Brett Dody, vice president of The SI Organization’s intelligence systems group, has seen both sides of the public and private sector relationship.
The 24-year federal security and intelligence veteran recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz about the SI, now a stand-alone company. He discusses how contractors and government can benefit from one another and how they would benefit from a more efficient acquisition process.
ExecutiveBiz: What first enticed you to join the SI’s leadership team?
Brett Dody: In my federal role, I had worked with and around the SI for more than 17 years and I was very familiar with the value they brought to the mission. One of the things I always liked about the SI was that they took an enterprise mission focus to their work. The SI takes on the hard problems, delivers solutions and enhances the mission. Our goal is to promote that mindset so our staff comes to work each day asking themselves what they can do to enhance their customer’s mission. That’s really what fires me up about coming in here every day.
ExecutiveBiz: What does your group focus include?
Brett Dody: My group works with customers across the intelligence community, providing full life cycle systems engineering and integration support. Our diverse capability portfolio includes modeling and simulation, anomaly resolution, analytical transformation, technical analysis, information technology architecture and a full range of systems engineering and integration expertise.
As the mentoring champion for the SI, I try to spend time every day developing our people. Whether it’s mentoring one of our program managers or a teaching opportunity with an early-career engineer, I think that is one of the most important parts of my job.
The SI has also developed strong relationships with a number of top engineering universities, for both research and recruiting purposes. As a former certified hiring adviser while in government, I am enjoying serving as our lead for Virginia Tech. Supporting our hiring of the next generation of engineering leaders is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility.
ExecutiveBiz: How does your federal experience help you with your position at the SI?
Brett Dody: My prior career has given me a keen understanding of our customers’ cultures and their mission enterprise. I think that makes a big difference as we look for new ways to work with our customers to support their critical national security missions while ensuring better value and efficiencies.
ExecutiveBiz: Do you think more cooperation with the private and public sectors would be beneficial?
Brett Dody: I think better understanding could bring better value and more efficiency to some of the hard problems. For example, the SI recently launched our own cloud computing infrastructure and this is one area we can bring our lessons learned. We can demonstrate how a private company can stand up on the cloud and share that process with our customers to help them navigate the emerging technology landscape.
Being on the industry side, I see things I wished I would have known when I was on the government side. I think we can help each other with the acquisition process to get better, clearer defined requirements and help the customer understand the impact to delayed or changed request for proposals. With a flat and declining budget, we need to find efficiencies and better value across a number of different topics. For example, I think government could find better contractual ways to hold industry accountable for delivering solutions. The SI wants to be accountable for system closure, where we would support establishing the technical baseline, drive it to closure and keep it closed.
ExecutiveBiz: What value can the SI bring to agencies’ mission?
Brett Dody: I like to say we’re a one-year-old company with a 40-year history. Over those 40 years, our data-driven decision-making support has brought better value to our customers and enhanced their mission.
Here’s the bottom line. I’ve worked with most of the industry around the beltway and with most of the agencies across the community. I’ve always felt that the value here at the SI is that we have the experience needed to understand our customers’ missions to the point where we can work with them to deliver solutions. It’s all about bringing solutions to the hard problems and enhancing the customer’s mission.