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Title: Identifying Governance Best Practices in Systems-of-Systems Acquisition
Authors: Joshua Archer
David Berteau
Keywords: Systems-of-Systems Acquisition
Budget Constraints
Acquisition Governance Model
Program Management
Issue Date: 30-Apr-2014
Publisher: Acquisition Research Program
Citation: Published--Unlimited Distribution
Series/Report no.: Systems-of Systems
Abstract: Increasing budgetary constraints and the rapid growth of threats to global security have made the need for a new model of acquisition governance ever more obvious. In order to make better use of its defense dollars while contracting to acquire more advanced defense capabilities, the defense acquisition community in the United States needs to improve governance processes for complex acquisitions. Over the last decade, researchers at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) have studied and analyzed the increased challenges of complexity in defense acquisitions. Through workshops, conferences, and publications, CSIS has examined how the government purchases complex systems, what challenges it encounters in doing so, and what key attributes of governance can be modulated to provide more effective acquisition. The study underlying this report explored one simple question: In complex systems of systems, what best practices contribute to better, more efficient acquisitions? To answer this question, the CSIS project team reviewed its past work on complexity in acquisitions, analyzed new scholarship on the subject, and conducted detailed interviews with executives from across the defense acquisition community. This 12-month effort culminated with the production of a new model of acquisition governance model presented in this abridged version of a longer technical report on the research. The governance framework starts with eight attributes of program management, which CSIS developed under its past research on the subject. The study applied this framework to seven acquisition case examples of various sizes and complexity which have shown differing degrees of program success. CSIS also conducted 11 interviews with 17 acquisition executives and stakeholders covering each of the case examples to help identify success drivers and good governance themes. Finally, CSIS used the case studies and interviews to develop a model of acquisition governance that could help strengthen the ability of acquisition leaders to more effectively and efficiently acquire complex systems of systems (SoS). The research illustrates how best practices in the three most critical attributes, level of organizational focus, decision-making authority, and enforcement, can make the difference between success and failure of an acquisition effort. Best practices in the remaining attributes also enable the efficient production and procurement of effective systems of systems and assist mission success in large, complex acquisitions. Readers should refer to the full report for supporting evidence in the form of case studies and interview summaries.
Description: Acquisition Management / Defense Acquisition Community Contributor
Appears in Collections:Annual Acquisition Research Symposium Proceedings & Presentations

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