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Chief Management Officer Nominee Champions DOD Agility, Reform

Oct. 29, 2019 | BY Jim Garamone
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The candidate nominated to be the Defense Department's chief management officer told the Senate Armed Services Committee she would eke out every bit of value from tax dollars budgeted to the department.

Lisa W. Hershman has spent her career in business transformation and reform and has served as DOD's acting chief management officer for more than a year.

Woman shows plaque as she and man pose for photograph.
Gears of Government
Defense Department Acting Chief Management Officer Lisa Hershman accepts the DOD Gears of Government Award from Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist in behalf of the DOD Regulatory Reform Task Force team at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
Photo By: Lisa Ferdinando, DOD
VIRIN: 190501-D-BN624-0396C

Many of the lessons she learned and applied working for Fortune 500 companies can be applied to DOD business practices, she said. 

"We know that in order to succeed, companies must be prepared to respond to changing business conditions and global competition, while meeting the needs of their customers," she said. "While the stakes are very different, responding to changing conditions with agility and an eye toward cost and our global competition is also a priority of the Department of Defense."

Business reform will be essential to the department's success in providing the equipment and capabilities needed to defend the nation today and in the future, she said.

"The motto of the [Office of the Chief Management Officer] is 'efficiency for lethality,'" Hershman said. "It reflects the imperative for our warfighters to be fully prepared to meet and prevail against any threat to our nation's interests throughout the world."

Woman speaks into microphone on podium.
Award Speech
Defense Department Acting Chief Management Officer Lisa Hershman delivers remarks at the inaugural DOD Gears of Government Awards at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
Photo By: Lisa Ferdinando, DOD
VIRIN: 190501-D-BN624-0259

Efficiency is the crux of everything the office does — they're now looking at processes that are often clumsy or outdated, she said. "If I am confirmed, my goal is to institute lasting transformation that becomes an integral part of the Department of Defense, making it easier for the men and women of our military to perform their mission, while ensuring the highest possible value to taxpayers," she said.

"It also includes putting in place training and system changes, eliminating redundant systems, maximizing shared-service delivery, streamlining business operations, upskilling our workforce, sharing metrics, using data to inform decisions and leveraging the strength of culture that sustain that transformation for a long time," Hershman said.

Woman speaks at conference.
Gender Advisors
Lisa W. Hershman, performing the duties of the Defense Department’s chief management officer, speaks with gender advisors from across the Defense Department and its combatant commands during a Women, Peace and Security workshop at the Pentagon, July 16, 2019.
Photo By: Army Sgt. James K. McCann
VIRIN: 190716-D-SW162-1101C

These goals are similar to comparable goals in the private sector, she said. 

"The risks of change are much higher in the military, and the size of the Department of Defense can make the pace of change painfully slow," she said. "Nonetheless, I am encouraged by the progress made with nearly $5 billion in validated savings, as well as increased operational efficiencies. I am pleased to report that the pace of progress is accelerating."

Still, Hershman said more needs to be done, and she said she is looking forward to working with all stakeholders to accomplish even more.