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Test and Evaluation and the ABCs: It's All about Speed

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When Lt General Charlie Croom took over as the Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency DISA in July 2005, he brought us a new message Its All about Speed. What he meant was simply this It takes us too long to get new capabilities into the hands of the warfighters. When he retired this past summer, three years after his arrival, he left a legacy of change -- of innovation -- in how we acquire and test information technologies IT in DISA. Shortly after his arrival, Lt Gen Croom cast his message of speed in these terms Adopt before Buy, Buy before Create -- the ABCs. It was a simple message to speed up the process of getting enhanced capabilities into the hands of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines that need them, we would look first for something already available in the Department -- say an Army system for example, that would satisfy a need identified by the Navy -- and adopt it for fielding to the entire Department. If there was no capability already fielded, then we would look for a commercial product and buy it for fielding to the Enterprise, then add capability in short cycles. As a last recourse, we would create it last because that approach comes with a lot of program management overhead, cumbersome decision-making processes, and sometimes heavy-handed oversight, not to mention lengthy periods of development and testing -- processes that are slow to move and adjust when its all about speed. In DISA, we are working to unite all test activities into a holistic, coherent TE model. We refer to this model as capability TE CTE. We can fundamentally change the way we acquire and test information technologies in the Department. By focusing on small improvements to capability, development cycles in sprints, and a one team, one time, one set of conditions TE model, we can simultaneously reduce time to fielding while improving product quality.

Subject Categories:

  • Information Science
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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