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SWOT Analysis

Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threat (SWOT) analysis provides direction and serves as a basis for the development of marketing plans. It accomplishes this by assessing an organizations: [1]

  • Strengths: what an organization can do
  • Weaknesses: what an organization cannot do
  • Opportunities: potential favorable conditions for an organization
  • Threats: potential unfavorable conditions for an organization.

SWOT analysis is an important step in planning and its value is often underestimated despite the simplicity in creation. The role of SWOT analysis is to take the information from the environmental analysis and separate it into internal issues (strengths and weaknesses) and external issues (opportunities and threats). Once this is completed, SWOT analysis determines if the information indicates something that will assist the firm in accomplishing its objectives (a strength or opportunity), or if it indicates an obstacle that must be overcome or minimized to achieve desired results (weakness or threat).

When writing down strengths, it is imperative that they be considered from both the view of the firm as well as from the customers that are dealt with. These strengths should be realistic and not modest. A well-developed listing of strengths should be able to answer a couple of questions.

  • What are the firm’s advantages?
  • What does the firm do well?

Weaknesses should also be considered from an internal and external viewpoint. It is important that listing of firm’s weaknesses is truthful so that they may be overcome as quickly as possible. Delaying the discovery of weaknesses that already exist within a company will only further hurt the firm. A well-developed listing of weaknesses should be able to answer a few questions.

  • What can be improved?
  • What is done poorly?

Opportunities and Threats:
Companies should always focus on Opportunities and Threats in the external environment. Changes occur rapidly these days in the market place. These changes can occur in the rate of overall market growth and in the competitive, economic, political/legal, technological, or sociocultural environments. A few of the changes that accompany should focus on are:

  • Changes in the Competitive Environment
  • Changes in the Sociocultural Environment
  • Changes in the Political/Legal Environment
  • Changes in the Internal Organizational Environment

SWOT analysis it is necessary to minimize or avoid both weaknesses and threats. Weaknesses should be looked at in order to convert them into strengths. Likewise, threats should be converted into opportunities. Lastly, strengths and opportunities should be matched to optimize the potential of a firm. Applying SWOT in this fashion can obtain leverage for a company.

SWOT analysis can be extremely beneficial to those who objectively analyze their company. The marketing manager should have rough outline of potential marketing activities that can be used to take advantage of capabilities and convert weaknesses and threats. [1]


  • There will likely be many potential directions for the managers to pursue in conducting a SWOT analysis. Due to the limited resources that most firms have, it is difficult to accomplish everything at once. The manager must prioritize all marketing activities and develop specific goals and objectives for the marketing plan.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/16/2017

Program Management


A Stakeholder is a person, group, or organization that has responsibility and influence over the success of a program or system.  Key stakeholders in government acquisitions include:

  • Users or operators (most important)
  • Program Manager (PM)
  • Milestone Decision Authority (MDA)
  • Acquisition commands
  • Contractors
  • Contracts manager
  • Depots
  • Engineering department
  • Finance manager
  • Integrated Product Team (IPT)
  • Maintainers
  • Manpower
  • Personnel & training communities
  • Senior leadership
  • Suppliers
  • Test communities

The Program Manager (PM) has the critical role of establishing and implementing a systems engineering approach that includes all stakeholders and leads all participants to translate operational needs and capabilities into technically feasible, affordable, and operationally effective and suitable increments of a system. [1]

Stakeholders (including potential support providers) are identified and included in Integrated Product/Process Team (IPT) processes to build an early understanding of and buy-in for sustainment requirements and objectives. [1]

Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG) Definition
Stakeholders consist of any group or organization with a related or subsequent responsibility that is directly related to the outcome of an action or result. Generally speaking they can influence the outcome or are the recipient of the results. The range of personnel selected to participate as stakeholders is based on the outcome and processes involved. Typical stakeholders are: users or operators, acquisition commands, test communities, depots, manpower, personnel & training communities, maintainers, and suppliers.


