The replies should be engaging and add insight to the discussion.
Peer 1(Derek): The title question of how to explain a complex or difficult acquisition is an ongoing reality for any MDAP or MAIS the US government might want to undertake. The National Defense Strategy has always been about overmatching adversarial capabilities. The examples provided in this week’s lesson plan are all examples of evolutionary acquisitions, which all took decades to get from milestone A to milestone C. Before milestone B program managers using JCIDS documents have to come up with the Acquisition Strategy. It is one of the results of the Analysis of Alternatives (AOA) process, the Acquisition Program Baseline (APB) is a primary program guidance document providing Key Performance Parameters (KPPs) thresholds, objectives for a systems cost, schedule, and performance. In any complex or difficult acquisition, it is in being able to define KPP’s clearly along with their corresponding thresholds, objectives for a systems cost, schedule, and performance that inform decision makers on these complex programs.
The forum discussion question of how do people and organizations learn from difficult or complicated acquisitions are defined as organization process assets (OPA’s). Also known as lessons learned, OPA’s are the collection of organizations recorded procedures that are mandated and implemented as a matter of policy or regulation which are managed and monitored by both internal and external organizations. Under the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, ASD(A) exists the Performance Assessments and Root Cause Analyses (PARCA). PARCA is a central office for major defense authorization performance assessment, root cause analysis, and earned value management (EVM), PARCA issues policies, procedures, and guidelines governing the conduct of such work by the Military Departments and the Defense Agencies. The office also evaluates the utility of performance metrics used to measure the cost, schedule, and performance of Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs) and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Defense.
Peer 2 (Brad): The topic this week for our forum is very important to me. The ability for us to learn from the difficulties we face during the contracting acquisition process and apply those lessons learned to future contracts is to me one of the most important things that we face right now. The joint strike fighter was a perfect example of how we could’ve learned from mistakes and did not. Prior to the joint strike fighter‘s inception, they were efforts on other aircraft platforms and weapons systems to establish a combined role between more than one branch of the military and have the contract produce an effective tool for all involved. Problems with the joint strike fighter are still going on today. The allowance for technology to be effective in the three branches that are trying to use it are unreasonable. The acceptable level of risk and the allowable amount of deviation to a contract that was already so broad that it was having a hard time meeting the milestones is just completely unacceptable.The title of this class defines we’re all of the problems started. If there would’ve been more thought and research put into the initial stages before we reached mile stone a, then a lot of the issues would’ve been avoided and the joint strike fighter would’ve been at least partially effective when it rolled off the assembly lines. The title of this class defines where all of the problems started. If there would’ve been more thought and research put into the initial stages before we reached milestone a, then a lot of the issues would’ve been avoided and the joint strike fighter would’ve been at least partially effective when it rolled off the assembly lines. There is still no progress in the efforts between the Navy’s program officer and the Air Force to find a common language that can be data-mined to effectively improve predictive maintenance. These are some of the questions that should have been addressed before the decision was made to move forward with a plan for a project that had a foundation based in failure. I look forward to hearing what all of you have this week, this is a very important topic to me.
Peer 3 (Mathew): His is a fascinating topic on how some procurements are fast and easy, while others take forever and have a bunch of twists and turns. There are even some that turn out to be unattainable and canceled altogether. I remember a couple of classes back. I was reporting on the revamp of the Paladin and learned about two other systems that were supposed to take over for the Paladin, the Crusader, and Future Combat System, which were both canceled. It sorts of shows that the military sometimes has tremendous and big ambitions, but in the end, they are unattainable. In other cases, it turns out to be very helpful and beneficial, even if it takes years to develop and make it to the field. Like was shown in that video about the Bradley, initially just as a troop carrier, but then changed to a more massive mix between troop carrier and tank. I always enjoyed seeing the Bradley out on routes we were working in Iraq, so I think it worked out for the better. Organizations hopefully learn that sometimes they want something outrageous but, in the end, need to realize a smaller goal might be just as useful and more attainable. Like in the article about the Navy’s P-8 that is being delivered ahead of schedule and within their budgeting requirements. It seems that the procurement has been hassle-free and doing great. That seems to be the ideal acquisition, and it would be great if most or all could go that way.