New Survey Shows Defense Acquisitions Process Inefficient, Efforts to Fix
Defense Managers Label Acquisitions Process Inefficient and Support Ways to
WASHINGTON -- March 28, 2013
Over half of federal managers describe the defense acquisitions and
procurement process as “not at all efficient,” according to a survey released
this month by the Government Business Council (GBC), Government Executive’s
research division, and Booz Allen Hamilton. Defense managers cite numerous
challenges in procuring or acquiring weapon systems, and feel recent efforts
to improve the process, including the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of
2009 and internal DoD efforts, have been ineffective. In lieu of new budget
allocations and reforms, defense managers show strong support for upgrading
existing systems and using supplementary acquisition tools, such as rapid
The report, “Streamlining the Process: Improving Defense Acquisitions through
Rapid Prototyping,” assesses the perceptions, attitudes, and experience of
defense employees regarding the use of prototyping to ease the process of
defense procurement. The study is supported by extensive secondary and primary
research including interviews with leading prototyping experts. Booz Allen and
the GBC surveyed defense employees, including a random sample of 474
Government Executive’s subscribers from both the civilian and military staffs
of the DoD, encompassing civilian grade levels of GS-11 through SES and
equivalent military ranks.
“We’re seeing an increased need for speed within prototyping defense systems
and the reason is the world is changing so fast. Not only is it changing
rapidly in terms of the kinds of challenges and threats to national security,
but also the opportunities as well as the problems posed by new technology,"
says Booz Allen Hamilton Vice President, Dr. Allan Steinhardt. “So it’s a
confluence of changing political and strategic alliances combined with
changing technology that means you quickly need to get something out there. If
you wait, it may be too late.”
Some key report findings include:
*Half of managers believe the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009
has not improved any major acquisition areas.
*Fifty-three percent of respondents rated the requirement generation phase
of acquisitions as challenging, more so than any other phase of the
*Seventy-one percent of federal managers note schedule/cost estimation as
one of their greatest challenges in the process of procurement.
*Nearly one-third of respondents have employed rapid prototyping to quickly
develop new systems, and 93 percent of those have experienced some benefit
as a result.
“According to our study, requirement generation is noted as one of the most
pressing challenges to defense managers. Prototyping may help alleviate some
of the strain by giving defense employees the opportunity to procure systems
that are not complete, but allow for iterations until they meet all needs,"
says Dana Grinshpan, Research Manager at the Government Business Council.
Of the acquisitions process, Booz Allen Hamilton Senior Vice President, Lee
Wilbur added, “The current acquisitions process is a very robust,
comprehensive process that requires many reviews, reports, and assessments.
The fundamental concern is that those take a lot of time and energy to
generate. And over the course of the project, constantly changing battlefield
and threat conditions means there will likely be changes which will complicate
the process. Thus, it’s very difficult to plan and execute a given schedule or
budget. Rapid prototyping offers a streamlined process to provide a more
responsive capability in less time and for less money.”
Listen to experts discuss the study’s results in detail, on this Webcast
Download the full report on the Government Business Council’s website:
Streamlining the Process: Improving Defense Acquisitions through Rapid
About Booz Allen Hamilton
Booz Allen Hamilton (www.boozallen.com) is a leading provider of management
and technology consulting services primarily to the U.S. government in the
defense, intelligence, and civil markets. Booz Allen Hamilton is headquartered
in McLean, Virginia, employs more than 25,000 people, and had revenue of $5.5
billion for the 12 months ended March 31, 2011 (NYSE: BAH).
About Government Business Council Industry Insights
As Government Executive Media Group’s research intelligence division, the
Government Business Council (GBC) is dedicated to advancing the business of
government through analysis, insight and analytical independence. As an
extension of Government Executive’s 40 years of exemplary editorial standards
and a commitment to the highest ethical values, the GBC partners with industry
leaders to study influential decision-makers from across the federal
government and produce intelligence-based research and analysis.
About Government Executive Media Group
As part of Atlantic Media Company, Government Executive is dedicated to the
mission of “informing and challenging the national discourse” through serving
managers and executives across government. Through its unmatched reach among
federal decision makers and industry leading marketing services, Government
Executive Media Group is uniquely capable of helping companies achieve
breakthrough business results in the federal market. For more information
about Government Executive Media Group, visit
Booz Allen Hamilton
Carrie Lake, 703-377-7785
Government Business Council
Dana Grinshpan, 202-266-7862
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