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Educating the Aerospace Industry

Blog Archives

Software Management

Open Source Software

 

Open Source Software (OSS), sometimes referred to as Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), is computer software that includes source code that can be used and modified by the user without paying licensing fees or royalties. OSS is not public domain software or freeware. It is copyrighted and includes a license agreement restricting its use, modification, and distribution. Potential benefits of OSS include better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and not being locked into a single vendor. DoD policy treats OSS in a manner similar to Commercial off-the-Shelf (COTS) software. [1]

 

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) contains more information on open source and open source licenses. The OSI is a non-profit corporation that maintains the complete Open Source Definition consisting of ten requirements that software must meet to be considered open source, and the OSI license review process which, through a public review process, ensures that licenses and software labeled as “open source” comply with the Open Source Definition and conform to existing community norms and expectations. [1,2]

 

DoD and the Air Force have established as a priority developing policy and guidance to leverage the benefits of Open Technology Development (OTD) and OSS. The DoD Open Technology Development Roadmap states; “DoD needs to use open technology design and development methodologies to increase the speed at which military systems are delivered to the warfighter, and accelerate the development of new, adaptive capabilities that leverage DoD‘s massive investments in software infrastructure.” [3]

 

AcqTips:

  • OSS license requirements may include making the source code available, publishing a copyright notice, placing a disclaimer of warranty on distributed copies, and giving any recipient of the program a copy of the license.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/7/2018

Schedule Development

Schedule Compression

 

Schedule compression is a technique used in project management to shorten an already developed schedule. This might be done to meet an updated delivery date, a new opportunity, or schedule delay. It’s done without changing the scope of the program.  There are two techniques that are commonly used in schedule compression. These are:

  • Crashing
  • Fast Tracking

 

Crashing
Crashing assigns more resources to an activity to decrease the overall time to complete it. The cost benefits of this activity have to be explored in order to make it a useful technique.  The trade-off between cost and schedule must be understood to get the best possible schedule compression.

 

Fast Tracking
Fast Tracking is the process of executing activities or phases that were originally scheduled sequentially in parallel. Activities can be overlapped, started earlier than proposed, start activities that require different resources, and may be combined activities in the schedule. This process does add risk to the schedule and program and must be executed with care.

 

AcqTips:
– Make sure you weigh the pros and cons before crashing any schedule. There is always risks involved that need to be understood.

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/20/2018

Contracts & Legal

Nunn-McCurdy Act

 

The Nunn-McCurdy Act (10 U.S.C. § 2433) requires the DoD to report to Congress whenever a Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP) experiences cost overruns that exceed certain thresholds. The purpose of the act is to help control cost growth in major defense systems by holding the appropriate Pentagon officials and defense contractors publicly accountable and responsible for managing costs. [2]

 

A Nunn-McCurdy Unit Cost Breach review activity is the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology & Logistics) USD (AT&L) process implemented to meet statutory review requirements. USD(AT&L) organizes Integrated Process Teams (IPT) to review the program, alternatives, cost estimates, and national security impacts.

 

When MDAPs experience cost growth of 15% percent from their current baseline or 30% percent from their original baseline, they are in a “significant” Nunn-McCurdy Unit Cost Breach. Sponsors must notify Congress within 45 calendar days after the report (normally program deviation report) upon which the determination is based. Sponsors must also submit a Selected Acquisition Report (SAR) with the required additional unit cost breach information. [1]

 

When MDAPs experience cost growth of 25% percent from their current baseline or 50% percent from their original baseline, they are in a “critical” Nunn-McCurdy Unit Cost Breach. Programs in “critical” breach status are subject to detailed review for potential termination. [1]

  • USD(AT&L) organizes IPTs to determine national security impact, analyze alternatives, estimate costs and review management structure.
  • The Functional Capabilities Boards (FCB), Joint Capabilities Board (JCB), and Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) participate in order to review the driving capability requirements and associated capability gaps and operational risks and provide recommendations with respect to the essentiality of the program to satisfying capability requirements which are critical to national security.
  • Joint prioritization informs the review process regarding the priority of the capability requirements driving the program under review.

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/15/2018

Logistics & Supply Management

Just-in-Time Inventory

 

Just-in-Time (JIT) is a production strategy that strives to improve a business’ return on investment by reducing in-process inventory and associated storage costs. To meet JIT objectives, the process relies on signals between different points in the process which tell production when to make the next part and what to order. Since a large inventory of items are not kept in stock, JIT requires purchasing to order new stock as needed.  Managing stock depletion is critical to the inventory reduction at the center of JIT. Implemented correctly, JIT focuses on continuous improvement and can improve a manufacturing organization’s return on investment, quality, and efficiency. To achieve continuous improvement key areas of focus could be flow, employee involvement, and quality. [1]

 

The JIT concept is considered by many to be a technique used to reduce inventories but its more than that. The complete JIT concept is an operations management philosophy whose dual objectives are to reduce waste and increase productivity. However, operationally, the basic theme of the JIT concept is that inventory is bad.  Inventory is considered undesirable for three reasons: [2]

  • It hides quality problems
  • It hides production inefficiencies and productivity problems
  • It adds unnecessary cost to the production operations: carrying cost of approximately 25 to 35 percent of the inventory value per year.

