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Defense Management: DOD Needs to Take Additional Actions to Promote Department-Wide Collaboration


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DOD continues to confront organizational challenges that hinder collaboration. To address these challenges, section 911 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017 directed the Secretary of Defense to issue an organizational strategy that identifies critical objectives which span multiple functional boundaries and that would benefit from the use of cross-functional teams. Additionally, DOD is to establish cross-functional teams to support this strategy. The NDAA also included a provision for GAO to assess DODs actions in response to section 911. This report evaluates the extent to which DOD, in accordance with statutory requirements and leading practices, has (1) developed and issued an organizational strategy, (2) established Secretary of Defense-empowered cross-functional teams, and (3) provided associated training for Office of the Secretary of Defense leaders. GAO analyzed DODs draft organizational strategy, draft guidance on establishing cross-functional teams, and draft training curriculum. GAO also interviewed DOD officials and subject-matter experts and identified leading practices for effective cross-functional teams. GAO is making four recommendations to DOD, including revising its organizational strategy, collaborating with key stakeholders on thedevelopment of its organizational strategy, revising cross-functional team guidance, and providing training. DOD concurred with GAOs recommendations.



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