The DoD acquisition process for the management of programs consists of a
series of phases designed to reduce risk, ensure affordability, and provide
adequate information for decision making. Acquisition officials are encouraged
to tailor programs to eliminate phases or activities that result in little
payoff in fielding time or cost savings. To effectively tailor a program, one
needs to understand the risks present in the program and to develop a plan for
managing these risks. DoD policy calls for the continual assessment of program
risks, beginning with the initial phase of an acquisition program, and the
development of management approaches before any decision is made to enter all
The application of risk management processes (planning, assessment,
identification, analysis, handling, and monitoring) is particularly important
during Concept Refinement (CR) and Technology Development (TD) Phases of any
program, when alternatives are evaluated, program objectives are established,
and the acquisition strategy is developed. All of these activities require
acceptance of some level of risk and development of plans to manage the
As a program evolves into subsequent phases, the nature of the risk
management effort will change. New assessments will be built on previous ones.
Risk areas will become more specific as the system is defined.
Risk management should also be an integral part of any Source Selection
process, from request for proposal (RFP) preparation, through proposal
evaluation, and after contract award. Throughout the program life, IPTs will
play a key role in risk management activities.