An examination of Department of Defense risk management policy for nondevelopmental items acquisition programs
Steves, Michael R.
Snider, Keith F.
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Non-developmental Items (NDI) acquisition programs are enjoying popular support as faster, cheaper alternatives to full-scale development programs. Unfortunately, DOD policy with respect to risk management in NDI programs is lacking. Tailoring DOD risk management policy to support NDI program management leaves the program manager (PM) much guess-work. A NDI PM's risk management program cannot reasonably benefit from DOD risk management guidance, procedures, and risk management tools because they are oriented to developmental program risks and risk management practices. Missing is any explicit consideration of the unique risks and risk management requirements in NDI programs. NDI PMs need more explicit guidance in policy and instruction regarding NDI risk management in the streamlined, accelerated NDI environment. This need is brought out in a case study of the Forward Area Air Defense Sensors Product Office which attempts to implement sound risk management into its NDI products without the benefit of definitive NDI risk identification, assessment, or response policy material. A lesson learned is the need for a published Risk Management Plan as the source of NDI risk management program decisions and actions. Specific recommendations are contained for inclusion in DOD policy with respect to NDI risk management
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