25 May 2010

"I'm getting better..."

Here's a headline I didn't expect to see anytime soon: "GAO report finds Pentagon acquisition becoming more efficient."

Wow. How did that happen? Apparently "the Pentagon has "made major revisions" in its weapons-buying practices to put more emphasis on learning more about requirements, technology and weapons design before starting weapons programs," according to an article by William Matthews, which quoted the GAO's Michael Sullivan. Huh. Who knew it was important to understand requirements, technology & designs BEFORE we start? Oh, that's right... JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY! It's been a nearly constant theme of GAO reports in particular over the past several years. Still, it's nice to see some of these changes actually being implemented.

Sadly, Matthews' article goes on to say "The bad news is that they probably aren't improving fast enough to avoid a fiscal crunch caused by the federal budget deficit, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and rising medical expenses and personnel costs."

So we've still got some work to do... but hey, it's a start.


Glen B. Alleman said...

My experience is not so much "knowing" the requirements before starting, it's "changing" the requirement on the way to PDR or worse after PDR.

The Dan Ward said...

Good point - I suppose they might be two sides of the same coin. If we change the requirements later it's because we didn't know then well in the first place?

But I think you're right, the issue isn't so much the knowing as the changing...

Craig Brown said...

I thought you might like this data. Turn it into a graph and be amazed.

The Dan Ward said...

Wow. I don't know if "amazed" is the right word. Maybe "horrified."

Thanks for the link!