WASHINGTON—Ten Army organizations that streamlined their business operations by eliminating redundancies and saving the service millions of dollars were recognized Wednesday for their excellence in Lean Six Sigma practices.
Author: Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics
Each morning I start my day with a half hour or more devoted to reading the latest intelligence.
I’ve been doing this for about four-and-a-half years now. It took me only a few weeks from the time I came back into government in March 2010 to realize that we had a serious problem. Some of the countries that might be future adversaries, (or that could at least be counted on to sell their weapons to countries that are our adversaries) were clearly developing sophisticated weapons designed to defeat the United States’ power-projection forces. Even if war with the United States were unlikely or unintended, it was quite obvious to me that the foreign investments I saw in military modernization had the objective of enabling the countries concerned to deter regional intervention by the American military.
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).
The Department of Defense (DoD) can foster dynamic and innovative solutions for tomorrow’s warfighter by designing acquisition portfolios that deliver an integrated suite of capabilities. Program executive officers (PEOs) today often focus on executing a dozen similar, but independent, programs. In contrast, large commercial businesses manage integrated product lines for items ranging from automobiles and electronics to software and health services. The DoD could leverage this model as a basis for constructing portfolios of similar programs that deliver enhanced capabilities in shorter timeframes.
More than 10 years ago, the Department of Defense (DoD) Chief Information Officer took a bold step toward broad information sharing by publishing the seminal Net-Centric Data Strategy. Since then, the Services have made great strides by creating many new data sources across the DoD. Still, taking advantage of all this pent-up capability and value remains a difficult task for most of the enterprise.
Authors: Dr. James R. Eckardt, Timothy L. Davis, Richard A. Stern, Dr. Cindy S. Wong, Richard K. Marymee, and Arde L. Bedjanian
Many programs risk cost growth and schedule delays because of software development issues. In the 2010 Government Accountability Office (GAO) defense acquisition report, Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs, the programs with count growth in significant source line of code (SLOC) since development startup experienced accelerated cost increases and excessive schedule delays relative to other programs. The report asserted that collecting, tracking and containing software defects in the phase where they occur is an excellent cost-control management practice. Programs surveyed indicated that an average of 31 percent of defects corrected were detected after the development phase in which they were inserted. Capturing software defects in phase is critical because detecting defects out of phase results in expensive program rework.
Authors: Christian Hagen, Steven Hurt, and Andrew Williams
The U.S. military is moving from a world dominated by advanced hardware to one of fully integrated, complex systems of both hardware and software—a move that makes it even more relevant for the military to understand how to measure and test systems with data-driven metrics and easily measurable results.
Heads up! With 80 percent of government software procured as commercial off-the- shelf (COTS) and accorded limited or restricted rights, government acquisition managers need to be alert to intellectual property considerations. When modified and extended through government funding, COTS software becomes government off-the-shelf (GOTS) software entitled to government purpose rights. Unless the government acquisition manager insists on it, a contractor may engage in false claims practice by improperly marketing and selling GOTS software products as COTS. So instead of receiving the benefits of government purpose rights, the government may be charged a commercial product licensing fee and accorded only limited or restricted rights. Neglecting intellectual property rights can be costly!