In business, time is money. In war, time is lives. Companies and the warfighter alike are threatened by the glacial pace of current procurement cycles. Purchases that have always taken months now take years. As prominent authorities on policy have noted (citing examples such as unmanned systems and MRAP), the USG often has the most success when bypassing the system entirely: “When it is necessary to go around the system to make it work, there probably isn’t much of that system that needs saving.” (See Bill Greenwalt’s Build Fast, Effective Acquisition: Avoid the System We’ve Got at http://breakingdefense.com/2014/04/build-fast-effective-acquisition-avoid-the-system-weve-got/; see also Army Strong: Equipped, Trained, and Ready at usarmy.vo.llnwd.net/e2/c/downloads/213465.pdf.) As recommended in Greenwalt’s article, “OTAs, commercial contracting, and rapid acquisitions” should be expanded to prevent key programs from stalling and dying.
Idea No. 53