Navy to unveil new ‘structured piloting’ framework for IT modernization

The move is part of a broader initiative to further digital transformation-enabling practices already garnering small-scale wins in the sea service.
Ships from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Republic of Korea Navy, and U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, sail together during a trilateral exercise, Jan. 16, 2024. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Isaiah M. Williams)

The Navy chief information office’s overarching process for identifying and piloting existing and emerging technologies to support ongoing and future operations is evolving, and will soon be codified, according to a Navy draft document obtained this week by DefenseScoop.

As part of a broader initiative to expand digital transformation-enabling practices that are already garnering small-scale wins in different components around the sea service — also known as agile centered design concepts (ACDCs) — Navy leadership is moving to formally promote a new “structured piloting approach framework.”

Such an approach marks “an industry best practice for testing and evaluating new Information Technology (IT) solutions, which the [Department of the Navy] will follow to accelerate the adoption of new capabilities and divest from legacy systems,” according to the document.

This framework points back to and builds upon two previous ACDCs, and the Navy is expected to formally promote more of those concepts across the enterprise in the near term. 


The first concept unveiled last month, World Class Alignment Metrics (WAM), is designed to offer a common measurement framework that advances investment decisions and IT service delivery by linking technology outcomes to the mission outcomes they produce.

The second design concept, Investment Horizons and associated charts, seeks to enable the Navy CIO’s team to visualize their innovation and divestment strategies and pipeline, and promote transparency and deeper information-sharing across Naval offices.

Now, the latest ACDC — the structured piloting approach — relies on the WAM concept, and essentially establishes criteria for how and when Navy components might move across those Investment Horizons from pilot to production, and better scale needed tech.

The ultimate aim with structured piloting is to help the enterprise try out new technologies in a faster and smarter manner, and with less reinvention.

Brandi Vincent

Written by Brandi Vincent

Brandi Vincent is DefenseScoop's Pentagon correspondent. She reports on emerging and disruptive technologies, and associated policies, impacting the Defense Department and its personnel. Prior to joining Scoop News Group, Brandi produced a long-form documentary and worked as a journalist at Nextgov, Snapchat and NBC Network. She was named a 2021 Paul Miller Washington Fellow by the National Press Foundation and was awarded SIIA’s 2020 Jesse H. Neal Award for Best News Coverage. Brandi grew up in Louisiana and received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.

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