||ASDG: Acquisition Strategy Decision Guide
All Things Being Equal, Some Strategies Are Preferred
D. All Things Being Equal, Some Strategies Are
Another key concept is that there
are preferences in each strategy element toward one end of the spectrum. These preferences generally offer the most
flexibility and least risk. In the three categories previously cited (sources, competition and
support), commercial and nondevelopment items are preferred over new design and development,
open competition over sole source and
commercial support and sustainment over organic support. (Figure
The bias in strategy selection
should be toward the preferred end of each line. The trick is to identify strategies as far in that direction as
possible while still remaining viable given the performance, cost and schedule constraints. Choices at
the extreme left of Figure 5 should be considered the default position. That is, they
represent a prudent Program Managerís selection given enough technical latitude, money and time.
Rationale for these preferences is provided in Figure 6.
non-development items reduce performance, schedule and cost risks by
yielding more predicted functionality, producibility and reliability.
That is, the known unknowns and unknown unknowns have been reduced
through iterative design, development and use. In other words, fewer
surprises can be expected.
Open competition with
multiple sources for system acquisition allows for the consideration of
the largest number of possible solutions as well as the most dependable
source given the technical and support
Commercial support and
sustainment should reduce cost and lead time for support because the
design/development and production contractor has developed the know-how,
technical data, and sources for the system being supported and
additional value chain links with their related cost and time do not
have to be added. See http://www.ar.navy.mil/turbo2/ (Commercial Support and Sustainment)
for a discussion of the spectrum of commercial involvement. This topic
addresses the hazards, pitfalls and challenges of increasing the level
of commercial involvement in support and
Figure 7 depicts a notional array of strategic dimensions and
several feasible strategies within each of them.
Figure 8 depicts a notional down
selection to the most promising core strategy in each strategic dimension. In this case the selections have generally
been made toward the preferred end of the continuum.