In this article, Michael Fischetti, executive director of the National Contract Management Association, explores what forms innovation might take in the government acquisition arena.
Innovation is defined as “the introduction of something new…a new idea, method, or device.” In business, that description includes “the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay.” Within acquisition, innovation might mean two things: wider use of new and innovative technology tools and products; or what could be called a new business (management or human resource) philosophy, government contracting policy, regulation, training initiative, strategy, type, etc. Taken further, “disruptive“ innovation helps create new markets and value networks, eventually displacing or replacing existing ones and legacy technology.
Confusion results when it isn’t clear what innovation means. No innovation is risk free, of course. Nothing new ever is. A structured, traditionally conservative acquisition community has much to be concerned with. This is justified, since despite contrary rhetoric, everyone from the program customer, senior agency or corporate leadership, oversight officials from GAO, inspector general, DCAA, DCMA, Congress, to media and industry associations, can be quick to highlight failure, but not as prominently promote success. Shortfalls in government’s acquisition performance are clear when, by the time government receives new technology, it’s already outdated, having long been used in the private sector. This perpetuates criticism mistakenly linked to existing regulations, lack of communication with industry, workforce training, etc.
In a bygone era, the government led technological change. Now it mostly follows.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/story/government/acquisition/blog/2015/05/04/fischetti-what-does-innovation-mean/26889217/