Analysis of how the work breakdown structure can facilitate acquisition reform initiatives
Thomas, Robert L.
David F. Matthews
Keith F. Snider.
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Program Managers (PMs) need insight into the high-risk and high-cost elements of their programs to effectively manage them. The Department of Defense (DoD) has adopted several acquisition reform initiatives in order to become a smarter, more efficient, and more responsive buyer of goods and services that meet our warfighter's needs. DoD 5000.2-R Regulation requires PMs to tailor a work breakdown structure (WBS) for each program using the guidance in Military- Handbook-881 (MIL-HDBK-881), "DoD Handbook Work Breakdown Structure". This research concludes that a WBS structured in accordance with MIL-HDB-881 can significantly impede implementation of DoD acquisition reform initiatives. It does not adequately identify the key products and processes essential for program success. An alternate method of constructing a WBS was developed which better identifies and differentiates key products and processes. This research concludes that the alternate WBS has the potential to significantly facilitate implementation of recent DoD acquisition reform initiatives, as well as the potential to provide PMs greater visibility and early identification of cost, schedule, performance, and risk issues using an Earned Value Management System (EVMS).
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