Crowdsourcing defense acquisition programs
Cuthbertson, Robert A.
Dillard, John T.
Mortlock, Robert F.
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. Crowdsourcing solutions have the potential to meet the Army's modernization goals. With the rise of improved Internet access and online resources, crowdsourcing has been increasing in popularity since 2006. The benefits of crowdsourcing have been visible in commercial industry and can apply to Department of Defense (DOD) Acquisition Programs. This report identifies the overall use of crowdsourcing, looks at cases in the DOD and in industry, and analyzes strengths and weaknesses. Our findings consist of crowdsourcing strategies that can benefit the DOD and include prize competitions, open dialogue, and open-data collaboration. Integrating the crowd-force with defense contractors through online collaboration platforms can speed up the time required to find solutions and reduce program costs. Barriers include senior-level leaderships' reluctance to change, risks associated with opening up the DOD to crowdsourcing, and the DOD's unwillingness to adapt to new ways of innovation. Recommendations include that Congress pass laws directing the use of open innovation, crowdsourcing, and implementing directives across federal agencies. The best area for the DOD to implement crowdsourcing focuses on design, forecasting, and software. Lessons learned allow for better use of crowdsourcing in new modernization goals and efforts in reducing costs and fielding equipment.
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