Tag Archives: Acquisition

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Military Throwaways? Why Acquirers Should Go Disposable


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Maj. Patrick Dugan, USAF, Maj. Jon D. McComb, USAF, Maj. Chad Steipp, USAF

The military tends to keep equipment for a long time. Unfortunately, extended product life cycles leave many operators with worn-out or obsolete gear. Aircraft, vehicles, ships, radars and radios are examples of the outdated equipment our Armed Forces use daily.

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The First 100 Days of an Acquisition Workforce Manager


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Author: Michael Cook

Good managers and bad managers. We have all had both and have aspired to learn from the good managers and never repeat the negative influences of the bad. During our professional development, if we excel and move up, we one day may attain the status of “manager of others.” Some new managers within the acquisition workforce benefit from formal training and mentorship programs, while others do not. Regardless of the path taken to the title, success evolves from one’s plan.

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Acquisition Pros Keep the Gears Moving


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Author: Janice Laurenti

The Department of Defense (DoD) has been working diligently to replenish its workforce, including the acquisition workforce that was drastically reduced to approximately 147,000 in 1998. Problems resulting from the downsizing quickly began to surface. The DoD realized it did not include the crucial data about the number of soon-to-retire employees in the total workforce reduction. The cutback therefore turned out greater than had been estimated.

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Manage Toward Success—Utilization of Analytics in Acquisition Decision Making


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Authors: Sean Tzeng and K. C. Chang

Large information technology (IT) projects such as Defense Business System (DBS) acquisitions have been experiencing an alarming rate of large cost overruns, long schedule delays, and under-delivery of specified capabilities. There are strict defense acquisition laws/regulations/policies/guidance with an abundance of review and oversights, generating a plethora of data and evidence for project progress. However, with the size and complexity of these large IT projects and sheer amount of project data they produce, there are challenges in collectively discerning these data and making successful decisions based on them. This research article develops an analytic model with Bayesian networks to orient the vast number of acquisition data and evidence to support decision making, known as the DBS Acquisition Probability of Success (DAPS) model.

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Compressing Test and Evaluation by Using Flow Data for Scalable Network Traffic Analysis


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Authors: Kevin Buell, Mustafa G. Baydogan, Burhan Senturk, and James P. Kerr

The specialized nature of technology-based programs creates volumes of data on a magnitude never before seen, complicating the test and evaluation phase of acquisition. This article provides a practical solution for reducing network traffic analysis data while expediting test and evaluation. From small lab testing to full integration test events, quality of service and other key metrics of military systems and networks are evaluated. Network data captured in standard flow formats enable scalable approaches for producing network traffic analyses. Because of its compact representation of network traffic, flow data naturally scale well. Some analyses require deep packet inspection, but many can be calculated/approximated quickly with flow data, including quality-of-service metrics like completion rate and speed of service.

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Where Are the People? The Human Viewpoint Approach for Architecting and Acquisition


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Authors: Holly A. H. Handley and Beverly G. Knapp

The U.S. Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) provides a standard framework for transforming systems concepts into a consistent set of products containing the elements and relationships required to represent a complex operational system. However, without a human perspective, the current DoDAF does not account for the human performance aspects needed to calculate the human contribution to system effectiveness and cost. The Human Viewpoint gives systems engineers additional tools to integrate human considerations into systems development by facilitating identification and collection of human-focused data. It provides a way to include Human Systems Integration (HSI) constructs into mainstream acquisition and systems engineering processes by promoting early, frequent coordination of analysis efforts by both the systems engineering and HSI communities.

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Strengthening DoD Cyber Security with the Vulnerability Market


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Authors: Maj Bradley C. Panton, USAF, John M. Colombi, Michael R. Grimaila, and Robert F. Mills

Every year, the Department of Defense (DoD) upgrades its information technology systems, allows new applications to connect to DoD information networks, and reconfigures the enterprise to gain efficiencies. While these actions better support the warfighter and satisfy national security interests, they introduce new system vulnerabilities waiting to be exploited. Often, these vulnerabilities are discovered only after the system has already deployed, where costs to fix are much larger. This article recommends the DoD adopt an economic strategy called the vulnerability market, or the market for zero-day exploits, to enhance system Information Assurance. Through the mutual cooperation between industry and the military in securing information, the DoD optimizes security investments, secures critical information, and provides an effective and resilient warfighting capability.

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A Conceptual Framework for Defense Acquisition Makers: Giving the Schedule Its Due


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Authors: Chad Dacus and Col Stephen Hagel, USAF (Ret.)

Conceptual models based on economic and operations research principles can yield valuable insight into defense acquisition decisions. This article focuses on models that place varying degrees of emphasis on each objective of the defense acquisition system: cost (low cost), schedule (short cycle times), and performance (high system performance). The most appealing conceptual model is chosen, which the authors posit that, if adopted, would lead to shifts in priorities that could facilitate better outcomes, as empirical results suggest. Finally, several policy prescriptions implied by the model are briefly explored.

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The Acquisition Community and Engineering Expertise Development


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Author: Robert Galway

Acquisition community members are part of a team tasked with making affordable and operationally effective procurement decisions for the Department of Defense (DoD). To achieve this goal, workforce engineers and engineering teams must have and maintain a well-balanced skill set that includes an understanding of government acquisition policies and technical skills that provide the level of expertise required for their role in the acquisition process.

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Sustainable Acquisition


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Author: Elizabeth Pickering

The Department of Defense (DoD) has the continuous mandate to provide national security by supporting the war-fighter’s mission success and providing the forces necessary to prevent war. To accomplish this mission, the DoD requires several essential resources, including energy, land, air, and water. Changes caused by the post-Cold War international power structure and shifting global economies have increased the competition for these resources worldwide. This global competition has increased their value exponentially. To ensure these resources are readily available, the DoD has focused more attention on sustainability.

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