Rapid Evolutionary Acquisition - an in-Progress Review of an Exemplar Pilot Initiative
Gunderson, Christopher R.
Minton, David H.
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Traditionally, the US military has sought and achieved asymmetric military advantage, i.e. delivered tactical blows, quickly, in the right places. However, lately, non-state terrorists have seized the asymmetric advantage. They use cutting edge Commercial-Off-the-Shelf Information Technology (COTS IT) for agile Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence (C4I). US Military, by contrast, is hamstrung by brittle, archaic MILSPEC C3I kit, and by a crushing bureaucracy that resists refreshing the technology at anything approaching Internet speeds. Members of the US Naval Intelligence have voluntarily reached across stovepipes to re-establish tactical asymmetric advantage, through Rapid Evolutionary Acquisition (REA) of game-changing IT. It’s not about the technology per se; it’s about using IT to give warfighters “information high ground.” Accordingly, REA adapts best practices from success cases in government and industry. Meanwhile, Congress has demanded DoD fix its broken IT acquisition processes. This REA initiative serves as an exemplar.
Chris Gunderson is a Research Associate at the Naval Postgraduate School. He is the principal investigator of the Open Enterprise Information System (OEIS) research initiative. This project sponsored by the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and executed in the Northern Virginia. The project objective is to help the government improve its flawed information technology acquisition process through four key activities: Establish a collaborative network of government, industry, and academic experts who have succeeded at some aspect of OEIS; Study Internet successful stories and distill the lessons learned; Embed lessons learned into familiar government acquisition artifacts; Work with early adopting pilot projects to verify, validate, refine, and document best practices
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