  • It’s key to make sure all key stakeholders are identified prior to initiating any program so they can define their requirements.  Requirements changes in a the middle of a program can lead to schedule delays and cost increases.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/16/2017

Program Management

Program Deviation Report (PDR)

A Program Deviation Report (PDR) describes deviations (also called “breaches”) to the Acquisition Program Baseline (APB) to the Defense Acquisition Executive (DAE) and Component Acquisition Executives (CAEs). [1]

When the Program Manager (PM) has reason to believe that the current estimate for the program indicates that a performance, schedule, or cost threshold value will not be achieved, he or she will immediately notify the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) of the deviation. [2]

Within 30 days of the occurrence of the program deviation, the PM will submit a PDR to the MDA providing the reasons for the program deviation and the actions that need to be taken to bring the program back within the baseline parameters (if this information was not included with the original notification). [2]

Within 90 days of the occurrence of the program deviation, one of the following should have occurred: [2]

  • The program is back within APB parameters; a new APB (changing only those parameters that were breached) has been approved;
  • or an Overarching IPTs (OIPT)-level or equivalent Component-level review has been conducted to review the program manager’s proposed baseline revisions and make recommendations to the MDA regarding the parameters that were breaches. The MDA will decide, based on criteria in 10 USC 2433 and 2435, whether it is appropriate to approve a revision to the APB.

If one of the above actions has not occurred within 90 days of the program deviation, the Under Secretary of Defense (USD) Acquisition, Technology & Logistics (AT&L) for Acquisition Category (ACAT) ID programs, or if delegated, the ASD(NII) for ACAT IAM programs, or the CAE for ACAT IC and/or ACAT IAC programs, should hold a formal Program Management Review (PMR) to determine program status. [2]


AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/16/2017

Program Management

Program Support Review

The Program Support Review (PSR) is conducted to provide insight into current and future program execution through detailed analysis using the Defense Acquisition Program Support (DAPS) Methodology. The Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD) Program Support Team applies the DAPS methodology to Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAP) and Major Automated Information Support (MAIS) programs approaching a Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) review. A PSR is designed to assist the Program Managers (PM) and systems engineer prepare for Milestone A, B, and C decision reviews.

Guidebook: Defense Acquisition Program Support Methodology – Page 3

The results of a PSR are intended to provide: [1]

The PSR team will use the DAPS methodology in preparation for structuring the scope and focus of review areas of interest. During the reviews, through interviews and discussions, the PSR teams perform the following tasks: [1]

  • Identify program strengths, problems, risks and other issues,
  • Categorize and relate the defined findings (triggering vs. symptomatic),
  • Prioritize these findings with respect to program impact, and
  • Develop actionable recommendations that address final program findings (focus on root causes).

The team analyzes their PSR findings and briefs and adjudicates the documented results to and with the program managers and prime contractors prior to passing any information forward. The completed report is then forwarded to OSD management to assist with program acquisition decisions.

The PSR process includes the following nine (9) key activities:

Program Support Review (PSR) Activities

Figure: Defense Acquisition Program Support Methodology Guidebook – Page 4

With the introduction of the Pre-Engineering, Manufacturing & Development (EMD) Review prior to Milestone B, best practice would be to hold the PSR before the Pre-EMD Review to allow the program sufficient time to update key documentation prior to submission for this review. The availability of mature documentation required for the specific milestone event is a key to the success of any PSR. [1]

Program Support Team
The Program Support Team PST is composed of a team leader from SSE/AS and core subject matter expert members from OSD staff (AT&L, CAIG, DPAP, Networks and Information Integration (NII), and Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E)). Additional subject matter experts may be recruited from the Services, DoD agencies, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC), and academia based on specific assessment needs matched with individual expertise. [2]

AcqNotes and References:

Updated: 16 July 2017

PPBE Process

Major Budget Issues

A top level Service appeal of an Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Resource Management Decision (RMD) affecting a Service program, or programs, from the Service Secretary directly to the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF). The Service is usually required to provide funding offsets from other programs within the service to “buy back” programs cited as MBIs. (Source: DAU Glossary of Defense Acquisition Acronyms & Terms)

Updated: 7/13/2017

JCIDS Process

Non-Materiel Solution

A non-materiel solution is a resolution to an identified need that doesn’t require a material solution or a system to be developed. The non-materiel solution can be developed from Doctrine, Organization, Training, Leadership and Education, Personnel, Facilities and Policy (DOTMLPF-P) analysis that is derived from a Functional Solutions Analysis (FSA) in the Capabilities Bases Assessment (CBA).

Examples of a nonmaterial solution include a change in rulemaking, operational procedures or concept, or an alternative use of existing assets or human resources.

Materiel Solution Definition
Correction of a deficiency, satisfaction of a capability gap, or incorporation of new technology that results in the development, acquisition, procurement, or fielding of a new item, including ships, tanks, self-propelled weapons, aircraft, etc., and related software, spares, repair parts, and support equipment, but excluding real property, installations, and utilities, necessary to equip, operate, maintain, and support military activities without disruption as to their application for administrative or combat purposes. In the case of Family of Systems (FoS) or System of Systems (SoS) approaches, an individual materiel solution may not fully satisfy a necessary capability gap on its own. [1] 


  • A non-materiel solution is always preferred over a materiel solution.

AcqLinks and Resources:

Updated: 7/12/2017

JCIDS Process

Key Interface Profile (KIP)

Key Interface Profiles (KIP) are the technical specifications that allow access to the Global Information Grid (GIG). Systems need to conform to various KIPs based on desired functionality so they can interface properly with the GIG. KIPs are listed in CJCSI 6212.01E and are divided into three families:

  • Transport Family – covers SATCOM at various frequencies;
  • Computing Infrastructure Family – covers NETOps and computing;
  • Application Enterprise Family – covers Services and Messaging


AcqLinks References:

Updated: 7/12/2017

Space Acquisitions

NSS 03-01(Space)

Note: RECENDED on 23 March 2009, Intermit guidance has not been released to the public because it’s marked FOUO

The National Security Space Policy (NSS) 03-01 provides the guidance for the development of spaces acquisition systems for the DoD.  It provides the policies and principles that form the foundation for all space DoD programs and establishes a management framework for translating user needs and technology opportunities into stable, affordable and well-managed space acquisition programs.  The policy also identifies the specific statutory and regulatory reports and other information requirements for each Key Decision Point (KDP). The policy is published by the Secretary of the Air Force/USA.

The NSS procurement model is based on the development of space systems requiring a longer research and development phase, higher technology needs and smaller quantities.  These systems require a different procurement approach that the typical DoD 5000 model that is focused on large scale procurement. The funding profile for a typical NSS program is usually front-loaded for the longer research and development times. This requires the key decisions to be conducted earlier than the typical DoDI 5000.02 program.

Table of Content

  1. Purpose
  2. Authority
  3. Applicability
  4. DoD Space MDA Guiding Principles
  5. National Security Space (NSS) Acquisition Approach
  6. Appendix
    • NSS Acquisition Model, Key Decision Points (KDP), and Acquisition Phases
    • Defense Space Acquisitions Boards (DSAB) and Independent Program Assessment (IPA) Process
    • DoD Space Independent Cost Analysis Process
    • Key DoD Space Acquisition Documentation
  7. Enclosures
    • IPA Readiness Review Checklist and KDP Entry Criteria
    • DoD Space Acquisitions Documentation Approval / Coordination Requirements Matrix
    • DoD Space Statutory Reference Information
    • Integrated Program Summary

AcqLinks and References:

Updated 7/11/2017

Acquisition Process

Major Program Reviews

Alternative Systems Review (ASR)
The ASR is a technical review completed prior to Milestone-A  which assesses the preliminary materiel solutions that have been developed during the Materiel Solution Analysis (MSA) phase. The reviews examines each proposed materiel solution(s) to see which one has the best potential to be cost effective, affordable, operationally effective and suitable, and can be developed in a timely manner with an acceptable level of risk. The information obtained from the ASR is used in the Milestone-A review to determine if the solutions(s) under review can proceed into the Technology Maturation & Risk Reduction (TD) Phase.

