Defense

February 28, 2014

DOD enacts faster, more agile technology acquisitions process

Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

Information technology programs represent a considerable portion of all acquisition programs within the Defense Department, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition said Feb. 26.
In fiscal year 2010, the National Defense Authorization Act directed that DOD develop and implement new acquisitions processes for IT systems, Katrina G. McFarland said during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committees readiness and management support subcommittee.

So, based on recommendations contained in the 2009 Defense Science Board Report, the department is working to speed up the route to acquiring new systems by increasing collaboration and improving processes, McFarland said.

To do this, one must start with the defined requirement or capability, she added.
In the past, once an IT requirement or capability was defined, organizations were able to acquire only that technology which precisely met the predefined parameters.

The introduction of the IT box concept is a significant change to the IT acquisition process, McFarland said. The IT box gives organizations the ability to acquire technology that improves on already-approved technology, as long as the changes dont exceed certain parameters.

In addition to the IT box, the department has introduced interim guidance to adopt modular, open system methodology, with heavy emphasis on design for change, which will help DOD adapt to the changing IT environment, the assistant secretary said.

The policy addresses the realization that IT capabilities may evolve, so desired capabilities can be traded off against cost and initial operational capability to deliver the best product to the field in a timely manner, she said.

In accordance with the fiscal year 2011 NDAA, the department chartered the Cyber Investment Management Board, which unites IT policy and operational requirements by identifying gaps in resources and in capabilities, McFarland said. But, she said, finding personnel with the required expertise work in IT acquisitions and development is challenging.

The talent pool is small, she noted.

One way the department is working to address these challenges is through the Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund, McFarland said, which is supporting training of IT acquisitions personnel through the Defense Acquisition University.

In addition, DOD is developing a cybersecurity guidebook for program managers to assist them in understanding what cybersecurity activities are necessary at each point of the acquisition life cycle, she said.

The department will continue its efforts to operate as affordably, efficiently, and as effectively as possible, McFarland said. We are evolving our approach to acquisition for IT and recognize the distinct challenges that come with it.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Shyu: Army modernization entering ‘death spiral’

Army photograph by David Vergun Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, visits industry reps at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army after speaking on a ...
 
 
Navy photograph

U.S. Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft achieves IO

Navy photograph The U.S. Navy announced that the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye achieved Initial Operational Capability Oct. 10. IOC signifies that the first operational squadron, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125, is ma...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO2 Tim D. Godbee

USS Coronado conducts dynamic interface testing with Fire Scout

Navy photograph by PO2 Tim D. Godbee An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 prepares to land on the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) during visit, board, search ...
 

 
marine-f35b

VMX-22 gets hands on with F-35 Lightning II

Marine Corps photograph by Cpl. Owen Kimbrel An F-35B Lightning II with Marine Operational and Test Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 22 prepares to touch down aboard Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Oct. 9. This is the squadronís firs...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Krystal Jeffers

BMT trainees complete last run on closing obstacle course

Air Force photograph by SrA. Krystal Jeffers Basic military trainees swing around a bar as part of the basic military training obstacle course Sept. 24, 2014, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The obstacle course was a...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO1 Michael McNabb

USS America joins the fleet

Navy photograph by PO1 Michael McNabb Sailors and Marines assigned to amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) man the rails as they “bring the ship to life” during America’s commissioning ceremony. America...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>