The Services and DoD are committed to pro-vide superior weapon systems and materials to the warfighter faster, and at less cost. To achieve this, the acquisition community is charged with providing "better, faster, and cheaper" material solutions. Our research shows that the practices and processes of simulation based acquisition (SBA) will help overcome many of the hurdles associated with acquiring "better, faster, and cheaper" solutions.
The phrase "better, faster, and cheaper" is deceptively simple, because the execution of this task across the Services and DoD is a complex undertaking. As many program offices will attest, this statement rings true for three reasons. First, the current Government acquisition process, with its oversight requirements and the nature of its funding, is not the most streamlined or efficient of processes. Second, many large Government acquisition programs develop complex systems, which push the limits of technology. And third, program complexity is further magnified since most of the material solutions produced are not stand-alone products. That is, they are "force multipliers" that must interface with and enhance the combat performance of other systems that are either fielded or in development. Unlike many commercial programs, therefore, the current acquisition processes (indeed the very solutions themselves) are usually complicated.
To be successful, a program office must balance the
complex relationships that exist between "better", "faster", and "cheaper."
The degree of balance is not usually measured directly, but it can be measured
in terms of the risk in meeting objectives. Risk is a measure of the inability
to achieve a program's defined performance, schedule, and cost objectives. It
has two components: the probability of failing to achieve particular
performance, schedule, or cost objectives and the consequences of failing to
achieve those objectives.1 SBA can address the first
component of risk by increasing the likelihood of producing systems that have
"better" performance, "faster" schedule, and "cheaper"