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Research Question

  1. How can DoD identify metrics to measure AAF performance and assess whether the pathways are achieving their goals?

The Adaptive Acquisition Framework (AAF) is intended to improve defense acquisition performance by designing pathways to accommodate the diversity of systems and services that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) acquires. As of 2022, the AAF consists of six pathways: Urgent Capability Acquisition, Middle Tier of Acquisition, Major Capability Acquisition, Software Acquisition, Defense Business Systems, and Acquisition of Services. For each pathway, the authors of this report identify an initial set of metrics that DoD can use to measure performance and assess whether the pathway is achieving its goals. The authors also identify challenges to identifying metrics, both within and across pathways.

Key Findings

  • AAF metrics should be regularly reviewed and are expected to change in response to changes in strategic goals, leadership priorities, and the results of analysis.
  • Regular and well-defined data governance and management procedures need to be in place for all pathways.
  • A high level of subject-matter expertise is required to gather, process, and analyze data and interpret results.
  • Pathway-specific data challenges are exacerbated by programs interconnected through multiple pathways.
  • The output of this initial set of metrics should be used to refine policy and process and to improve pathway performance and outcomes.

This research was sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment and conducted within the Acquisition and Technology Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD).

This report is part of the RAND research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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