Joint Applied Projects

Series Type
Degree-Earning Works

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 262
  • Publication
    An exploratory study of Alpha contracting: antecedents, processes, issues, success factors and consequences
    (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2009-09) Kirzow, Robert; Sweeney, Colleen; Cuskey, Jeffrey; Hawkins, Timothy; Human Systems Integration (HSI) Certificate Program; Contract Management
    Alpha contracting is a collaborative effort between a buyer and supplier during contract formation to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. Although several benefits of Alpha contracting are espoused in the literature, the concept is not ubiquitous, nor is it well understood. The purpose of this Joint Applied Project is to evaluate current Department of Defense (DoD) procedures for the use of Alpha contracting. Specifically, we plan to explore Alpha contracting to define what constitutes successful/unsuccessful Alpha contracting, as well as the contributing factors to both outcomes. Additionally, we will identify antecedents for and consequences of use, and variations of the processes employed. This research will identify the utility of Alpha contracting, and explain its narrow usage to date. Using a case study methodology, we will interview experienced Alpha contracting teams, to include contracting officers, DCAA, DCMA, end users/customers, program managers and acquisition directors to better understand the Alpha contracting phenomenon. We will use interview results and research to develop recommendations to address the factors that lead to successful Alpha contracting, as well as the barriers that arise once used.
  • Publication
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2021-06) Blackwood, Patricia A.; Campbell, Coretta F.; Maddox, Janie L.; Eger, Robert J., III; Human Systems Integration (HSI) Certificate Program; Graduate School of Defense Management (GSDM); Graduate School of Defense Management (GSDM)
    The Department of Defense (DOD) relies significantly on the private sector to carry out aspects of the DOD’s mission. Since 1997 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has listed the DOD contract management capabilities as a high-risk area. The DOD Inspector General identified contract management oversight as a major challenge in 2019. This thesis explores the variations leveraged by the Army and the Navy to execute the contract management process to meet the mission requirements in the United States Army Regional Health Contracting Office (RHCO) and the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP). This project examines how staff members are developed professionally in the field and how talent management is executed. The methodology includes a comparative analysis of how the RHCO, and NAVSUP utilize the DOD competency model for professional development. We look at the future DOD model for developing the DOD acquisition workforce. This thesis analyzes the current DOD competency model and the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) model to recommend the competency model that is most likely to produce the most appropriately trained DOD acquisition workforce to meet the needs of future DOD Contract Management requirements.
  • Publication
    An analysis of fiscal years 2014 to 2016 Navy Fourth Quarter spending: trends and characteristics of Q4 O&M contractual awards
    (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2017-09) Manol, Christina I.; Nalls, Shahaadah C.; Scharber, Justin R.; Naegle, Brad; Hernandez, Victor; Human Systems Integration (HSI) Certificate Program; Business & Public Policy (GSBPP)
    Former United States Under Secretary of Defense Robert Hale stated in a September 2016 article for Breaking Defense, We need to find practical ways to apply the brakes to year-end spending so that [the Department of Defense] funds only its highest-priority needs. This paper analyzes trends and characteristics of the Quarter 4 (Q4) Navy spending habits driving the government’s decisions and the related impacts of those decisions. Previous trends have shown that under-execution in the government leads to future funding decrements. Although seldom documented, this practice leads to increased late spending and a potential for executing ahead of need, but results in an obligation of funds. Our research identifies trends across contractual spending in the Navy Operations and Maintenance accounts between fiscal years 2014 and 2016 to help ensure the government is getting the best value for the limited resources available. Analysis indicated that actual Q4 spending appears higher than historical rates, in excess of 35% in all years. We also noted trends in Q4 spending leading to an increased level of Indefinite Delivery Contracts, and a significant increase in overall contract actions processed. Surprisingly, even with the rush to obligate, 2014 data showed Q4 obligations trended higher than average utilizing Full and Open Competition.
  • Publication
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2023-09) Muskeyvalley, Ray Jr.; Gorham, Douglas E.; Jones, Raymond D.; Mortlock, Robert F.; Human Systems Integration (HSI) Certificate Program; Department of Defense Management (DDM); Department of Defense Management (DDM)
    This project examines a sampling of Army Acquisition Programs in “T2S” (Transition to Sustainment) and analyzes the similarities and differences between programs relative to their planning, execution, and results experienced in terms of Sustainment Phase Performance Metric impacts. This project includes a mixed-method analysis process. Methodology includes published Army policy documents, scholarly articles posted to the internet, published literature, program requirements and acquisition documents, and published program performance metrics. Methods include an analysis of published guidance as it pertains to the definition of T2S, as well as a breakdown of T2S into “macro” and “micro” activities for each program, identifying and categorizing program projects in each category. Methods also include a comparative analysis of the program factors pre-T2S, during T2S, and post-T2S, to include program funding, life-cycle sustainment strategies, program office structure, program and sustainment office interaction, and a breakdown of macro and micro T2S actions relative to their impact on sustainment metrics realized. This project also analyzes the evolving relevant guidance related to the T2S process during the timelines under consideration for each program.
  • Publication
    An analysis of program managers as Total Life Cycle Systems Managers
    (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2017-09) Baker, Darren E.; Sfakianoudis, George; William, John H., II; Naegle, Brad; Pickar, Charles K.; Human Systems Integration (HSI) Certificate Program; Business & Public Policy (GSBPP)
    Total Life Cycle Systems Management (TLCSM) is a term used in Army Regulation (AR) 70-1 to describe the responsibility of the Army Program Manager (PM). In this acquisition policy, the PM is made responsible for his/her assigned programs from initiation to disposal with no responsibility transitioning away from the PM. However, other Army guidance challenges AR 70-1 when transitioning to the Operations and Support phase of the acquisition life cycle. Furthermore, since the creation of the Life Cycle Management Commands (LCMC), obstacles have arisen as to whether the PM or LCMC is better equipped to manage program sustainment. An evaluation of the roles and responsibilities of the PMs in acquisition sustainment transition was conducted to better assess their authority to carry out TLCSM. This thesis examined sustainment requirements and identified constraints and barriers to the transition process. It also addressed the advantages, disadvantages, and alternatives to having the PM act as TLCSM. Additionally, the flow of fiscal resources was analyzed to identify misalignments and limitations. Lastly, the authors concluded with four recommendations: issue a policy to elaborate PM/LCMC duties, give full funding responsibilities to the PM, identify the LCMC by Milestone B and remove the $250K threshold for investment purchases.
  • Publication
    An analysis of medical imaging costs in military treatment facilities
    (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2014-09) Lewis, David M.; Westcott, Jeremy H.; Eger, Robert; Pizzini, Wilhemina; Human Systems Integration (HSI) Certificate Program; Business & Public Policy (GSBPP)
    This joint applied project examines costs of medical imaging within Continental United States military treatment facilities to determine cost effectiveness when compared to civilian facilities and determine whether there are differences among regions of the United States and whether there are differences among the branches of service. Historical data utilized to conduct analysis were collected from the Military Health System Management Analysis and Reporting Tool (M2), the Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support system (DMLSS), the CHAMPUS National Pricing System (CMAC), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website ( Our conclusions regarding overall cost of radiology services at military facilities is hampered by the use of average cost per test as a basis for analysis. However, greater consolidation of radiologic imaging assets and increased volume at military facilities can do nothing but improve the cost effectiveness of insourcing this function.
  • Publication
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2022-06) Martinovic, Marjan; Gibbons, Deborah E.; Kahl, Peter, United States Merchant Marine Academy; Human Systems Integration (HSI) Certificate Program; Department of Defense Management (DDM); Mortlock, Robert F.
