Category Archives: ARJ 72 | January 2015

ARJ 72 | January 2015


To print a PDF copy of this issue, click here.Individual articles can be printed from the articles themselves.

arj72-thumb-4

The Effects of System Prototype Demonstrations on Weapon Systems Development


To print a PDF copy of this issue, click here.Individual articles can be printed from the articles themselves.

From the Chairman and Executive Editor


To print a PDF copy of this article, click here.

Dr. Larrie Ferreiro

Chairman Larrie FerreiroThe year 1979 was marked by the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union, the Iranian Revolution that overthrew the Shah and held 52 American diplomats hostage, and the election of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The Sony Walkman was introduced to a transfixed public, but at a price equal to almost a week’s wages. The entire federal budget was roughly $500 billion, a number now equated with just the Department of Defense portion of the budget.

Continue reading

Preface: Augustine’s Laws and Major System Development Programs


To print a PDF copy of this article, click here.

Author: Norman R. Augustine

Two score and eight years ago (somehow that doesn’t sound as long as 48 years ago), I was working as Assistant Director of Defense Research and Engineering in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and it occurred to me that just as physical systems obey certain laws of nature, perhaps defense acquisition obeys certain laws of human nature. To my amazement—and everlasting regret—this turned out to be true. (Caveat: To protect the innocent as well as the guilty, the views expressed in Augustine’s Laws are purely my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employers—past, present, or future.)

Continue reading

Moving from Best Practices to Standard Practices in Defense Acquisition


To print a PDF copy of this article, click here.

Authors: Alex Miller and Joshua L. Ray

Years of process improvement in defense acquisition have produced many isolated best practices that failed to become widespread standard practices.  The authors’ research identified six factors critical to seeing best practices adopted as standard practices. Both contextual and managerial in nature, these address the extent to which standardization is pulled, pushed, and practical.  They organize the factors in a simple 2×3 framework, explain the nature of each factor, provide examples of each factor, and discuss each factor’s implications for defense acquisition.

Continue reading

Taming the Hurricane of Acquisition Cost Growth—Or At Least Predicting It


To print a PDF copy of this article, click here.

Authors: Capt Allen J. DeNeve, USAF, Lt Col Erin T. Ryan, USAF, Lt Col Jonathan D. Ritschel, USAF, and Christine Schubert Kabban

Cost growth is a persistent adversary to efficient budgeting in the Department of Defense. Despite myriad studies to uncover causes of this cost growth, few of the proposed remedies have made a meaningful impact. A key reason may be that DoD cost estimates are formulated using the highly unrealistic assumption that a program’s current baseline characteristics will not change in the future. Using a weather forecasting analogy, the authors demonstrate how a statistical approach may be used to account for these inevitable baseline changes and identify related cost growth trends. These trends are then used to reduce the error in initial acquisition cost estimates by over one third for major defense acquisition programs, representing a more efficient allocation of $6 billion annually.

Continue reading

The Effects of System Prototype Demonstrations on Weapon Systems


To print a PDF copy of this article, click here.

Authors: Edward J. Copeland, Thomas H. Holzer, Timothy J. Eveleigh, and Shahryar Sarkani

The inability of Department of Defense (DoD) programs to sufficiently reduce technology risk prior to entering formal systems development has between 2007 and 2012 contributed to a 13 percent cost growth in weapon systems acquisition and a 17 percent increase in cycle time to deliver initial operational capability. With the advent of key legislation and resulting DoD acquisition reform initiatives, weapon systems programs are now required to enforce a technology development strategy that can foster true risk reduction prior to entering systems development. A key enabler to reducing technology risk and thereby accelerating design maturity is the use of system prototype demonstrations. The objective of this article is to present research findings on the “effects of system prototype demonstrations on weapons systems development” for major defense acquisition programs. The results of this research will better inform systems engineers and contribute to improved technology development strategy.

Continue reading

Recognition of Reviewers for Print Year 2014


To print a PDF copy of this article, click here.

We would like to express our appreciation to all of the subject matter experts who volunteered to participate in the Defense Acquisition Research Journal peer review process. The assistance of these individuals provided impartial evaluation of the articles published during the 2014 print year. We would also like to acknowledge those referees who wished to remain anonymous. Your continued support is greatly appreciated, and we look forward to working with many of you again in print year 2015.

Continue reading