At the NATO Warsaw Summit, Heads of State and Government tasked the NATO Deputies Committee to provide recommendations on how to improve the governance aspects of the common funded capability delivery process. Towards that purpose, the NATO Secretary General appointed an independent Group of Senior Experts (GSE) drawn from the Alliance Members. The GSE reviewed the processes and decision-making apparatus across the dimensions of requirement setting, resource allocation, risk management, programme control and capability delivery. A guiding principle for this work was the need to protect the effective application of consensus-based governance. The GSE concluded at an early stage in its work that any recommendations would need to ensure that the controls exercised through the life of a project applied a consensus test at the right time and in the right place. Appropriate oversight and individual (National) and collective (Alliance) agreement were essential but so was the effective delegation of project management and accountability to get the job done.
The GSE undertook a wide-ranging review of the current governance and project control processes used by NATO to deliver capability programmes, recent IBAN reports, potentially useful benchmarks in the academic literature and in the practical delivery of projects in analogous organisations. Combining this analysis with the experience inside the GSE provided clarity of the problem, capacity to explore a range of areas, test potential solutions, and offer practical recommendations.