Implementing System-of-Systems Governance
MARYLAND UNIV COLLEGE PARK CENTER FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND PRIVATE ENTERPRISE
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The advances in information technology have enabled the integration of individual military weapon systems into a group of task-oriented resources that, when employed together, provide emergent capabilities. These new capabilities can be derived from the integration of new systems, legacy systems, or a combination of both. Rather than acquire individual systems platform by platform, the Department of Defense DoD can modernize a mission capability with a single, fully integrated SoS development approach. Currently, however, the DoDs culture, practices, and management structure are aligned with the acquisition of individual systems, and not with the acquisition of integrated systems-of-systems. Although this acquisition structure has produced some of the most advanced weaponry in the world, it has significant drawbacks. For example, the historic development of single platforms e.g., ships, aircraft, etc. has placed a premium on performance -- producing the best weapon system attainable -- as opposed to considering the potentially complementing capabilities of other systems in the DoD arsenal. In the SoS environment, this legacy governance structure is a growing liability. This report begins by providing a brief historical background to contextualize the growing importance of SoS governance. It then contrasts the shortcomings of traditional governance regimes with the necessary characteristics of an SoS regime. Next, the report analyzes prior attempts to acquire SoS, and the role that governance played in their successes and failures. Specifically, it examines the Coast Guards Integrated Deepwater System, the Joint Tactical Radio System, and the Armys Future Combat Systems. The report discusses program challenges, identifies specific challenges to effective SoS governance, and provides recommendations to overcome these challenges and offer what the authors believe to be the essential elements of a successful SoS governance structure.
- Administration and Management
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies