The DoD acquisition process has its foundation in federal policy and public law. The development, acquisition, and operation of military systems is governed by a multitude of public laws, formal DoD directives, instructions and manuals, numerous Service and Component regulations, and many inter-service and international agreements.
Managing the development and fielding of military systems requires three basic activities: technical management, business management, and contract management. As described in this book, systems engineering management is the technical management component of DoD acquisition management.
The acquisition process runs parallel to the
requirements generation process and the budgeting process (Planning,
Programming, and Budgeting System.) User requirements tend to be event driven by
threat. The budgeting process is date driven by constraints of the Congressional
calendar. Systems Engineering Management bridges these processes and must
resolve the dichotomy of event driven needs, event driven technology
development, and a calendar driven budget.
Direction and Guidance
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
provides top-level guidance for planning, budgeting, and acquisition in OMB
Circular A-11, Part 3, and the Supplemental Capital Programming Guide:
Planning, Budgeting, and Acquisition of Capital Assets, July 1997. These
documents establish the broad responsibilities and ground rules to be followed
in funding and acquiring major assets. The departments of the executive branch
of government are then expected to draft their own guidance consistent with
the guidelines established. The principal guidance for defense system
acquisitions is the DoD 5000 series of directives and regulations. These
documents reflect the actions required of DoD acquisition managers to:
Translate operational needs into stable,
Acquire quality products,
Organize for efficiency and