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AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 1 Optimizing U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense Review of Air Force Acquisition Programs RADM Rand Fisher, Chair Dr. Dan.

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Presentation on theme: "AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 1 Optimizing U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense Review of Air Force Acquisition Programs RADM Rand Fisher, Chair Dr. Dan."— Presentation transcript:

1 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 1 Optimizing U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense Review of Air Force Acquisition Programs RADM Rand Fisher, Chair Dr. Dan Stewart, Vice Chair

2 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 2 Bottom Line Unless they do it better than they are now, Air Force and DOD attempts to address poor acquisition program performance with additional reviews will fail The Air Force and DOD need to –Engage in timely planning for reviews –Align reviews with program decision points and milestones –Before creating new reviews, determine whether existing reviews could accomplish objectives –Staff review teams with subject matter experts –Document all review outputs

3 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 3 Background DOD spends over $300 billion per year to develop, produce, field, and sustain weapons systems –Air Force over $100 billion per year Large cost overruns and schedule delays lead to loss of confidence in acquisition system and people “DOD is not receiving expected returns on its large investment in weapon systems. Our analysis does not show any improvements in acquisition outcomes as programs continue to experience increased costs and delays in delivering capabilities to the warfighter. In fact, when compared to the performance of the fiscal year 2000 portfolio of major defense acquisition programs, cost and schedule performance for current programs is actually worse. Without improved acquisition outcomes in the future, achieving DOD’s transformational objectives in a constrained fiscal environment is highly unlikely.” (GAO, 2008)

4 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 4 Background DOD response: More reviews

5 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 5 Background Significant increase in the number and frequency of management reviews at the program, service and OSD levels since 1996 –Separate milestone reviews for evolutionary acquisition increments –Air Force reviews such as Sufficiency Reviews and IPAs –OSD-level reviews such as CSBs and PSRs –Specialty reviews (logistics, manufacturing, technical readiness –Previously discretionary reviews made mandatory


7 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 7 Background Reviews and prereviews required at multiple levels— both vertical and horizontal –Only PM experiences full breadth and depth of review process—program office must support all –Overall magnitude of review efforts significantly increases program office workload and diverts attention from day-to- day management of program No evidence of earlier work focused on impact of review process on resources spent by the program office or effect of diverting PM’s attention from day-to- day management of his or her programs

8 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 8 Background SAF/AQ requested Air Force Studies Board (NRC) investigate How can Air Force and DOD review of Air Force acquisition programs be made more effective and its cost and burden on the program manager lessened?

9 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 9 Statement of Task Examine program reviews and assessments that Air Force space and non-space system acquisition programs undergo Assess resources required to accomplish reviews Assess contribution reviews make to successful acquisition Identify overlaps Evaluate options to increase cost-effectiveness and lessen workforce impact of reviews Recommend changes that Air Force and DOD should make

10 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 10 Study Committee RAND H. FISHER, Chair, The Aerospace Corporation J. DANIEL STEWART, Vice Chair, University of Tennessee JOHN A. BETTI, Department of Defense (retired) CHRISTOPHER L. BLAKE, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics CLAUDE M. BOLTON, JR., Defense Acquisition University ALLAN V. BURMAN, Jefferson Solutions JOHN T. DILLARD, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School CHARLES E. FRANKLIN, Raytheon (retired) CHARLES L. JOHNSON II, Boeing

11 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 11 Study Committee LESLIE KENNE, LK Associates ANDREW P. SAGE, George Mason University MARK SCHAEFFER, ManTech SRS Technologies GEORGE R. SCHNEITER, Consultant ROBERT J. SKALAMERA, RJS Consulting RICHARD SZAFRANSKI, Toffler Associates RANDALL S. WEIDENHEIMER, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems REBECCA A.WINSTON, Winston Strategic Management Consultants

12 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 12 Approach Literature review Presentations to committee and interviews Comparative matrix Survey of PMs and PEOs Can changes in number, content, or sequence of reviews help PM execute program more successfully? Program success orientation + PM perspective = key question:

13 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 13 Findings Reviews are essential elements of program success –Facilitate program execution, technical and programmatic support, problem discovery and resolution –Inform decisions –Share awareness –Engender program advocacy Reviews are not “free”—there are significant costs –Money –Time spent preparing, presenting, follow-up –Attention diverted from executing program

14 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 14 Findings Many reviews do not contribute to program in proportion to their costs –In every case, those interviewed or surveyed cited significant costs to carry out reviews Most also noted adverse impact on other responsibilities –Several survey respondents cited reviews that had no positive impact on program cost, schedule, performance Some even cited reviews with negative impact

15 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 15 Findings No one in Air Force or DOD responsible for monitoring number, workload, costs, effectiveness, or impact of reviews –Many survey respondents described DOD staff as a stove- piped bureaucracy Domain “czars” have purview over breadth of programs but not horizontally integrated for knowledge sharing or synergy PMs have to prepare separate information brief for each OSD staff does not integrate information across domains for optimal decision making by MDA

16 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 16 Findings Sequencing, timing, and frequency of reviews often not tied to program schedule to most effectively support program execution –Survey respondents suggested least beneficial reviews could be more effective if conducted less frequently and at more appropriate time in program’s life cycle (generally earlier) –Speakers gave examples of requirements reviews being conducted after contracts had been awarded

17 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 17 Findings Reviews often not attended by right personnel (review principals, key stakeholders, and subject matter experts) or, in some cases, attended by too many personnel –Many reviews conducted without “right” people present –Survey respondents noted that more effort should be given to ensuring that right subject matter experts and appropriate senior officials attend program reviews and that number of attendees be limited to those who can add value to meeting

18 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 18 Findings For some reviews, number of preparatory reviews is excessive and reviews do not contribute value to program’s management –Many PMs stated that proliferation of meetings and premeetings was taking time away from management of programs –Elimination of IIPT reviews leading to more individual premeetings with Joint Staff, program management offices, and OSD –Sharing of responsibilities between NII/AT&L offices cited as another factor –“The problem isn’t the review... it’s the numerous premeetings.”

