Industry Acumen



The course provides attendees from within the Australian Defence Organisation, other government agencies and defence industry with an opportunity to develop an understanding of why and how defence industry engages with the processes and products of the Capability Life Cycle (CLC), how they utilise their situational awareness, their business strategies and objectives. The aim of the course is to inculcate an understanding of defence industry’s motivations and methods in the CLC, and to ‘operationalise’ Smart Buyer as a philosophy (not just a CLC process) to underpin relationships and expectation management and to enhance situational awareness with defence industry.

Delivery mode: Online

What you will receive:

  • Comprehensive electronic course notes
  • UNSW Canberra certificate of attendance

Affiliated courses: CLC Management (3 days), Defence Project Management (3 days), Defence Program Management (2 days), Requirements Practice (5 days), Introduction to Project Management (3 days), and Introduction to Systems Engineering (3 days)


Anyone within Government or industry requiring an understanding of how Defence does business with regard to the capability systems development process, including, but not limited to: business managers, business development managers, contract managers, project managers, capability development staff, systems engineers, and project technical staff.


Defence Context

Communication between Defence and Industry | Strategic/Portfolio | Program/Roadmap | Tactical / Project | Key Drivers and Constraints for Defence engagement with Industry including Probity

Industry Context

Industry Structure and Ownership | Business overview at Strategic, Product-line and Project

Key Industry activities, constraints and realities | Business Intelligence | Basis for Business Decisions | Pricing | Risk | Timing | Supply Chains

Aligning Defence and Industry: Steps for Better Engagement

Who should engage with who? | Relationships are key | Final thoughts


Dr Shari Soutberg has over 30 years experience in Defence, with a focus on materiel acquisition, sustainment, organisational improvement and reform.  Shari is currently an Industry Fellow at the UNSW Capability System Centre.  Significant activities include development of a framework for delivery of joint force outcomes and training courses on capability development practices applicable to Defence.  Prior to this, Shari was the acting Chief Systems Engineer for CASG and a member of the First Principles Review (FPR) Capability Lifecycle (CLC) team which developed capability management reform initiatives.  As Director Systems Engineering and later Director Materiel Engineering in CASG, Shari led the development and implementation of Defence engineering policy and guidance, including fundamental changes arising from the WHS Act 2011.  Shari provided stewardship of the Defence Engineering and Technical Job Family through establishing learning and development structures. She also supported Defence corporate engineering and technical workforce planning including industrial relations engagement.  Whilst in the Office of the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Industry, Shari was a significant contributor to the Defence Industry Policy leading to the role of Director Industry Policy. After joining the Department of Defence, Shari worked on maritime platforms and equipment and as a project manager for naval projects.  Shari has a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical), Masters of Management Economics, and a Doctor of Philosophy which addressed requirements development in Defence capability management.



ONLINE: 9am - 12noon
13 October 2020