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Identifying Enterprise Leverage Points in Defense Acquisition Program Performance

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Doctoral thesis

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Large, complex systems development programs in the Department of Defense are finding it more difficult to deliver desired capabilities to the end user on time and on budget than ever before. Evidence exists that almost all developmental programs on record are over cost and schedule, costing the Department and ultimately the U.S. taxpayer billions of dollars more than anticipated. Numerous studies over many decades have addressed various aspects of the problems plaguing these efforts with many recommendations. Unfortunately, most of these recommendations have been ignored or poorly implemented with limited success. This work embodies an exploratory systems approach to characterize the system of acquiring large, complex, socio-technological systems for the Department of Defense. Through a series of qualitative studies and in-depth interviews with individuals working in the Joint Capabilities Integration Development System JCIDS, the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution PPBE process, and the Acquisition system, a model of the larger enterprise of acquisition or Acquisition System was developed. The model has a scope ranging from the very early beginnings of any program through the conclusion of developmental activities. The methodology used consisted of stringing together the individual pieces of the system defined by probabilistic distributions of time and corresponding probabilistic decision points into a model ideal for discrete-event simulation. An extensive program of verification and validation of the model was carried out to increase confidence in the model and its simulation outcomes. Experimental system interventions, designed to mimic potential policy interventions andor system changes, were introduced into the model and the corresponding outcomes analyzed.

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  • Defense Systems

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