Acquisition professionals can achieve results beyond their most positive expectations by approaching the current challenges and chaotic acquisition environment as operators — they can innovate and adapt tools and processes, creating networks and coalitions.
These are the times that try [our] souls.” What was said in Revolutionary War times seems as apt today. Resources are shrinking. Our workforce is changing significantly with the departure of the baby boomers. The warfighter’s needs are in great flux, creating instability in Department of Defense (DoD) and military Services requirements. The gulf between Congress and the Executive Branch continues to widen, causing inconsistent direction and uncoordinated oversight. Industry is changing how it works with DoD, adding to the turmoil. Defense acquisition, always a tough job, is getting tougher.
Is the defense acquirer’s job in a “no-win” situation? It depends on our perspective.
If we approach the challenge purely as administrators of processes, who can only do what we are explicitly told to do, we are indeed in for an unrewarding, unfulfilling time.
If we approach the challenge as operators—committed to innovating and adapting tools and processes to support our goals, creating networks and coalitions that can enlarge our ability to advance our projects, striving to understand the chaotic operational environment of federal and defense acquisition, and leveraging opportunities that come from that understanding—we can achieve results beyond our most positive expectations.
Download this article from Defense AT&L magazine here: Becoming a Chaosmeister – May-June 2015 – Defense AT&L