the CMO meets DOD’s
                      September 2019 deadline for review and approval of DOD’s guidance on
                      cross-functional teams and final submission to the Secretary for review
                      and issuance. (Recommendation 2)

                      The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the CMO meets DOD’s
                      September 2019 deadline for review and approval of DOD’s training
                      curriculum for cross-functional team members and their supervisors.
                      (Recommendation 3)

                      The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the CMO meets DOD’s
                      September 2019 deadline for review and approval of DOD’s training
                      curriculum for presidential appointees. (Recommendation 4)

                      The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the CMO meets DOD’s
                      November 2019 deadline for drafting, review, and approval of DOD’s
                      report on the success and failures of cross-functional teams and final
                      submission to the Secretary for review and approval. (Recommendation
                      5)

                      The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the CMO and the
                      electromagnetic spectrum operations cross-functional team clarify roles
                      and responsibilities for providing administrative support and funding for



                      Page 16                                        GAO-19-598 Defense Management
                     the team beyond fiscal year 2019 in accordance with the memorandum
                     establishing the team. (Recommendation 6)


                     We provided a draft of this report to DOD for review and comment. In
Agency Comments      written comments that are reproduced in appendix IV, DOD concurred
and Our Evaluation   with our recommendations. DOD officials provided separate oral technical
                     comments, which we incorporated as appropriate.

                     In its response, DOD provided new information on a timeline for
                     completing the outstanding section 911 requirements. Specifically, DOD
                     updated its internal deadline for submission of the organizational strategy
                     to the Secretary of Defense from July 2019 to August 2019. DOD also
                     stated that it plans to issue the guidance on cross-functional teams and
                     training for cross-functional team members, their supervisors, and
                     presidential appointees by September 2019 and complete its report on
                     the successes and failures of cross-functional teams by November 2019.
                     We updated our first five recommendations to reflect this information.
                     Establishing these timelines is an important step forward in meeting the
                     statutory requirements under section 911 as well as addressing our
                     recommendations. As part of our next and final audit of DOD’s
                     implementation of section 911 requirements, we will assess the extent to
                     which the department has met these new internal deadlines and fully
                     addressed our recommendations in this report. Fully addressing these
                     outstanding requirements will strengthen DOD’s ability to effectively
                     implement its cross-functional teams and advance a collaborative culture
                     within the department.


                     We are sending copies of this report to the appropriate congressional
                     committees, the Secretary of Defense, and DOD’s Deputy Chief
                     Management Officer. In addition, the report is available at no charge on
                     our website at http://www.gao.gov.




                     Page 17                                        GAO-19-598 Defense Management
If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please contact
me at (202) 512-2775 or fielde1@gao.gov. Contact points for our Offices
of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last
page of this report. GAO staff who made key contributions to this report
are listed in appendix V.




Elizabeth Field
Acting Director
Defense Capabilities and Management




Page 18                                        GAO-19-598 Defense Management
Appendix I: Prior GAO Reports on the Department
                Appendix I: Prior GAO Reports on the
                Department of Defense’s (DOD)
                Implementation of Section 911 of the National
                Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal

of Defense’s (DOD) Implementation of Section 911
                Year 2017



of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
for Fiscal Year 2017
                Section 911 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017 included a provision for
                us—every 6 months after the date of enactment on December 23, 2016,
                through December 31, 2019—to submit to the congressional defense
                committees a report. Each report is to set forth a comprehensive
                assessment of the actions that DOD has taken pursuant to section 911
                during each 6-month period and cumulatively since the NDAA’s
                enactment. Table 1 identifies our four prior reports on DOD’s
                implementation of section 911 and the status of the five recommendations
                from those reports.




                Page 19                                         GAO-19-598 Defense Management
                                         Appendix I: Prior GAO Reports on the
                                         Department of Defense’s (DOD)
                                         Implementation of Section 911 of the National
                                         Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal
                                         Year 2017




Table 1: Prior GAO Reports on the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Implementation of Section 911 of the National Defense
Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017 and Status of Recommendations, as of June 2019

