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Title: Services Supply Chain in the Department of Defense: Comparison of Acquisition Management Practices in Army, Navy, and Air Force
Authors: Aruna Apte
Uday M. Apte
Rene G. Rendon
Keywords: Service Supply Chain
Services Acquisition
Service Lifecycle
Contract Management
Project Management
Program Management
Issue Date: 23-Aug-2010
Publisher: Acquisition Research Program
Citation: Published--Unlimited Distribution
Series/Report no.: Services Contracting
Abstract: This paper presents the results of our empirical studies of current management practices in services acquisition in the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The primary objective of these studies was to develop a comprehensive understanding of how services acquisition is being managed within as well as across individual military Services. In these empirical studies, we developed and deployed a web-based survey to collect primary data. Specifically, we studied the current management practices in areas such as contract characteristics, and we studied acquisition management methods, including regional- or installation-level acquisition, use of the project management approach, acquisition leadership, and ownership of requirements. We also studied other program management issues such as the ability of personnel responsible for acquisition, adequacy of acquisition billets and their fill rates, and training provided to services acquisition personnel. We found that for the most part, the services contracts awarded and administered conformed to our expectation. For example, most services contracts are competitively bid, fixed-priced awards with minimal use of any type of contract incentives. The survey data also confirmed that the Navy uses a regional approach in services acquisition, while the Army and the Air Force use an installation-level approach. These differences, in turn, appear to be having important implications for other acquisition management practices, such as the use of project management and contract surveillance. One surprising finding of the study was that the project teams are often led by the contracting officer as opposed to by a formally designated project manager who is responsible for the overall success of the service project. Finally, the survey respondents indicated that the number of authorized staff positions for services acquisition was inadequate and that the existing billets were inadequately filled. The analysis and comparison of management practices in different military services was used as the basis to develop, and report in this paper, our preliminary recommendations for improving the management of the services supply chain in the Department of Defense.
Description: Contract Management / NPS Faculty Research
Appears in Collections:Sponsored Acquisition Research & Technical Reports

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