Product Lifecycle Management: A Collaborative Tool for Defense Acquisition
Schindler, Christopher M.
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A 2010 review of 96 defense acquisition programs showed average delivery rates are 22 months behind schedule and the cumulative cost growth exceeded $296 billion. With budget cuts looming, a small window of opportunity exists to enact reforms improving the health and solvency of the defense acquisition portfolio. First, we must leverage the technology investments made into collaborative software suites such as product lifecycle management (PLM) to align the requirements, design, engineering, logistics, maintenance, and operational data environments into one comprehensive activity. Implementing a PLM strategy will present cost-saving opportunities through faster information access, improved data reuse, social networking, and virtual collaboration and testing. PLM systems have the ability to capture and organize vast amounts of data. Because through human interaction data becomes knowledge, lean product design is a philosophy that can change how we think, learn, use, and build up on that knowledge. By going beyond merely attacking waste by finding a balance between waste reduction and value addition, total ownership costs can be reduced drastically. These reforms have the ability to fundamentally change how we design, build, and maintain the fleet, making the defense portfolio solvent and thus continuing to fulfill the needs of the warfighter.
Sponsored Report (for Acquisition Research Program)Approved for public release; distribution unlimited.
NPS Report NumberNPS-AM-10-024
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