                               Report issuance                                                                     Status of DOD’s
Report title                   date                   Recommendation                                               implementation
Defense Management: DOD        January 17, 2019       The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the Chief        Not implemented
Needs to Implement Statutory                          Management Officer (CMO) establishes a process for
Requirements and Identify                             identifying and prioritizing available funding to develop
Resource for Its Cross-                               and implement initiatives from the cross-functional
                                                                    a
Functional Reform Teams,                              reform teams.
GAO-19-165
Defense Management: DOD         June 25, 2018         We did not make recommendations in this report.              Not applicable
Senior Leadership Has Not Fully
Implemented Statutory
Requirements to Promote
Department-Wide Collaboration,
GAO-18-513
Defense Management: DOD        February 28, 2018      The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the CMO, Not implemented
Needs to Take Additional                              in its revisions to the draft organizational strategy,
Actions to Promote Department-                        address how the department will promote and achieve
Wide Collaboration,                                   a collaborative culture, as required under section 911
GAO-18-194                                            of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017. The CMO could
                                                      accomplish this by incorporating our leading practices
                                                      on mergers and organizational transformations.
                                                      The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the CMO          Not implemented
                                                      obtain stakeholder input on the development of the
                                                      organizational strategy from key stakeholders,
                                                      including the Secretary of Defense, the military
                                                      departments, the combatant commands, and defense
                                                      agencies.
                                                      The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the CMO          Not implemented
                                                      fully address all requirements in section 911 of the
                                                      NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017 and incorporate leading
                                                      practices for effective cross-functional teams in
                                                      guidance on Secretary of Defense-empowered cross-
                                                      functional teams.
                                                      The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the CMO          Not implemented
                                                      either: (a) provide training for presidentially-appointed,
                                                      Senate-confirmed individuals in the Office of the
                                                      Secretary of Defense that includes the required
                                                      elements—leadership, modern organizational practice,
                                                      and collaboration—in section 911 of the NDAA for
                                                      Fiscal Year 2017, or (b) develop criteria for obtaining a
                                                      waiver and have the Secretary of Defense request
                                                      such a waiver from the President for these required
                                                      elements if the individual possesses—through training
                                                      and experience—the skill and knowledge otherwise to
                                                      be provided through a course of instruction.




                                         Page 20                                                     GAO-19-598 Defense Management
                                                        Appendix I: Prior GAO Reports on the
                                                        Department of Defense’s (DOD)
                                                        Implementation of Section 911 of the National
                                                        Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal
                                                        Year 2017




                                               Report issuance                                                                       Status of DOD’s
Report title                                   date                   Recommendation                                                 implementation
Defense Management: DOD                        June 23, 2017          We did not make recommendations in this report.                Not applicable
Has Taken Initial Steps to
Formulate an Organizational
Strategy, but These Efforts Are
Not Complete, GAO-17-523R
Source: GAO analysis of DOD information. I GAO-19-598
                                                        a
                                                         The department previously considered its cross-functional business reform teams to be responsive
                                                        to section 911, but plans to no longer do so. The National Defense Business Operations Plan for
                                                        Fiscal Years 2018–2022, issued in May 2018, stated that these teams were established pursuant to
                                                        section 911. However, DOD’s draft organizational strategy states that these teams were not
                                                        established in response to section 911. Instead, it describes them as a second layer of cross-
                                                        functional coordination that will aid in ensuring broader implementation of collaborative and team-
                                                        oriented practices in the department.




                                                        Page 21                                                        GAO-19-598 Defense Management
Appendix II: Summary of Requirements in
                                             Appendix II: Summary of Requirements in
                                             Section 911 of the National Defense
                                             Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017


Section 911 of the National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017
                                             Section 911 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year
                                             2017 requires the Secretary of Defense to take several actions. Table 2
                                             summarizes these requirements, the due date, and the date completed, if
                                             applicable, as of June 2019.

Table 2: Status of Requirements in Section 911 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, as of June
2019

Not later than . . .                 The Secretary of Defense is to . . .                                        Date completed
Not specified                        Ensure that team members and all leaders in functional organizations        Not completed
                                     that are in the supervisory chain for personnel serving on such team
                                     receive training in elements of successful cross-functional teams,
                                     including teamwork, collaboration, conflict resolution, and appropriately
                                     representing the views and expertise of their functional components.
3 months of the appointment of       Send the individual to a training course in leadership, modern              Not completed
an individual to a position in the   organizational practice, collaboration, and the operation of cross-
Office of the Secretary of           functional teams. This training requirement can be waived under certain
Defense appointable by and with      circumstances.
the advice and consent of the
Senate
March 15, 2017                       Award any necessary contract for a study to determine how to best           June 9, 2017
                                     implement effective cross-functional teams in the Department of Defense
                                     (DOD). This study should include (1) lessons learned, as reflected in
                                     academic literature, business and management school case studies, and
                                     the work of leading management consultant firms, on the successful and
                                     failed application of cross-functional teams in the private sector and
                                     government, and on the cultural factors necessary to support effective
                                     cross-functional teams and (2) the historical and current use by DOD of
                                     cross-functional working groups, integrated process teams, councils, and
                                     committees, and the reasons why such entities have or have not
                                     achieved high levels of teamwork or effectiveness.
July 15, 2017                        Provide the results of the study to the congressional defense               September 28, 2017
                                     committees.
September 1, 2017                    Develop and issue an organizational strategy that (1) identifies the        Not completed
                                     critical objectives and other organizational outputs for DOD that span
                                     multiple functional boundaries and would benefit from the use of cross-
                                     functional teams; (2) improves the manner in which DOD integrates the
                                     expertise and capacities of the functional components of DOD for
                                     effective and efficient achievement of such objectives and outputs; (3)
                                     improves the management of relationships and processes involving the
                                     Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the combatant
                                     commands, the military departments, and the defense agencies with
                                     regard to such objectives and outputs; (4) improves the ability of DOD to
                                     work effectively in interagency processes with regard to such objectives
                                     and outputs in order to better serve the President; and (5) achieves an
                                     organizational structure that enhances performance with regard to such
                                     objectives and outputs.
September 30, 2017                   Establish cross-functional teams to address critical objectives and         August 25, 2017
                                     outputs for such teams as determined to be appropriate in accordance
                                                                       a
                                     with the organizational strategy.




                                             Page 22                                                    GAO-19-598 Defense Management
                                                               Appendix II: Summary of Requirements in
                                                               Section 911 of the National Defense
                                                               Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017




Not later than . . .                               The Secretary of Defense is to . . .                                                       Date completed
September 30, 2017                                 Issue guidance on cross-functional teams (1) addressing the role,                          Not completed
                                                   authorities, reporting relationships, resourcing, manning, training, and
                                                   operations of cross-functional teams; (2) delineating decision-making
                                                   authority of such teams; (3) providing that the leaders of functional
                                                   components of DOD that provide personnel to such teams respect and
                                                   respond to team needs and activities; and (4) emphasizing that
                                                   personnel selected for assignment to such teams shall faithfully
                                                   represent the views and expertise of their functional components while
                                                   contributing to the best of their ability to the success of the team
                                                   concerned.
18 months after the date of the                    Submit to Congress a report on the establishment of cross-functional                       June 21, 2018
enactment of the act (i.e., June                   teams, including descriptions from the leaders of teams on the manner in
23, 2018)                                          which the teams were designed and how they functioned.
18 months after the date of the                    Take actions, as the Secretary considers appropriate, to streamline the                    Not yet completed;
enactment of the act (i.e., June                   organizational structure and processes of the Office of the Secretary of                   actions identified in
23, 2018)                                          Defense in order to increase spans of control, achieve a reduction in                      draft organizational
                                                                                                                                                       b
                                                   layers of management, eliminate unnecessary duplication between the                        strategy
                                                   Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff, and reduce the
                                                   time required to complete standard processes and activities.
18 months after the date on                        Complete an analysis of the successes and failures of teams                                Not completed
which the first cross-functional                   established, and determine how to apply the lessons learned from that
team is established (i.e.,                         analysis.
February 25, 2019)
Source: GAO analysis of legislation and DOD information. | GAO-19-598
                                                               a
                                                                For each cross-functional team established pursuant to section 911, the Secretary of Defense is
                                                               required to (1) assign as leader of such team a senior qualified and experienced individual, who shall
                                                               report directly to the Secretary regarding the activities of such team; (2) delegate to the team leader
                                                               authority to select members of such team from among civilian employees of the department and
                                                               members of the armed forces in any grade who are recommended for membership on such team by
                                                               the head of a functional component of the department within the Office of the Secretary of Defense,
                                                               the Joint Staff, and the military departments, by the commander of a combatant command, or by the
                                                               director of a defense agency; (3) provide the team leader with necessary full-time support from team
                                                               members, and the means to co-locate team members; and (4) ensure that the congressional defense
                                                               committees are provided information on the progress and results of such team upon request.
                                                               b
                                                                As we reported in January 2019, Office of the Chief Management Officer officials have revised the
                                                               draft organizational strategy to identify the actions that the department has taken in response to this
                                                               requirement. As noted, however, the organizational strategy has not been issued. We will assess
                                                               these actions against the requirements of section 911 after the organizational strategy has been
                                                               issued.




                                                               Page 23                                                           GAO-19-598 Defense Management
Appendix III: Leading Practices for
                                          Appendix III: Leading Practices for
                                          Implementing Effective Cross-Functional
                                          Teams


Implementing Effective Cross-Functional
Teams
                                          In February 2018, we reported on eight leading practices for
                                          implementing effective cross-functional teams. 1 Table 3 identifies these
                                          leading practices and their related key characteristics.

Table 3: Leading Practices and Key Characteristics of Cross-Functional Teams

Leading practice              Description                                    Key characteristics
Open and regular              Efficient cross-functional teams have          •   Cross-functional teams should openly share
communication                 effective communication mechanisms.                information within the team.
                                                                             •   Teams should proactively seek feedback and
                                                                                 information from stakeholders.
                                                                             •   Cross-functional teams should have open and
                                                                                 regular communication with team members, team
                                                                                 leaders, and management.
Well-defined team goals       Effective cross-functional teams have          •   Team goals should be clear, well defined, linked,
                              clear, updated, and well-defined goals             updated, and commonly shared with team
                              common to the team, team leader, and               members, team leaders and senior leaders
                              management.                                        (management).
                                                                             •   Team objectives should have linkages to the
                                                                                 organization’s goals.
                                                                             •   Team members and leaders should be supportive
                                                                                 of the cross-functional team’s goals.
Inclusive team environment    Effective cross-functional teams invest in a   •   Cross-functional teams should invest in a single
                              supportive and inclusive team                      team culture with shared values of inclusiveness
                              environment where all team members                 and collective responsibility.
                              have collective responsibility and             •   Cross-functional team members should be
                              individual accountability for the team’s           supportive and trusting of one another.
                              work.
                                                                             •   Cross-functional team members should have
                                                                                 mutual respect and cooperation with each other.
                                                                             •   Individual team members should participate and
                                                                                 be accountable for the team’s work.
Well-defined team structure   Effective cross-functional teams have well-    •   Cross-functional teams should have a well-defined
                              defined team operations with project-              structure, project-specific rules, and procedures.
                              specific rules and procedures established      •   Cross-functional teams should be collocated within
                              for each team.                                     the same physical proximity.
                                                                             •   Cross-functional teams should have appropriate
                                                                                 training and learning environments.




                                          1
                                           GAO-18-194. We identified these leading practices by reviewing literature and case
                                          studies on the use of cross-functional teams in the private and public sectors, as well as
                                          interviewing six academic and practitioner experts. Leading practices for effective cross-
                                          functional teams are aligned with the leading practices for interagency collaboration we
                                          have identified in our prior work. See GAO, Managing for Results: Key Considerations for
                                          Implementing Interagency Collaborative Mechanisms, GAO-12-1022 (Washington, D.C.:
                                          Sept. 27, 2012).




                                          Page 24                                                  GAO-19-598 Defense Management
                                         Appendix III: Leading Practices for
                                         Implementing Effective Cross-Functional
                                         Teams




Leading practice             Description                                    Key characteristics
Autonomy                     Effective cross-functional teams are           •   Cross-functional teams should be empowered to
                             independent and have the ability to make           make decisions.
                             decisions independently and rapidly.           •   Cross-functional teams should be able to
                                                                                creatively solve problems.
Senior management support    Effective cross-functional teams have          •   Senior management should support cross-
                             senior managers who view the teams as a            functional teams as a priority.
                             priority within the organization and provide   •   Senior management should provide cross-
                             these teams with resources and rewards             functional teams with access to resources and
                             to recognize their work.                           rewards.
                                                                            •   Senior management should provide career
                                                                                advancement opportunities, recognition, and
                                                                                incentives for cross-functional team leaders and
                                                                                members.
Committed cross-functional   Effective cross-functional teams have          •   Cross-functional team members should have a
team members                 members committed to the team’s goals.             wide diversity of knowledge and expertise.
                                                                            •   Cross-functional team members should be
                                                                                committed to working toward achieving the team’s
                                                                                goals.
Empowered cross-functional   The selected cross-functional team leader      •   Cross-functional team leaders should be
team leader                  should be clear in guidance for team               empowered to provide clear guidance and be
                             members, be proactive, empowered to                proactive in decision making.
                             make decisions and provide feedback and        •   Cross-functional team leaders should provide
                             developmental opportunities to team                feedback and developmental opportunities to team
                             members.                                           members.
                                                                            •   Cross-functional team leaders should regularly
                                                                                interact with senior management.
Source: GAO. | GAO-19-598




                                         Page 25                                                  GAO-19-598 Defense Management
Appendix IV: Comments from the
                             Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
                             of Defense



Department of Defense




Note: The title of the
report was edited slightly
after DOD received the
draft report for comment.




                             Page 26                                     GAO-19-598 Defense Management
Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 27                                     GAO-19-598 Defense Management
Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 28                                     GAO-19-598 Defense Management
Appendix V: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Appendix V: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Acknowledgments



Acknowledgments

                  Elizabeth Field, (202) 512-2775 or fielde1@gao.gov
GAO Contact
                  In addition to the contact named above, Margaret Best (Assistant
Staff             Director), Tracy Barnes, Arkelga Braxton, Sierra Hicks, Michael Holland,
Acknowledgments   Matthew Kienzle, Amie Lesser, Ned Malone, Judy McCloskey, Sheila
                  Miller, Richard Powelson, Daniel Ramsey, Ron Schwenn, and Sarah
                  Veale made key contributions to this report.




(103205)
                  Page 29                                       GAO-19-598 Defense Management
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