To quickly develop and field novel systems — which involve considerable uncertainty — the acquisition community must accept precisely the risks that traditional acquisition policies and procedures have been designed to avoid. This paper describes the special features of novel systems and then argues that fostering innovative systems requires a strategy that is more streamlined and less tied to achieving precise estimated cost, schedule, and performance outcomes than traditional acquisition processes. The authors outline the major elements of an acquisition strategy that would be more consistent with the special features of novel systems, such as a focus on unique integrations of existing and emerging technologies, a willingness to accept risks, easy and quick termination of programs not yielding expected benefits, and early test and demonstration of military utility.
Birkler, John, Untying Gulliver: Taking Risks to Acquire Novel Weapon Systems. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2009. https://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/OP268.html.
Birkler, John, Untying Gulliver: Taking Risks to Acquire Novel Weapon Systems, RAND Corporation, OP-268-OSD, 2009. As of February 1, 2023: https://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/OP268.html