Decision Making in the Acquisition Community: Survey and Techniques
INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC
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During the first semester at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, all students take a course in decision making. one of the lessons in that course required the study of the many different techniques available to the decision maker in structuring his or her approach to solving a particular problem. I remember completing the readings feeling overwhelmed at the number of techniques available and how few of them I had ever used, or even heard of, in my career to date. I wondered if the decisions I had made using the few methods with which I had become familiar could have been improved if I had used another method or technique, one more suited for that situation. Those musings gave rise to an interest in investigating whether other decision makers felt the same way as I and if they were interested in expanding the decision making tools at their command. These musings resulted in my decision to find the answers to these questions through a survey conducted as part of my research project. The scope of the survey had to be pared down as a matter of practicality. In light of the role that ICAF will assume next year as the provider of the senior acquisition course, I concentrated the survey on acquisition program managers, deputies and program executive officers. Hopefully, ICAF would be able to use the findings from the survey to help structure the decision making course for those members of the acquisition workforce who attend ICAF over the next few years. By way of overview, in the first part of this paper I describe the design and intent of the survey instrument itself.
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