As a member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for 35 years before joining Defence Construction Canada in 2011, Major-General (Ret’d) Dan Benjamin could see the transformation opportunity for supporting emerging government priorities of the day—cost containment measures to reduce the rate of growth by the Canadian government, while maintaining efficiency and effectiveness in DCC's service delivery to Client-Partners.

After living through three CAF transformations while serving with the Army, most recently as Chief of Staff Infrastructure and Environment (IE) and CAF Chief Military Engineer, the new Vice-President, Operations—Service Delivery saw the need to balance the cost of service delivery with IE-related contract expenditures, particularly in the new reality where programs could be cut by up to 30%.

“At the time, all government departments were under a lot of pressure [fiscally], so it was apparent that DCC needed to transform too,” says Benjamin. “It was important to validate the vision and transform the organization, which included a change of culture, mindset and values. We had to prove that we are providing value for money for our Client-Partners and government overall.”

With a focus on value and a transformation mindset, DCC moved successfully from a prescriptive business model, to one driven by risk and principles, empowering employees to be more invested in all aspects of the service-delivery process. As validation, DCC was referenced in a Conference Board of Canada Report as being one of the leading Crown corporations in all of the high-performance categories. Further, DCC recently scored very highly on an outside audit using industry-equivalent key performance indicators.

“It is very rewarding to see that we were able to optimize our service lines, and that our people are continuing to deliver quality services, while being very cost competitive when compared to large engineering or architecture companies in North America providing similar services.”

In his second (and final) retirement, Dan and his wife, Marjolaine, plan to spend much more time with their grandchildren and pursuing their passion of travelling the world competing in international Master's ballroom dance competitions.

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