Accelerating Defense Acquisition: Faster Acquisitions Produce a Stronger Force

May 2019
Topics: National Security, Acquisition Management, Strategic Planning, Military Equipment
Peter J. Modigliani, The MITRE Corporation
Dan Ward, The MITRE Corporation
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U.S. military superiority is at risk due to rapid technological advancements changing the character of war in an increasingly complex global security environment. DoD executives fear the DoD has lost its ability to go fast and have stressed we must increase speed and agility in defense acquisition. MITRE researched organizations across DoD, government, and industry that delivered capabilities faster than comparable organizations to understand their keys to success. Based on initial research, we identified field tested, practitioner strategies across five major areas that programs can apply to accelerate deliveries.

Accelerating deliveries starts with leadership creating a culture of speed, agility, and innovation to deliver capabilities to users for mission success. Effectively scoping a program and managing requirements enables rapidly delivering an initial solution and iterating vice overly defining requirements prematurely. Designing systems faster requires embracing principles of user focus, reuse, simplicity, modularity, and open systems. Executing programs faster includes tailoring and streamlining acquisition processes, documentation, and reviews with delegated decision authorities. Contracting should be part of a holistic business strategy to leverage existing vehicles and exploring the full range of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and non-FAR strategies available. These strategies, along with new rapid acquisition pathways, enable DoD to deliver better solutions faster.

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