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The AoA: An Early Filter to Create an Affordable Program

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Journal Article

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Defense Acquisition University Fort Belvoir United States

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An analysis of alternatives AoA has long been required for major defense acquisition programs MDAPs and major automated information system MAIS programs as a matter of DoD policy DoDI 5000.02 and has recently become a requirement, as a result of the 2366 certification process and the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act WSARA of 2009. While DoD has a long history of conducting AoAs prior to initiating major programs, the new statutory guidance on AoAs has increased AoAs importance and emphasis. This is consistent with an intentional, concerted transition in the Departments acquisition culture to devoting more attention and planning to major programs earlier in the process i.e., prior to milestone B. The statutory references to AoAs are brief and could be construed as inconsequentialmerely codifying what had previously been required under DoD policy. However, the effects of the statutory guidance on AoAs have been more significant than a simple reading of the law might indicate.

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