1.2 - THE CHANGING ACQUISITION
Over the past 30 years, acquisition professionals have witnessed numerous changes in Department of Defense policy dealing with research and development and the procurement of systems and their support. Early directives emphasized an arms-length relationship with the defense industry, compliance with detailed regulations, cumbersome non-value added processes, and costly oversight/how-to-do-it procedures for the design and manufacture of our sophisticated defense systems. Interim policies stressed multi-layered review processes to reduce risk and cost growth while somehow meeting fixed program schedules. This same period also witnessed phenomenal technological advances in the development of software, computer hardware, electronics, aviation, and missile systems.
From the point of view of the system Program Manager (PM), the management environment was difficult at best and few major programs enjoyed the reputation of meeting initial cost, schedule, and sometimes, performance objectives. Life was not easy for acquisition logisti-cians either. Although "Concurrent Engineering" (which has some aspects of today's Integrated Product and Process Development) was established in the late 1970's, program office functionals operated as "stove pipe" activities in a loose alliance trying to meet common objectives.