Using Leading Indicators to Improve DoD Acquisitions
MARYLAND UNIV COLLEGE PARK CENTER FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND PRIVATE ENTERPRISE
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Leading indicators can help the Department of Defense DoD achieve product development success by drawing attention to essential elements that are automatically controlled within the commercial sector -- and are thus often overlooked by the DoD. We note that the use of any cost control approach requires a trained and experienced acquisition workforce. The workforce must have sufficient understanding of industry behavior and incentives to achieve the desired results. We have derived several features of product development that we believe can inform the creation of meaningful leading indicators. We contend that these indicators can be used in two distinct ways. First, the use of indicators will ensure that fewer programs will begin development on a weak case, thus avoiding a costly, though all too common, mistake -- initiating a program that should have not been started. Second, the use of leading indicators will provide program managers with earlier warnings of impending difficulties as a program progresses, which program managers can take into account to correct minor difficulties before they become costly revisions. We describe several indicators in this report Initial Program Requirements, Technology Readiness, Senior Leadership, Program Managers, Supporting Staff, Requirements Volatility, Contract Changes, Budget Stability, Funding Flexibility, and Manufacturing Readiness.
- Administration and Management
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies