Creating a “Should Cost“ Culture Through Opportunity Management
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The 2016 Performance of the Defense Acquisition System Annual Report states, "The institution of 'should cost' management" has been a success and should be a permanent feature of the DoD's acquisition culture." Yet, inculcation into culture implies a mindset that executes cost saving opportunities throughout all levels of the acquisition workforce to the lowest level workers. Initiatives, such as Configuration Steering Boards and USAF's "Bending the Cost Curve" are important and communicate leadership engagement; however, creating a ﾓshould-costﾔ culture requires every level of the acquiring organization to continuously seek both small and large cost saving ideas. One could posit that the system engineering community has transformed from merely managing risks to expanding into exploring opportunities. However, the question becomes, are opportunities being as aggressively pursued and managed as risks? By conducting surveying, this research studies the perceptions of acquisition professionals as to the implementation of opportunity management for the purpose of determining the depth that ﾓshould-costﾔ philosophy has penetrated organizations. This study discusses methods to drive the ﾓshould-costﾔ philosophy deeper into organizations, along with the role that defense acquisition education could play.
NPS Report NumberSYM-AM-17-071
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