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The Problem with OCO Funding. How Troika is helping the Marine Corps balance their IT Portfolio after a decade of war.

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As the Marine Corps resets the force after over a decade at war, one of the main challenges it faces is how to retain and sustain those assets which were funded during the conflict through Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.  At the direction of the Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics (DC I&L) and in support of Headquarters Marine Corps, Logistics Planning and Vision office (LPV-2), Troika Solutions has been tasked to support the development of  courses of action (COA) to address near term funding challenges related to LOG IT. Using our information technology (IT) portfolio management (PfM) approach to support this effort, Troika Solutions has helped provide critical guidance in equipping and sustaining LOG IT for the next generation of Marines.

Because OCO funding is above a program's normal baseline funding, there is risk that it may end with little or no notice after each fiscal year.  DC I&L recognizes that some of his critical programs are funded with OCO funds and he has asked for options to mitigate this risk.

Mr. Jerry McGovern, Troika's Director of Portfolio Management Services is providing lead support to LPV-2 in this effort along with Mr. Richard Shea, Troika's senior cost analyst.  In order to provide a comprehensive approach, the Troika team has framed the effort to consider the entire portfolio of LOG IT assets currently in sustainment.  By doing this, the potential COAs not only consider OCO mitigation, but also provide greater funding fidelity for the portfolio as a whole.

The Troika approach for developing the COAs uses two fundamental tactics - dividing the portfolio into an appropriate number of sub-portfolios that align the assets to key logistics capabilities, and evaluating the assets with detailed information and graphically depicted scoring.  By dividing the portfolio we've allowed LPV -2 to transition from managing a portfolio of systems to managing a portfolio of capabilities.  We've also ensured that any follow on evaluation measures the value of assets against other assets intended to support the same capability, much in the same that industry and financial services firms have worked to perfect their portfolio management strategies.

The second tactic for portfolio management is asset evaluation, where we score an asset within four value components, each with its own set of criteria and measurement.  By previously aligning assets to the above-cited sub-portfolios, the results can then be plotted on an evaluation visualization tool, with one visualization for each sub-portfolio.  The visualization tool in effect presents COAs for investment priorities and decisions by graphically depicting quantitative recommendations for which assets should be maintained, which ones should be divested, and which ones need to overcome shortcomings if they are to be retained.

This effort is on-going with results expected later this summer.  If you're interested in learning more about Troika's expertise in IT PfM, and how we can apply it to support your organization, visit us at www.troikasol.com or contact Jerry McGovern at jmcgovern@troikasol.com and Stuart Nachman at snachman@troikasol.com.

 

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