19 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 19 Findings PMs spending time on multiple reviews with similar objectives –Committee matrix named 31 formal reviews—10 identified as duplicating or partially duplicating other reviews –Survey respondents believed that selected reviews could be combined

20 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 20 Findings Purpose, scope, information needs, key issues, and expected outcomes of many reviews not specified –Often ill-defined, based on presumed agendas or issues of the day –Often no metrics for assessing effectiveness of review Many PMs found that PSRs and IPAs added value –Comprehensive in nature –Well defined processes, outcomes, and metrics –Socialized with PMs and staff –Conducted by subject matter experts –Well documented

21 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 21 Findings Reviews focus on single system instead of system of systems of which system is a part. Reviews that attempt to address larger system-of-systems perspective often unable to cope with complex interfaces among programs –Seventy percent of ACAT I PMs responding to survey characterized amount of external interface of their programs with other efforts as extensive –Survey written-in responses and PM discussions with full committee noted that some reviews did not take into account connections with and dependencies on other programs for mission accomplishment

22 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 22 Conclusions Reducing number of reviews or combining them can increase time available to PMs to more effectively manage their programs Reviews could be more effective if sequenced and timed to provide information needed for program execution Required attendance at program review meetings is not clearly communicated nor effectively controlled Streamlining or combining reviews and associated prebriefs in both vertical and horizontal directions could increase efficiency

23 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 23 Conclusions Important that program review planning is accomplished in thoughtful, purposeful manner with standard approach to address need for communication of expectations and outcomes Review format and design need to reflect greater complexity and interrelationships in current programs to ensure that system of systems works across organizational constructs

24 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 24 Key Recommendation Engage in timely planning for reviews –Governance process directed by SAE –Owner of review process including reviews, policies, control of review proliferation, pre- and post review mechanisms –Deliberate planning and direction to PM and OPR well in advance –At minimum, review direction to include objectives with metrics, materials to be supplied, criteria for success –Review team report with findings, recommendations, lessons learned –PM closeout report with action plan; open, closed, in- process items; issues or risks –SAE tracking of review process metrics

25 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 25 Key Recommendation Align reviews with program decision points and milestones –Minimize number of reviews preceding decision points and milestone –Ensure review content is pertinent –Alignment may allow reviews to be consolidated –Could reduce costs and burden on PM and staff

26 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 26 Key Recommendation Before creating new reviews, determine whether existing reviews could accomplish objectives –Determine whether broadening stakeholders for a given review could accomplish objectives rather than adding new review –Apply same criteria to all pre-reviews –Stakeholders should work together to consolidate prereview process –Establish guidance for managing prereview so it has minimal impact schedule, cost, and program management staff –Encourage OSD to do the same

27 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 27 Key Recommendation Staff review teams with subject matter experts –Maintain roster of experts in standard technical areas, taking into account back-ups, to guarantee expert is available to attend review –Prepare process guidance document for selection, formation, and use of subject matter expert teams –Consider objectives of review when staffing review team –Ensure continuity of effort—availability of subject matter experts not only during review but also for periods before and after review

28 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 28 Key Recommendation Document all review outputs –It’s a best practice to capture lessons learned, identify root causes of problems and risks, and document findings, observations, and recommendations made during review Review team report and PM closeout report –Create database for storing and sharing lessons learned; needs to be searchable and updated regularly SAE is suggested owner

29 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 29 Concluding Thoughts Together, these recommendations form a gold standard for conduct of reviews If implemented and rigorously managed by SAE, review effectiveness and efficiency can be increased Recommendations exemplify continual learning process that builds from one review to next Bottom line is to help PMs successfully execute their programs



32 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 32 Statement of Task The NRC will: 1.Review the prescribed program reviews and assessments that U.S. Air Force space and non-space system acquisition programs in all Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition categories (ACATs) are required to undergo, consistent with the various phases of the acquisition lifecycle, to verify appropriate planning has occurred prior to concept decision, Milestone/Key Decision Point (KDP) A, Milestone/KDP B, and Milestone/KDP C. 2.Assess each review and the resources required to accomplish it, including funding, manpower (people and knowhow), work effort, and time. 3.Assess the role and contribution that each review and the combined reviews make to successful acquisition.

33 AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD 33 Statement of Task (cont.) 4.Identify cases where different reviews have shared, common, or overlapping goals, objectives, content, or requirements. 5.Identify and evaluate options for streamlining, tailoring, integrating, or consolidating reviews of programs to increase the cost-effectiveness and to lessen workforce impact of the reviews as a whole, including examination and discussion of review processes used by other agencies (such as, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Energy), the other military departments (the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy), and industry. 6.Recommend changes that the Air Force and DOD should make to the reviews of Air Force programs, including review goals, objectives, content, and requirements.

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