Defense Acquisition Professional Reading Program

Reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others. It is one of the keys to the already solved problems, and gives facility for pursuing the unsolved ones.

– Abraham Lincoln


Welcome to the Defense Acquisition Professional Reading Program. The objective of the reading program is to provide members of the AT&L workforce with ideas and insights of thought leaders throughout the ages, with the expectation that this will stimulate new ideas and innovations within our own domain, and will ultimately lead to improved acquisition outcomes.

These works have been selected from the professional reading list published in the Defense Acquisition Research Journal, reading lists of DAU executive programs, and by senior acquisition leadership. They serve as a guide to the many topics worthy of professional consideration and discussion. The titles change periodically, as does the Featured Book at the top of the list.

Members of the Defense Acquisition Workforce may be able to access these books through their MWR or other e-library services.

The appearance of a title on this reading list does not imply that any part of the Department of Defense endorses the author’s or reviewer’s views or interpretations. Nevertheless, these books contain thought-provoking ideas and viewpoints relevant to our acquisition profession.

We encourage our readers to submit reviews of books they believe should be required reading for the defense acquisition professional. The proposed books should be of general interest to the defense acquisition community. The reviews should be 500 words or fewer, describe the book and its major ideas, and explain why it is relevant to defense acquisition. Please send your reviews to the managing editor, Defense Acquisition Review Journal (DefenseARJ@dau.mil).

The Defense Acquisition Professional Reading Program is maintained by the Defense Acquisition University.


Remarks from Senior Leadership

woolsey-200

President James P. Woolsey
Defense Acquisition University Defense Acquisition University carryover

Defense acquisition has always been a dynamic process, and the Defense AT&L Professional Reading Program is dynamic as well. The books in the program have been selected by key leaders in the defense acquisition community to help inform and shape the strategic and critical thinking of our workforce, and this list will change over time as new works become available, and older ones merit revisiting. The Guide to the Defense Acquisition Professional Reading Program, below, will help you get started and explain how to engage with the books and with each other. Most of all, we encourage you to bring what you have learned and recognized into your defense acquisition experience.


Guide to the Defense Acquisition Professional Reading Program

As a defense acquisition professional, you have selected a challenging profession of the highest calling. While hands-on experience, training, and education are vital for the development of key acquisition leaders, so too is self-paced reading and study. A program of independent reading deepens our understanding and helps develop the strategic and critical thinking skills that are the hallmark of the acquisition professional. In short, the Defense Acquisition Professional Reading Program helps equip us to address the future.

The Program is divided into two main categories: readings for all AT&L professionals, and readings by career field.

The first category contains readings that enhance our understanding of the origins of defense acquisition and its current trends, as well as readings that are focused on best practices and lessons learned in the areas of affordability and cost; industrial productivity and innovation; government productivity and innovation; and defense acquisition professionalism and leadership.

The second category contains readings that broaden our vision of acquisition career fields, broadly divided in three domains Management (e.g., program management), Corporate (e.g., business and auditing), and Technical (e.g., engineering).

These lists are further divided in two parts: books suggested for rising leaders, because they provide a solid grounding in the fundamentals of the fields; and books suggested for key leaders, providing advanced concepts and ideas.

Each of these books is described with a summary and a book review, and where available, podcasts and multimedia. offered for members of the defense acquisition community to engage with one another about the book and its concepts.

These works have been selected from the professional reading list published in the Defense Acquisition Research Journal, reading lists of DAU executive programs, and by senior acquisition leadership. They serve as a guide to the many topics worthy of professional consideration and discussion. The titles change periodically, as does the Featured Book at the top of the list.

The appearance of a title on this reading list does not imply that any part of the Department of Defense endorses the author’s or reviewer’s views or interpretations. Nevertheless, these books contain thought-provoking ideas and viewpoints relevant to our acquisition profession.


In the bimonthly Defense AT&L magazine, workforce members and experts exchange lessons learned and better ways of achieving acquisition objectives.

 

 

 


Defense Acquisition Research Journal is a scholarly peer-reviewed journal published quarterly reporting empirical research based on acquired knowledge and experience.

 

 

 


Recommended Reading for All AT&L Professionals

Defense Acquisition Origins and Trends

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Affordability and Cost

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Industrial Productivity and Innovation

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Governmental Productivity and Innovation

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Defense Acquisition Professionalism and Leadership

View More….


Recommended Reading for AT&L Professionals by Career Field

Management

Program Management, Requirements Management, International Acquisition Management, Industrial Property Management:

For Key Leaders

For Rising Leaders

Corporate

Auditing, Business, Contracting, Purchasing For Key Leaders

For Rising Leaders

Technical

Engineering, Life Cycle Logistics, Science and Technology Management, Test and Evaluation, Information Technology, Facilities Engineering

For Key Leaders

For Rising Leaders