System Requirements Review (SRR)
The SRR is a technical review conducted during the Technology Maturation & Risk Reduction (TD) Phase to determine the progress a program has made in defining system level requirements. This review determines the progress of the systems engineering effort and if the effort is on track with meeting the capability needs defined in the Initial Capabilities Document (ICD). The SRR is used during the Milestone-B review to determine if a program can process into the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) Phase.

Preliminary Design Review (PDR)
The PDR is a technical review conducted during the Technology Maturation & Risk Reduction (TD) Phase to determine if a system is ready to proceed into detailed design.  It determines if the current preliminary system design meets the stated performance requirements within cost, schedule and risk. It also ensures that each function in the functional baseline has been allocated to one or more system configuration items.

Critical Design Review (CDR)
The CDR is a technical review conducted during the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) Phase to determine if a system can proceed into fabrication, demonstration, and test and can meet the stated performance requirements within cost, schedule, and risk.  This review assesses the system final design for each configuration item in the system’s product baseline to ensure it has been captured in the detailed design documentation.

Production Readiness Review (PRR)
The PRR review examines a program to determine if the design is ready for production. It determined if the prime contractor and subcontractors have accomplished production planning without incurring unacceptable levels of risks that will breach thresholds of schedule, performance and cost. The review evaluates the production-configured system to determine if it meets all system requirements and that those requirements are traceability to the final production system.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/11/2017     

Program Management

Acquisition Plan

The Acquisition Plan has now been replaced by the Acquisition Strategy.

An Acquisition Plan is a plan that documents all cost, schedule, technical, business, management, and other considerations that will govern an acquisition program and is derived from the Acquisition Strategy. It summarizes the acquisition planning discussions and identifies milestones in the acquisition process. An acquisition plan is required by DoD Instruction 5000.02 “Operation of Defense Acquisition System” prior to Milestone B and any Request For Proposal (RFP) release for the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) Phase. The plan is governed by Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 7.105 and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 207.1.

An Acquisition Plan was required when:

  1. Acquisitions for development when the total cost of all contracts for the acquisition program is estimated at $10 million or more;
  2. Acquisitions for production or services when the total cost of all contracts for the acquisition program is estimated at $50 million or more for all years or $25 million or more for any fiscal year; and
  3. Any other acquisition considered appropriate by the department or agency.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requires agencies to perform acquisition planning and conduct market research for all acquisitions in order to promote:

  • The acquisition of commercial items or, to the extent that commercial items suitable to meet the agency’s needs are not available, non-developmental items
  • Full and open competition per FAR Part 6 or, when full and open competition is not required in accordance with Part 6, to obtain competition to the maximum extent practicable.

According to FAR Part 7.105 “Contents of Written Acquisition Plans”, the content of an Acquisition Plan should include:

  • Statement of Need
  • Applicable Conditions
  • Cost
  • Capability or Performance
  • Delivery of Performance-Period Requirements
  • Trade-offs
  • Risks
  • Acquisition Streamlining
  • Source Selection Procedures
  • Contract Considerations
  • Budget and Funding
  • Product or Service Description
  • Priorities, Allocations and Allotments
  • Contractor vs. Government Performance
  • Inherently Information Requirements
  • Make or Buy
  • Test and Evaluation
  • Logistics
  • Government Furnished Equipment (GFE)
  • Environmental and Energy Conservation Objectives
  • Security Considerations
  • Contract Administration
  • Milestone Steps
  • Identification of Participants in Acquisition Plan Preparation
  • Other Considerations


  • Make sure you address each of the components of FAR Part 7.105 and DFAR Subpart 207.1.
  • Keep a copy of the Acquisition Plan in your files at all time.  It’s a good point of reference during meetings to keep everyone focused on what the key deliverables are.
  • Make sure a program understand the key tasked identified in the Acquisition Plan. These are the tasks that a program is going to be judged against when fighting for funding, resources and proceeding in the next acquisition phase.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/10/2017