Category Archives: November-December 2015

Defense AT&L: November – December 2015


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


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

 

Innovation in the Defense Acquisition Enterprise


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Author: Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics

kendall-200Innovation has become a very popular word lately. Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the Defense Innovation Initiative about a year ago. At about the same time, the draft Better Buying Power 3.0 set of initiatives, focusing on technical excellence and innovation, were published for comment. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work has led the effort to develop an innovative “Third Offset Strategy.” Most recently, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced the opening of the Defense Innovation Unit—Experimental, or DIU-X, in California’s Silicon Valley. President Obama has led the administration’s successful opening of several Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, most of which are sponsored by the Department of Defense (DoD). And more institutes are on the way.

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Where Have All the Nunn-McCurdys Gone?


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Author: Mark Husband, Dr. Eng.

More than 2 years ago, I left a job I loved—teaching at the Defense Acquisition University—for an opportunity to work in the Office of Performance Assessments and Root Cause Analyses (PARCA). My primary responsibility is to conduct root cause analyses of troubled DoD acquisition programs—those that have undergone a critical Nunn-McCurdy breach, or others as assigned by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD[AT&L]) or by the Secretaries of the Military Departments.

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Top Performing PMs: How DAU Develops Them


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Author: Owen C. Gadeken

The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) has been training Department of Defense (DoD) program managers (PMs) for more than 40 years. During that time, the training requirements have changed considerably. Most basic courses are now done online, while intermediate courses feature a combination of online prerequisites followed by classroom training. Advanced PM courses use teams of students to discuss current acquisition issues, analyze and prepare case studies, share lessons from their experience and provide feedback to their colleagues.

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Leadership 101


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Author: Scott Reynolds

For the last 8 years, I have been a faculty member in the Defense Acquisition University’s Executive Leadership and Coaching programs, and I thought it would be worthwhile to share our students’ definition of the leader’s role in establishing and running extraordinary teams.

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Getting the Best Value in a Source Selection?


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Authors: Brian Schultz and David Dotson

Competition in acquisition is an important topic and has been since the Department of Defense (DoD) started acquiring systems from the defense industry. The key premise is that DoD will get greater value for the price paid as a result of competition. Some studies suggest savings in the 15 percent to 25 percent range and even greater under some conditions as a result of competition. However, greater value is not always tied to lower prices or cost savings. Greater value can be realized through a superior technical solution as part of a trade-off of price and other factors in a source selection.

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A Contract Requirement Rule for Program Managers


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Author: Paul Solomon

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 (NDAA) includes many acquisition reforms. The Senate version included a provision that would have required the Secretary of Defense to develop standards, policies and guidelines based on nationally accredited standards for program and project management as well as policies to monitor compliance. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) is the only qualifying standard. The provision was not adopted during conference with the House. However, if the PMBOK Guide were made a contract requirement to replace the Earned Value Management System (EVMS) standard (ANSI-748), any program manager (PM) finally would be able to identify and pinpoint emerging problems on a timely basis and act as early as possible to resolve problems. This article discusses the content and benefits of the PMBOK Guide but also includes guidance for integrating systems engineering (SE) and risk management with EVM independently of the PMBOK Guide.

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The Loss of a Leader in Defense Acquisition


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nov-15-article-7-bolton

CLAUDE M. BOLTON JR.

1945–2015

The Honorable Claude M. Bolton Jr., a retired U.S. Air Force (USAF) major general and former acquisition official for the USAF and the U.S. Army and the former commandant of the Defense Systems Management College (DSMC), died unexpectedly at home July 28 at age 69. He had a very distinguished 40-year career in the military and in Department of Defense acquisitions.

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Delphi, Dice and Dominos Techniques to Understand and Mitigate Technical Risk


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Author: David L. Gallop

It is no secret that our programs are becoming increasingly complex and interdependent. With that complexity and interdependency come both opportunity and technical risk. There are three simple techniques any program can use to understand and mitigate technical risk.

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If Your Technology Works, Will It Matter?


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Author: Ryan Umstattd, Ph.D.

The foundational question above is asked and then answered by our program directors before they launch any new focused initiative at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E).

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