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The theme for this edition of Defense Acquisition Research Journal is “Tran-sitioning to the Future.” The first article, “Application of System and Integration Readiness Levels to Department of Defense Research and Development” by Sean Ross, demonstrates how to move beyond the Technology Readiness Level system of estimating technological maturity, which was developed by NASA in the 1980s. He shows how the modern paradigm is to combine Technology, Integration, and Manufacturing Readiness Levels into a single metric—System Readiness Level—which can be used as a more robust indicator of the maturity of the technology transfer process.
“Tailoring a Large Organization’s Systems Engineering Process to Meet Project-Specific Needs” by Matthew Graviss, Shahram Sarkani, and Thomas A. Mazzuchi shows how a customized, streamlined approach to systems engineering can be performed using a rule-based process that allows project flexibility while also adhering to an organization’s top-level policies.
Patrick Clowney, Jason Dever, and Steven Stuban, in “Department of Defense Acquisition Program Terminations: Analysis of 11 Program Management Factors,” discuss the results of their surveys of acquisition program managers in the DoD, industry, and consultancies, which evaluated the factors that have the greatest influence on DoD program termination, and how the viewpoints of these three groups differed or aligned.
Finally, “Wartime Construction Project Outcomes as a Function of Contract Type” by Ryan Hoff, Gregory Hammond, Peter Feng, and Edward White shows that in wartime contracting, although cost-plus-fixed-fee contracts exhibited greater cost and schedule growth than firm-fixed-price contracts, neither the finished quality nor the associated construction risks differed greatly between them.
The featured book in this issue’s Defense Acquisition Professional Reading List is Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution by Richard Whittle, reviewed by Julien Demotes-Mainard at Avascent Europe.