Measuring Readiness and Sustainment within Analysis of Alternatives in Military Systems Acquisition
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Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) is a crucial stage in the process of acquiring a new system for the DoD. AoA is essentially a multi-criteria decision process that involves several stakeholders. An AoA is an analytical comparison of the operational effectiveness, cost, and risks of proposed materiel solutions to gaps and shortfalls in operational capability. Two of the three criteria – effectiveness (what can the system do and how its capabilities fit the operational requirements) and comparative costs of potentially viable solutions draw the most attention in such studies. The third set, risks, which typically draws somewhat less attention in an AoA than the other two, is concerned with the technical, operational, and programmatic implications for each alternative. More precisely, we describe operational risks as the long-term readiness, sustainment, and logistics requirements for the specified alternative. In this paper we study in detail the content of this set of criteria, focusing on the factors that affect the long-term viability and usefulness of an alternative, and propose Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) as the analytic framework for evaluating alternatives with respect to the criteria in this set.
The article of record as published may be found at https://www.jstor.org/stable/26957616
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