Department of Defense (DoD) Deputy CIO Cynthia Medoza shared her most important guiding principles to advancing the DoD enterprise, which she dubbed as getting back to the basics.

Among these three principles that she shared, include: building trusted partnerships, understanding mission results and outcomes, and leveraging best practices and lessons learned.

“To me, these are the foundational principles that we must accomplish to achieve mission success,” said Mendoza. “This is not rocket science. We know this. These are the fundamentals. Generally speaking, we know what to do, but we don’t always do what we know.”

Trusted Partnerships

Mendoza offered that DoD must build trusted partnerships with all of its stakeholders and lead efforts in shepherding the community together to guide behaviors toward mission outcomes. These stakeholders include DoD, the intelligence community, academia, private sector, Congress, and international partners.

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“We have more technology available than ever before, as well as ubiquitous data. People are the key to success,” she said. “They will make the capability, real, so it all begins with building and developing a stakeholder engagement strategy that is inclusive of all key enterprise stakeholders and focused on a particular capability gap, such as collaboration.”

Understanding Mission Results

On the next principle, Mendoza said that the intended mission outcome will need to be clear with the stakeholder community. Additionally, she said that it was important to have standardization and consistency across the enterprise; understand how data is being used, tagged, and attributed; how DoD communicates across a community shared space; and to employ a knowledge management strategy.

“We need to look to the lens of people, process, technology, and content,” said Mendoza, adding “it’s important to understand, to what end, what problem are we solving with the newest technologies.”

Leveraging Best Practices

“In an effort to avoid reinventing the wheel, while addressing our mission goals and objectives, we leverage lessons learned from our colleagues who are doing similar things, best practices and best solutions, go hand in hand, and so do best approaches reference architecture frameworks service-centric and platform-based environments, common operating principles, speaking and operating from the same ontology,” said Mendoza.

She said that the enterprise must depend on subject matter experts to help plan and implement mission objectives, as well as solve complex problems. Further, she said that DoD must move away from “the build first concept” and that DoD must “be able to exploit experiences, lessons learned, and ideas to solve complex problems.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.