Choice Among Strategies for System Acquisition.

by Alvin J. Harman

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Improving the process of acquiring major weapon systems has been the subject of analyses and policy recommendations for years, yet evidence of improvement is scant. Recent research suggests that the technological advance sought for a system is central to the predictability of costs, and thus to the choice of a development strategy. This result is confirmed when the previous subjective technological assessments are replaced by analytical ones. Moreover, a model is suggested for measuring the influence of strategy variation (using such elements as contract types or parallel development) on program performance (cost, schedule, and technical outcomes). Choice among strategies within a budget constraint can be determined by the utility of performance dimensions to counter threats. Evidence suggests that program performance flexibility is constrained by the acquisition strategy selected. 22 pp. Ref.

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