Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Friday, November 02, 2012

PEO stresses importance of relationships

by Patty Welsh
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs


11/1/2012 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass.  -- The program executive officer for C3I&N provided an update on his organization and emphasized working together during a presentation to an industry group at the Minuteman Commons here Oct. 25, 2012.

Speaking to approximately 100 attendees, Maj. Gen. Craig Olson told a personal story about working with personnel in Iraq and how the differing parties came to rely on one another.

"Trust-based relationships are the foundation of the work we do together," he said.

Olson emphasized how this is equally important between government and industry partners, saying that he has been blessed with many such relationships throughout his career.

"You spend a couple of months working together, building a relationship, talking about your family, hobbies, and once you get that trust, the business aspect takes off and everyone benefits."

By using this tactic, with the varying parties working toward a common goal, personnel can be upfront and transparent about confronting issues.

"There should be nothing that we can't work through together -- no technical issue, no relational issue, no program or schedule issue," the general said.

Another topic he spoke about was how well the PEOs within the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center are working together.

"Cross-PEO integration is now more important than ever before," he said, stressing how the mission areas are all connected. "There can be no walls between the PEOs."

For the 10 PEOs under AFLCMC, he said he sees them coming together more than during his previous 20 years in acquisition.

After presenting a chart depicting LCMC's mission and objectives, Olson spoke about how he will be working to refine his own organizational focus.

"We're a relatively new organization," he said. "We'll be looking at what our objectives and metrics should be, while making sure they're in alignment with AFLCMC and AFMC [Air Force Materiel Command]."

The general talked about how the divisions are currently organized, adding that they cross the differing domains of ground, air and space. He said that he will be working with "the great leaders in the organization" to ensure that what is put in place optimizes the best way to get the mission accomplished.

Olson added that he is dealing with a new set of customers, as he did not "grow up" in the command and control, space, communications and IT arenas, but he is learning more all the time.

He also stressed resource constraints, adding that because of them, programs will be limited to the required amount of capability at the time needed.

"This is the way our customers are looking at planning and programming, and we need to do the same in the PEO."

In order to meet the goals of being efficient and effective, Olson said there needs to be a commoditized infrastructure.

"We can't have "each's" -- unique services for each mission and asset," he said. "We need a simplified set of services on a commoditized infrastructure which benefit multiple missions and assets."

Olson is convinced that industry partners can assist the C3I&N organization with establishing and successfully carrying out its mission as they have gone through similar struggles, especially the IT industry.

However, he knows none of it can happen without partnerships.

"As in previous positions, my focus will continue to be on building good, strong, trust-based relationships," he said.

No comments: