Achieving Lean And Flow In Your Product Development Project UAE Military/Civilian Industrial Base Strategy

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UAE Military/Civilian Industrial Base Strategy

Building the strength of the internal Industrial Base capabilities and capacity to meet future Security and Economic needs of the UAE

UAE Industrial Base Strategy


This document is conceptual in its nature, and outlines the need to provide a more robust industrial base within the UAE based on the current political, geographical, military and economic environments that exist. Also, the need to provide the current and future armed forces with the necessary materials and systems that could be produced within the UAE, to ensure the internal and external security of the UAE. The general premise is to create the conditions, the policies, the procedures, and the national will; to establish an internal industrial base over time to produce the necessary military major end items, equipment and sustainment materials necessary to maintain a viable armed force.

General Analysis:

This document articulates the overall need, desire, rationale, as well as some of the major tasks that would be required in order to bring this type of a concept to fruition. The document also articulates the complexities of the tasks required to bring the current industrial base to the level of performance in which it could provide the armed forces the necessary materials and equipment to ensure its own security, without relying upon manufacturers and the industrial base of other nations. Additionally, it addresses the massive integration strategies required to connect the many parts and sectors of the UAE Society, to include; government ruling bodies and governmental agencies, the armed forces, industries, the educational systems, industry associations, along with global, and multinational industries, as well as critical infrastructure requirements.

Adopting a national strategy this complex in its nature, and with the extended timeline that would be required, to realize the actual institutionalization of an industrial base capability and capacity for producing the right types and right quantities of military equipment to ensure National Security would require at a minimum:

• Long term vision and political will

• Long-term economic commitment

• Tenacious follow through over many years

• Superior organization and management

• International staff of experts to negotiate and facilitate

• And single agency control at the highest levels of the UAE government

This single agency would have to have complete control over the planning, execution, integration, coordination, risk management and final decision authority for all matters involving the industrial base; as well as access to the highest levels of government, to ensure the continuity with the political will and the economic realities, upon which key industrial base decisions must be based. Such as the capitalization of key industrial base facilities, whether or not it is a joint use facility producing both civilian and military items, does it have an export capability and is there a world or regional market share that can be penetrated; along with the competition analysis required to penetrate world markets to ensure the economic success of industrial base ventures.

Major success factors and considerations:

In order to accomplish a program of this magnitude, would require integral planning and the integration of a rational logical road-map that would link the concepts and requirements to desired outcomes. The use of a logic pyramid represents an example of using the elements provided.

This pyramid represents the key alignment of goals, objectives, strategy and so forth necessary to ensure success, and represents a logical linkage between each of the elements which provides continuity to the strategy. For example, the overall goal is to provide UAE the means necessary to ensure its internal security, without relying heavily on others. In order for this to be accomplished there are two primary objectives which will need to be fulfilled. First, a unified industrial base, a base within the UAE that is synchronized and targeted to provide both in peace and in conflict the necessary equipment to sustain the armed forces in meeting their military missions; while at the same time being able to produce goods and services that are marketable on the world market. Second, is self-sufficiency, this is having the necessary raw materials, labor, manufacturing facilities, management and planning, and engineering assets within the country, and committed to the country, to support the industrial base and its efforts to support both its civil and military requirements.

In order to have both a unified industrial base and self-sufficiency, there must be some strategies in place to facilitate both those ends. The strategies include national partnerships; these are key partnerships with nations and companies willing to partner to build the internal capability of the UAE and to maintain that base. These partnerships could include key elements of technology transfer, and setting up of joint ventures with the goal of institutionalizing the technology and manufacturing processes necessary for the growth of the industrial base. Additionally, we add the concept of self-development where the expertise gain by the UAE educational systems, entrepreneurial systems and industrial innovation come together to produce new ideas, factories, and production that support and sustained the targeted industrial base.

As the strategies are put in place, there are number of tactics, that we can use to facilitate and enhance the effectiveness of the strategies. These tactics may include strategic alignments within the industrial base and within the partner base. This type of integration provides synergy of effort and better outcomes that reduce prices thereby, creating efficiencies and effectiveness within the industrial base. Other tactics involve process standardization and variance control thereby, allowing the manufacturing processes to be predictable and increasing quality levels which make the product more marketable upon the world markets, creating higher market share, and greater returns on investments. Additionally, encouraging increase investments in the UAE industrial base, which will have the effect of stabilizing the industrial base and the economy, while at the same time increasing capacity.

Throughout the design and buildup of the industrial base there must be a standard applied to all the engineering efforts to ensure stability and consistency not only of the individual production elements, but also the integration of the industry’s elements into one synergistic effort. For this logic pyramid, we have used the standard engineering concepts that also apply to processes and design that would directly affect the industrial base they are:

• Simplification: looks to simplify processes, designs, and manufacturing layouts and routines to maximize efficiencies and to create Lean Manufacturing.

• Standardization: allows the overall process and initiative to apply economies by doing like things the same way. This reduces the time it takes to standup new or like process using the same plans, tools, and processes. Standardization also allows the application of statistical methods, like six sigma, which increase quality, reduces waste, and increases profits.

• Integration: brings synergies to the industrial base through the combination of like industries, like processes, and in the reduction of production steps which eliminates opportunities for error within the manufacturing processes. Reduced variation increases reliability which reduces costs.

• Elimination: of non-value-added steps within the industrial base or within manufacturing processes. Reduction in process steps reduces the risk and opportunities for errors.

• Automation: creating manufacturing and industrial base reliance by removing the “man in the loop” manufacturing; by automating those processes and steps within the manufacturing and industrial base processes. Automation enhances simplification and standardization as well as integration. All of which increases reliability and reduces costs

In order to ensure smart application of any initiative within the industrial base, a standardize methodology needs to be established to provide structure to the overall process. One such methodology is based on four steps which are; design, deploy, operate, and sustain. This structure is outlined more fully, and discussed in more detail later in this paper.

In addition to a structure methodology, there has to be a consistent management method which has as a minimum the ability to design, plan, control, and evaluate the total industrial base initiative its direction and its effectiveness. At a minimum, their needs to be portfolio and pipeline management, resource management and program/ project control.

A national industrial base strategy that is this large and complex, needs to be deeply rooted in the political base of the UAE, to have any hope of a measure of success that will provide the return on investment (ROI) and then return on equity (ROE) that is expected or required. Additionally, financial and economic measures such as capital budgeting techniques, and risks/return tradeoffs, along with operating leverage considerations, will need to deployed and used within the overall UAE governmental budgeting process, as well as commercial financial markets.

The government will also need to regulate, control, and comply with international law in regards to arms/military manufacturing and sales; as well as international treaties dealing in arms trafficking and weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s).

The economic commitment that will be required by the nation to ensure effective implementation of a military/civilian industrial base complex within the UAE will be substantial and long-term. To achieve the overall stated goal of UAE Security through an internal unified industrial base with self-sufficiency in the production of the goods and services to support the Armed Forces; the UAE commitment to a multi-generational time frame initiative is not only imperative, but paramount.

A Major factor in the success of such a large national strategic initiative, will be the management and control structure that is in place to ensure completeness and correctness of all the efforts related to this endeavor. The management cycle briefly outlined here, gives a cursory view of just some of the major elements that would be required to establish, manage and execute a national strategy to integrate military production into the industrial base. This management cycle consists of six major steps, all of which must be accomplished if effective and efficient management is to take place. Each step lays the foundation for the succeeding steps, which provides a mechanism for the overall success. A note should be made here, that the process is only as good as the people who are involved in the process, and for a national strategic initiative as important as a modernization of the industrial base highly qualified and dedicated leadership and management that have a long-term commitment and a vision of success will be required.

The first step, is to establish the management and cultural environment necessary to set the groundwork for the strategic initiative. This step is realized at the highest levels of the UAE Government, with key political and economic leaders creating a clear vision and framework necessary to establish a key strategic initiative to move the industrial base from its current state to the desired future state. Key activities would include complete and comprehensive assessment of current UAE industrial base and its capabilities and capacities. Additionally, assessment in the future needs must be accomplished which establishes the current and future threat conditions and the capabilities that are required to meet those threats and have those requirements translated into weapons and systems that need to be produced by the industrial base. These assessments are used to establish a clear vision of the road ahead, and the assignment of missions and strategies as well as goals, tasks, and objectives necessary to achieve the desired outcomes and changes in the industrial base.

Additionally, at this time and IO campaign must be initiated stating the need for change and soliciting executive financial sector and management support for the strategic initiative, to include resource allocation to initiate the perceived strategic effort and to execute the macro planning process, and the establishment of the agency and its key leadership. Once this is been completed, and the major program strategy has been mapped, to include a clear critical path established with milestones and timelines assigned, we are ready to proceed to step two.

The second step, is the establishment of a methodology and the support systems required to start implementation of the national strategy. Key elements include: the writing of policies, the establishment of communications and tracking systems, and the setting of standards. This requires assembling the right team of people, with the right training, and experience, to organize and execute the vision and missions previously developed. The effort needs to fill out the organization in its key leadership positions that will be responsible for the implementation of the strategy. At this time it is essential as well, to assigned equipment and systems that will be used in the implementation. It is paramount to ensure that key systems and equipment necessary for the management, information flow, and data management, be online and available to ensure orderly, and timely flow, of information, data, and communications. A key element will be changes in the educational systems at the elementary, secondary, and university level in such programs as finance, business, management, and engineering, that will produce than next generation of technical and management experts to continue the implementation throughout the years to come. A key component will also be the establishment of curriculum and an educational system that focuses on producing experts in acquisition, procurement and life-cycle modeling specifically to military weapons and systems. They will provide the backbone for military acquisition management system and the interface to the national industrial base. Acquisition and procurement will provide a critical link in the strategic initiative and will require a full review and realignment as well as integration into a material acquisition management program which will provide for and control, management, education, and a full life cycle for items that the industrial base will produce. In order to be successful it shall require detailed coordination and input from many sectors of the UAE governmental and industrial complex.

Step three, moves to the management of work, and the establishment of the executive board’s and sector advisory boards from the different government agencies and industry associations necessary to interface with the initiative. The key element is also the portfolio steering group or committee which is the deciding body that determines which applications, weapons, and systems, that should be integrated into the program of the strategic industrial base and gives authority for program start-up. An additional important part of step three is pipeline control. This pipeline management is the controlling of, the when and where, programs and projects enter into the national industrial base strategy, to ensure that the effort is best aligned with like products or services, the current manufacturing capability and capacity, and have the best mix of partnering, joint ventures, financial and political support, marketing analysis and complete life-cycle management plans.

Portfolio in pipeline management provides the apex in the management of all aspects of a critical industrial base infrastructure. It is through the portfolio and pipeline that the that the executive and management team can best utilize and implement the resources available to the UAE at any particular point in time to maximize output, investments, financial control and planning factors, as well as maximizing the synergies of multiple industrial complexes, crossing multiple sectors over extended periods of time. Its goal is simple, to put the right products, at the right places, in the right industries, of the right time, to avoid duplication, rework, and increases in cycle time necessary to bring production capability and capacity online.

Step four, is the execution of plans created by the programs and projects, as well as the integration of the pipeline control plans into implementation action, which include the management systems, business practices and processes, all the tools, techniques, training, automated operation, and expert systems required as well as a formal reporting structure to include metrics. Step four represents the major execution of work, along with its daily management metrics, performance standards, and the Information Data Systems, required to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in the execution of the plans, developed through the portfolio stirring group the pipeline management efforts. This requires detailed planning, and cross coordination to ensure multiple business sectors, along with multiple industry sectors and governmental agencies is synchronized and coordinated. This will rely on a complex internal information technology network in which all key players have visibility over, and an understanding of the entire strategy in its current and future implementation status, thereby providing real time decision ability to the agency and key leaders and management.

