A new report by the National Audit Office into the Ministry of Defence's Digital Strategy for Defence highlights good progress with bringing together and aligning digital practitioners, but points out that performance in delivering major digital technology programmes must improve.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) launched its Digital Strategy for Defence in 2021. The strategy describes how the MoD intends to transform its use of technology and data. In its report, The Digital Strategy for Defence: A review of early implementation, the National Audit Office (NAO) reviews the progress made by the MoD in implementing the strategy, along with the strategic challenges faced. The report also makes recommendations intended to support the MoD in implementing the strategy by its target date of 2025.
Among its findings, the strategy highlights the importance of data in meeting the needs of modern warfare. It praises Defence Digital - the organisation within the MoD responsible for leading the implementation of the strategy - for exceeding efficiency targets. It also states that the strategy is consistent with good practice the NAO has identified across government. However, it also points out a shortage of digital skills within the MoD, which is affecting delivery of the strategy.
Association for Project Management (APM) has responded by calling on those delivering the project to consider the report's recommendations.
Andrew Baldwin, Head of Public Affairs at APM, said: The Digital Strategy for Defence project carries unique challenges such as gaps in critical skills, a need to update core technology, and evolving security threats. Despite this, the strategy has made significant positive steps towards its ambitious goal of enabling the MoD to meet the needs of modern warfare since it launched in 2021.
The NAO report, The Digital Strategy for Defence: A review of early implementation, highlights several positives around the strategy. The report states that the strategy is consistent with good practice the NAO has identified across government. It also states that Defence Digital, the organisation within the MoD responsible for leading the implementation of the strategy, is on track to exceed its efficiency targets.
We're pleased to hear that good progress has been made with this project. However, there are still important issues to be addressed. As the Chartered body for the project profession, we acknowledge the importance of continuous learning and improvement. Our members are very interested in what works, but also what doesn't work in projects.We therefore encourage members of Defence Digital's project team to take heed of this report, factor in its recommendations into forward planning, and share learnings with the wider project community to increase its collective knowledge.