The amateur managers: a study of the management of weapons system projects

Author/s (editor/s):

F.N Bennett

Publication year:


Publication type:

Policy paper

Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 67

Australia's $15 billion military equipment program is a management mess. New military aircraft, ships and other weapons systems take too long to develop and are too costly. Some fail to meet performance targeted and others are abandoned after heavy costs have been incurred. The program is run by amateur project managers who are ill-prepared to meet the unique management challenges that arise from the complexity of technical innovation of weapons systems projects, divisions within defence ministries, over-regulation, and bureaucratic and political intrusions. Meeting these challenges demands great skill that can only come from experience and professional education in project management. Worldwide developments in defence ministries, defence industries, and major civil projects point the way. A professional corps of military project managers who are given more scope to make management decisions could improve matters, otherwise the waste and delay will increase and the standard of Defence Force equipment will continue to suffer.

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