Tag Archives: February 2012

Defense AT&L: January – February 2012


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The Mice in Council: An Acquisition Fable


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Effects Through Acquisition Leveraging the Power of Contingency Contracting


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Authors: Andrew S. Haeuptle and Renanah Miles

The scale of our contracting efforts in Afghanistan represents both an opportunity and a danger.

— Gen. David H. Petraeus, USA (Ret.), former commander, U.S. forces in Afghanistan/International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan

Contingency contracting is a potent force available to commanders in Afghanistan. Acquisition efforts support the counterinsurgency (COIN) mission, using business and economic operations as a stabilization tool to bolster local development. Conversely, wasted or misused dollars can hinder long-term stabilization, fund the enemy, and fuel corruption. In fiscal year (FY) 2009, NATO and U.S. Forces–Afghanistan (USFOR-A) contracted for services and goods totaling approximately $14 billion—roughly equal to Afghanistan’s GDP for the same year. This year, estimates are that combined contracting activities may exceed Afghanistan’s GDP.

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Acquisition Program Management Challenges in Afghanistan Part 2: Afghan Vendor Base


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Authors: Maj. Darren W. Rhyne, USAF

In my previous article, I wrote about deployed program manager challenges with generating and managing requirements with Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) and Coalition military counterparts. This article will discuss the challenges of procuring defense items made to those requirements from the Afghanistan vendor base in the midst of an active counterinsurgency campaign.

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The Drag Efficient The Missing Quantification of Time on the Critical Path


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Author: Stephen A. Devaux

Critical path analysis has been around for more than half a century. An argument can be made that no project management technique is more important. Yet in project management theory and in scheduling software, there is the significant omission of two vital critical path metrics: drag and drag cost.

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Knowing and Loving Your KO A Guide for Program Managers Part 2: Getting to Yes


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Author: John Krieger

Part 1 (Defense AT&L November-December 2011) outlined the challenges for DoD program managers (PMs) in working with contracting officers (KOs). It noted that the statement of guiding principles for the Federal Acquisition System gives acquisition teams the authority to make innovative and sound acquisition decisions unless specifically prohibited by law or the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). How do you, as the PM, get your KO to say “yes”?

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Developing a Continuous Improvement System


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Authors: Scott S. Haraburda and Lara E. Zilafro

No one should disagree that continuous improvement is critical to an organization’s success, since conducting business using a status quo philosophy will not work. Advocates for successful change methodologies generally tout their particular improvement program as the “silver bullet” process to solve all problems. So how does one know which improvement program to implement? And, how does one avoid falling into the “flavor of the month” trap of changing their processes every time they discover a flaw in the process?

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Unleashing the Predictive Power of the Integrated Master Schedule: The Planning and Scheduling Excellence Guide (PASEG)


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Authors: Joshua Anderson and Jeff Upton

We are gravely underutilizing one of the most powerful predictive weapons in our program management arsenal. The integrated master schedule (IMS) could become the most comprehensive, forward-looking, and predictive program management tool available to our program teams. It represents the total program roadmap for successful execution and is a key part of a program’s management systems. Yet an IMS can only work when it is developed, maintained, and used effectively by the program team as a management decision tool instead of just as a report or deliverable.

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Look at It as a Game


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Author: Wayne Turk

Everyone uses sports analogies at times. FedEx even ran a series of commercials poking fun at football analogies in business. This article takes the analogy process a step or two farther (admittedly farther into the absurd at times), and takes a somewhat lighthearted look at how project management is like a number of sports. Some are pretty obvious (like relating the PM to a quarterback) and some are a stretch. While this isn’t a serious comparison, there are grains of truth scattered throughout.

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Building the Program Office Team


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Author: Owen Gadeken

When discussing an acquisition program, we often focus on the program manager as the key to success. But managing an acquisition program is really a team effort. Often, it involves the complex interaction of many integrated product teams (IPTs) working together.

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Everything is Not a Process Products, Games and Emerging Metaphors for Work


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Author: Lt. Col. Dan Ward, USAF

There are many ways to describe this magazine. A reader might say it is a compilation of news, guidance, and ideas related to defense acquisitions. To an accountant, this is $2 worth of wood pulp and ink. A physicist might see an assembly of 100 trillion atoms and point out that like all matter, it is mostly empty space. A retro survivalist who still reads the print version probably sees a convenient fire starter, although of course an increasing number of readers only know this as a PDF file, which would be no help at all as kindling.

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