Centralized control of defense acquisition programs: a comparative review of the framework from 1987-2003
Dillard, John T.
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In the last three years, there has been a great deal of turbulence in defense acquisition policy. This has led to confusion within the acquisition workforce over the major policy thrusts, terminology, and unobvious implications of the changes. The new acquisition framework has added complexity, with more phases and delineations of activity -- and both the number and level of decision reviews have been increased. Decision reviews are typically used as top management level control gates, and are also a feature of centralized control within a bureaucracy. Although the current stated policy is to foster an environment supporting flexibility and innovation, the new framework will cause Program Managers to devote more time and other resources managing the decision bureaucracy. Moreover, the implicit aspects of the still new model have not been fully realized, and may result in policy that actually lengthens programs and delivers yesterday's technology tomorrow -- counter to goals of rapid transformation. The framework, and its associated requirements for senior level reviews, are opposed to the rapid and evolutionary policy espoused, and are counter to appropriate management strategies for a transformational era.
NPS Report NumberNPS-GSBPP-03-003
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