Schedule Risks Associated with Modularity
and Middle Tier Acquisition
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Major defense acquisition programs take about eight years to proceed from program initiation to an initial operational capability. This cycle time is longer than it takes adversaries to create new problems for operational military forces. Prior statutory changes have not significantly affected cycle times. Recent changes created middle tier acquisition programs intended to deliver capabilities and products in less than five years. These middle tier acquisition programs are rapid prototyping and fielding pathways with new governance, acquisition authorities and schedule duration tied to requirements approval dates. The Department of Defense acquisitions continue to evolve, and program offices must concurrently adapt to both emergent guidance and programmatic realities. Including innovations such as system modularity and agile system development methods into these new program types can create additional programmatic schedule risks and opportunities. These in-stride adaptations can affect the capability of a program office to deliver an effective system within promised cycle times. This research explored schedule growth risks associated with new acquisition pathways and process innovations. It used public data to identify schedule-related risk factors associated with middle tier acquisition and process innovations. We developed quantitative schedule models for middle tier acquisition programs to predict schedule durations and schedule risks associated with application of various innovations within rapid acquisition pathways. We identified and analyzed schedule growth risk mitigation strategies. This research contributes to the understanding of the risks and opportunities associated with recent acquisition process changes. The research results will be useful to program offices and acquisition leadership in executing current and future rapid acquisition programs.
Acquisition Research Program Sponsored Report SeriesSponsored Acquisition Research & Technical Reports
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
NPS Report NumberGWU-AM-22-007.pdf
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Bub, Kaitlyn R. (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2023-06);In support of the Defense Acquisition System and the objective to innovate, the Adaptive Acquisition Framework (AAF) was implemented. The AAF consists of tailorable pathways, which are categorized by the type of acquisition ...
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