Step five, is the evaluation of performance, which includes a review of the applied metrics for each of the programs and projects, the effectiveness of the pipeline integration, the overall effectiveness of the portfolio in meeting the national security requirements; and the continuing review of best practices, available to ensure effectiveness and inefficiencies within the national strategy. This is a key step in ensuring and information and data is available in real time to the national leadership, as well as the program leadership detailing overall movement a shun progress divides a window of constant review and approval of the intended portfolio and pipeline decisions as well as their effectiveness during a replication. It allows for course correction in continuous review, and the possible elimination of programs which are not meeting the potentials as initially assessed or to modify and redirect, modernize and update as the circumstances require. This provides leadership at all levels and effective way of managing to ensure that products and services currently underway are being considered and implemented and continually reviewed, for relevancy appropriateness and meeting the criteria of cost, quality, and delivery.

Step six, is the feedback loop which consists of all the reporting and briefings to the national leadership, shareholders and partners, and the review and refinement of the overall strategic initiative and its movement toward the assigned vision, mission, and objectives. This step provides a critical link between all the steps of the process, and provides for a continuous improvement path to ensure that all enterprise elements remain focused on the vision and the national will. Step six provides a quality control loop that ensures the other five steps are contributing to the overall process. It provides for the fine tuning of the process and systems to management of all aspects of work and provides the lessons learned vehicle to ensure that all involved in the overall strategic process understand where the process needs to be improved to create the desired efficiencies.

Step six, also provides a validation for the systems information and data appropriateness and usefulness to the program in providing the information necessary for effective management and control. This results in the smart upgrades and security necessary to ensure that the information systems applied to the strategic initiative remain secure while providing the information and data necessary for the daily decision making process.

For each of the steps and all of the sub-steps as outlined in the Management Cycle, as well as the processes and systems, it requires a life-cycle methodology to control and execute all of the micro parts of the management steps for risk management and to ensure completeness. The four key stages or elements of this life cycle method include:

• Design

• Deploy

• Operate

• Sustain

Enablers to these four main operating spheres of influence include: planning, technical solutions, education and metrics.

The application of each of the steps of the life-cycle method helps ensure, that the product, service, systems, or application is sufficient, and has the utility required, in meeting whatever performance objectives assigned.

Linking all the steps together into one industrial base, is a strategic formation template. This template, is used to link the strategic formation with a logic Pyramid which represents all of the major steps and considerations necessary for completion, and provides the macro activities that needs to be considered. This is linked to the management cycle, which outlines the steps what needs to be managed and completed to ensure success. Both the logic pyramid and the management cycle are executed by the considerations contained in the life-cycle method which provides the full scope methodology to ensure all considerations are made for each of the steps and activities previously outlined. As these management methods and processes are executed, critical factors are identified and can then be stratified into critical success factors, which can be analyzed to identify breakthrough goals and objectives which allow the management team to prioritize activities which provide the greatest return on investment or increased National Security. When this is completed coordinating with executives and staff related to those breakthrough goals and objectives can then be made to realize the synergies of effort in that capabilities and capacities necessary to meet the future security and economic needs of the UAE.

This Linking or interconnecting methodology is a management method to ensure that the program remains focus, streamlined, and effective throughout its life cycle. Additionally, it provides a common understanding and template, to which all parties associated with the strategic initiative can be familiar, resulting in much more effective and timely communication with all parties involved. It provides the unifying road-map which helps people remain focused on the ultimate goal and objective of securing UAE Security through the industrial base, and its ability to meet the needs of the armed forces.


In summary, the concept of creating a national industrial base strategy with the purpose of infusing industrial capabilities into the manufacture of goods and services to meet military requirements within the UAE industrial base is sound. Creating the ability to be self-sufficient in providing for the security of the nation is a major risk reducing strategy. However, the execution of the concept is very complex with a myriad of interrelated and competing interests and activities; involving a diverse population of both military and civilian’s, governments, corporations, associations, industries and philosophies. Therefore, success will require strong leadership, excellent vision, tenacity, excellent planning and management and most of all a structured system that has the necessary authority, responsibility and ability to affect the necessary changes required to implement a UAE military/civilian industrial based national strategy.

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