    Recent GAO reports indicate that Navy watchstanding, training, and maintenance systems need improvement. This thesis compares (a) watchstanding regulations in the Merchant Marine to the standard watch rotation used in a Navy warship, (b) training processes and requirements for Merchant Marine Officers to those of a SWO, and (c) maintenance processes used in the Merchant Marine to offer alternative processes to those present in the U.S. Navy. Review of literature and interviews with Navy Officers and Merchant Marine Officers provide insight into the processes used in both industries. Results indicate that the Navy implements inconsistent watchstanding practices; struggles to provide adequate training through a "jack-of-all-trades" training style of officers in order to qualify them in navigation, engineering, and combat departments; and uses aging maintenance tracking systems to maintain readiness. The Merchant Marine follows the strict Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchstanding (STCW) regulations; has separate career ladders and licensing for deck and engineering officers; and uses different maintenance tracking methods. Results of the study led to several recommendations, among them to leverage licensed Merchant Mariners in the Navy's Strategic Sealift Officer (SSO) program to augment Navy vessels and encourage cross-pollination of talents.
  • Publication
    Analysis of rapid acquisition processes to fulfill future urgent needs
    (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2015-12) Arellano, Robert L.; Pringle, Ryan G.; Sowell, Kelly L.; Jones, Ray; Pickar, Charles K.; Naegle, Brad; Human Systems Integration (HSI) Certificate Program; Business & Public Policy (GSBPP)
    The objective of this project is to analyze rapid acquisition processes in order to evaluate the current organization, structure and regulations within the Department of Defense (DOD). This analysis helps determine if the rapid acquisition process used for two programs is repeatable for future endeavors. Additional analysis of identified DOD regulations and organizations shows how the rapid acquisition process expedited these systems and how it benefited the warfighter. The project reviews statutory and regulatory requirements covering the rapid acquisition process in the DOD and compares current DOD processes and the effects of their implementation. The project also reviews the warfighters’ actions when DOD entities do not address critical needs within reasonable timelines. The analysis results indicate that the current DOD organization and regulations do not provide an effective means for future rapid acquisition requirements, do not effectively promote the agility needed for rapid acquisition, and actually encumber the rapid acquisition process.
  • Publication
    Analysis of the training provided to first-time military acquisition professionals at Marine Corps Systems Command
    (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2010-06) Shusko, Joseph R.; Snider, Keith; Forrester, Robert; Human Systems Integration (HSI) Certificate Program; Program Management
    The purpose of this Joint Applied Project was to investigate and provide appropriate recommendations to the Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM) on how to most effectively train first-time military acquisition professionals in the Defense Acquisition System. This research was conducted with the support and assistance of MARCORSYSCOM's Workforce Management and Development office, as well as support from individuals representing both the Naval Postgraduate School and Florida Institute of Technology. The goal of this project was twofold. First, the research was aimed at conducting cost-benefit and gap analyses of the various training opportunities available to current and former acquisition professionals. Data collection for this was conducted primarily though a survey sent to current and former military officers filling acquisition billets. After determining the course providing the command the best value, the research focused on identifying opportunities to address the residual gaps in training. Recommendations to address residual gaps were then identified and documented for the future use of MARCORSYSCOM.
  • Publication
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2023-06) Marchese, Michael S.; Chan, Stanley; Mortlock, Robert F.; Riley, Leanne, Navy; Human Systems Integration (HSI) Certificate Program; Department of Defense Management (DDM); Department of Defense Management (DDM)
    The purpose of this report is to examine and draw comparisons between the military acquisition processes of the United States and Russia using a case study approach similar to the NPS thesis titled, “Comparison of Naval Acquisition Processes between the United States and Taiwan,” written by LCDR Chih-Chieh Liu in 2021. The objective is to research techniques each nation uses to acquire next-generation ballistic submarines, identifying and comparing key efficiencies and deficiencies between the U.S. and Russian naval acquisition processes to make recommendations to enhance the American Department of Defense. Multiple scholarly articles and reports provided information necessary to conclude that the U.S. places great emphasis on cost control and meeting milestones, whereas Russia focuses on readiness through increasing its size under heavy state control. The U.S. Navy should take multiple steps toward bettering its major acquisition programs, holding the Program Offices accountable to use cutting-edge software to produce actionable data and ensure schedule risk analysis in addition to investing in public shipyards as a top priority to national security. Russia would benefit from increased transparency, investing in public-private partnerships and data analysis, and fostering a culture where stakeholders embrace innovation and do not fear failure. There is great opportunity in future research in this field as it is important to learn from both allies and adversaries.