Tag Archives: Brian Schultz

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The Seven Lethal Acquisition Diseases


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By Brian Schultz

It’s no secret that Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition professionals work in a very challenging, high-pressure environment. The acquisition process involves an integrated product team of diverse functional experts who must employ critical thinking skills, collaborative problem-solving and robust communications to be effective. This dynamic means that the acquisition team’s behaviors often can be critical factors in a program’s outcome.
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Strategic Planning – Shaping Future Success


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Brian Schultz

Department of Defense (DoD) program managers (PMs) typically face significant challenges in executing their current program as reflected in their acquisition program baseline. While the current program may have several years of cycle time prior to delivery and fielding, the PM may also be planning for future increments, sustainment and other long-term efforts. Strategic planning can help the PM position these future programs and actions for good outcomes.

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Why Should We Care About Outsourcing?


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Author: Brian Schultz

Outsourcing: Practice used by companies to reduce costs by transferring portions of work to outside suppliers rather than completing it internally.  (Investopedia)

Outsourcing is a common practice in several industries in today’s global business environment. The concept is fairly simple. A company often will buy or outsource products and services (as depicted in Figure 1) from other companies if doing so is in its best corporate interests. In the defense industry, outsourced work has trended upward and can be as much as 70 percent or even 80 percent of the total work content.


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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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Please Reduce Cycle Time


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Author: Brian Schultz

As William Penn noted centuries ago, time might be our most precious resource but it is also one that we have trouble managing effectively. While cost-performance trade-offs get a lot of emphasis in developmental acquisition efforts, schedule or cycle time is also an important part of the cost-schedule-performance triad that determines outcomes. Note that the terms “cycle time” and “schedule” will be used interchangeably in this article to mean the total time required from program initiation until Initial Operational Capability (IOC).

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Let’s Fix this Red Program!


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Author: Brian Schultz

For those not familiar with Norman Augustine’s laws, they are a collection of 52 observations first published in 1983 by Augustine, former president and chief operating officer of Martin Marietta Corp. While the laws are humorous, they also offer interesting insights into the tough realities of defense acquisition.

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Are You Ready for an International Program?


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Author: Brian Schultz

In today’s dynamic acquisition environment, one could argue that every acquisition program is an international program. Our systems typically deploy overseas, our supply chain relies on parts from around the globe, our technology and security plans must consider international involvement, and our people work and operate within international organizations and coalitions.

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Why Is This Acquisition Strategy Stuff So Important?


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Authors: Brian Schultz, David Dotson, Tom Ruthenberg

Development and implementation of the program acquisition strategy is clearly one of the most important tasks for a DoD program manager (PM) and the program office integrated product team (IPT). The recent Defense AT&L article, “The Acquisition Strategy” (May–June 2012) shared insights on teamwork, critical thinking, and pitfalls to avoid in developing the strategy. In this article, we will address some best practices, look at the state of affairs concerning acquisition strategies, and offer thoughts on initiatives that either could help or are helping PMs produce better results.

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