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Expedited Systems Engineering for Rapid Capability and Urgent Needs

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Final rept.

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This Systems Engineering Research Center SERC research topic 34 RT-34 examines expedited systems engineering SE as applied to rapid capability and urgent needs as developed in response to changing threats. The Defense Science Board DSB Task Force on the Fulfillment of Urgent Operational Needs July 2009 identified more than 20 rapid-reaction programs and organizations addressing DoD urgent warfighter needs. Later, OSDDDRE conducted a study called Rapid Capability Fielding Toolbox released in March 2010. Recently GAO has examined how well the DoD handles rapid solutions to Joint Urgent Needs, and they have also specifically examined the acquisition activities for Special Ops urgent needs. These studies determined that the standard Department of Defense acquisition process is not designed to respond to the dynamic environment of rapid acquisition. These reports and others have also documented the problems and possible solutions surrounding rapid acquisition, rapid fielding andor rapid prototyping. The recommendations have included acquisition process changes and introduction of new SE tools. Lifecycle of urgent needs programs is driven by time to market as opposed to complete satisfaction of static requirements, with delivery expected in daysmonths versus yearsdecades. The processes and practices applied to urgent needs must add value and not require an excessive bureaucratic oversight to implement, while at the same time address, understand, and manage risk such that programs can understand better where to include, truncate, or eliminate systems engineering SE practices and processes. The RT-34 research team set out with the goal to identify the factors that contribute positively to rapid acquisition focusing on the systems engineering process. One can hypothesize that certain critical success factors from those organizations that do rapid acquisition may well be transferrable to traditional acquisition.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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