Tag Archives: Acquisition Reform

Real Acquisition Reform (or Improvement) Must Come From Within


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Frank Kendall

Since I returned to government 6 years ago, I have been working with the acquisition workforce and defense industry to improve defense acquisition performance. There is a lot of evidence that we are moving in the right direction. We have also effectively partnered with Congress on some initiatives, and we are in the midst of a new cycle of congressionally led efforts to improve defense acquisition—as in other cases with the label of “acquisition reform.”

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The More Things Change, Acquisition Reform Remains the Same


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Authors: Col Peter K. Eide, USAF, and COL Charles D. Allen, USA (Ret.)

For over 60 years, the Department of Defense has attempted to fix its weapon systems procurement without success. While notable exceptions emerged during the Global War on Terrorism (i.e., rapid development/fielding of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles and Improvised Explosive Device defeat systems), “Acquisition Reform” efforts have not consistently yielded a process/system that delivers products faster, better, or cheaper. In 2009, President Obama took the initiative to give reforms another try. Through an analysis that applies John P. Kotter’s model of organizational change and Edgar H. Schein’s approach to organizational culture and leadership, the conclusion suggests that current initiatives will not be successful. Behavioral change is needed to embed transformation. Acquisition reforms can be coerced, but will not endure as true transformation unless cultural change occurs.

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Requirements and Cost Stability: A Case Study of the 18 Hornet Program


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Author: CDR Jay D. Bottelson, USN

Most government and industry leaders involved with Department of Defense acquisition programs emphasize the importance of requirements and cost stability. However, despite all the stated support for program element stability and acquisition reform, frequent changes are experienced in acquisition programs that affect the final end product in terms of changes to unit design, number of units procured, system and subsystem capability, as well as affecting the overall cost of the program. This study analyzes the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18A model to identify requirements changes; discern the reasons for change and the impact the resultant change made on the program (funding, schedule, capacity, etc.); and develop recommendations for limiting requirements creep, instability, and cost growth in future programs.

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