Application of a Network Perspective to DoD Weapon System Acquisition: An Exploratory Study
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One of the foundations of military command and control is that authority must match responsibility. Yet in weapon system acquisition, a program manager is responsible to deliver capabilities to the warfighter without full control of the resources he needs to carry out this task. Successful program managers recognize their dependencies upon other actors and execute their programs using a network with a common goal of enhancing a specific warfighting capability. A hierarchical chain of command still exists, but the network enables the actors to carry out their objectives in an efficient and effective manner. This report describes how the acquisition process purportedly works in hierarchical terms. It also introduces a process model to describe the set of activities actually used and the actors who are required to collaborate to deliver capabilities to the warfighter. The analysis of those activities between actors reveals that weapon system acquisition behaves like a network. Describing acquisition in network terms allows those involved in weapon system acquisition oversight, policy, and practice to have new insights and measurement tools to understand how to improve the weapon systems acquisition process.
Proceedings Paper (for Acquisition Research Program)
NPS Report NumberNPS-AM-07-014
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