 

JIT manufacturing can be a real money-saver for a company. Companies are not only more responsive to their customers, but they also have less capital tied up in raw materials and finished goods inventory, allowing companies to optimize their transportation and logistics operations (UPS, 2003). [3]

 

JIT manufacturing results in lower total system costs and improved product quality. With JIT, some plants have reduced inventory more than fifty-percent and lead time by more than eighty-percent (Droge, 1998). JIT is lowering costs and inventory, reducing waste, and raising the quality of products. [3]

 

Weaknesses of JIT:
Just as JIT has many strong points, there are weaknesses as well. “In just-in-time, everything is very interdependent. Everyone relies on everybody else” (Greenberg, 2002). Because of this strong interdependence with JIT, a weakness in the supply chain caused by a JIT weakness can be very costly to all linked in the chain. JIT processes can be risky to certain businesses and vulnerable to the supply chain in situations such as labor strikes, interrupted supply lines, market demand fluctuations, stock-outs, lack of communication upstream and downstream in the supply chain, and unforeseen production interruptions. [3]

 

Labor strikes, stock-outs, and port lockouts can quickly disrupt an entire supply chain while JIT processes are in place. “Adhering to the just-in-time concept can be expensive in times of emergency such as at ports” (Greenburg, 2002). When a ship arriving from Asia full of supplies cannot make it to shore, the company using JIT generally has very little inventory to compensate for the emergency. This lack of inventory is exactly what makes JIT so great to companies in reducing costs, yet making it risky as well by in some cases not having enough buffer inventories to react and keep the supply chain moving. [3]

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/19/2017

Test & Evaluation

Joint Test & Evaluation

JT&E Logo

 

Joint Test and Evaluation (JT&E) Program provides quantitative Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) information used for analyzing joint military capabilities and develops potential options for increasing military effectiveness. This program complements the Acquisition Process under DoD Directive 5000.01 “The Defense Acquisition System”.  A JT&E is OT&E that brings two or more Military Departments or other Components together to: [1]

    • Assess Service system operability
    • Evaluate joint concepts and recommend improvements
    • Validate testing methodologies
    • Improve joint tactics, techniques and procedures
    • Provide feedback to the acquisition and joint operations communities
    • Improve joint tactics, techniques, and procedures

 

Handbook: Joint Test and Evaluation Program

 

The JT&E Program is composed of three (3) separate, but closely related projects:

  1. Joint Feasibility Study Joint Feasibility Study: A study to determine the need and feasibility of a proposed joint test.
  2. Joint Test: A test whose results have the potential for significant improvements in joint capabilities
  3. Quick Reaction Test::A short duration test designed to expedite solutions to emergent joint operational problems

 

JT&E Program has been established to evaluate concepts and address needs and issues that occur in joint military environments.  The program includes: [2]

  • the nomination process;
  • the Joint Feasibility Study (JFS) process, which determines whether selected nominations are needed and feasible;
  • and the execution of a JT&E project chartered by the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E).  The process and procedures for nominating and conducting a Quick Relation Test (QRT) are also included.

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/5/2018

Risk & Safety Management

Joint Services Weapon Safety Review Process

DoD Manual "Joint Services Safety Review Process" - 30 Jul 14

DoD Manual “Joint Services Safety Review Process” – 30 Jul 14

 

The Joint Services Weapon Safety Review (JSWSR) Process is used by two or more DoD Components in developing a joint program. It’s a collaborative process and is conducted in conjunction with, not in addition to, the existing Service-specific weapon safety review processes.

 

A JSWSRs will be conducted:

  • For weapons designated as joint Service weapons, including weapons resulting from a joint urgent operational need (JUON) or joint emergent operational need (JEON)
  • For weapons that are not under the purview of Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS), but two or more (multi) Services are using or are expected to use the weapons.
  • For joint weapons when changes potentially affect the safety of the weapon.
  • At the request of the program executive officer or Program Manager (PM).
  • When the Weapon Safety Review Authority (WSRA) of the lead Service for the system acquisition invites one or more of the other Services to participate in a JSWSR when special circumstances or issues regarding the handling, transportation, or storage in joint operating environments are present.

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/19/2018

Requirements Development

Joint Service Specification Guides (JSSG)

 

The Joint Service Specification Guides (JSSG) establish a common framework to be used by Government-Industry Program Teams in the Aviation Sector for developing program unique requirements documents for Air Systems, Air Vehicles, and major Subsystems. Each JSSG contains a compilation of candidate references, generically stated requirements, verification criteria, and associated rationale, guidance, and lessons learned for program team consideration. The JSSGs identify typical requirements for a variety of aviation roles and missions.

 

Document:JSSG Full Content Listing

 

Below is a list of the main JSSGs:

Program teams need to review the JSSG rationale, guidance, and lessons learned to:

  1. Determine which requirements are relevant to their application; and
  2. Fill in the blanks with appropriate, program-specific requirements.

Ordering JSSG CD ROM

Note: The JSSGs is for guidance only and can’t be cited as a requirement or placed on contract.

AcqTips:    

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/14/2018

JCIDS Process

Joint Requirements Prioritization

 

Joint prioritization of capability requirements addresses statutory responsibilities of the Joint Requirements Oversight Committee (JROC) and the Command of Joint Chief of Staff (CJCS). In addition to satisfying statutory responsibilities, Joint prioritization within Joint Capability Area (JCA) portfolios provides context for decision-makers across the Department. [1]

 

Each Functional Capabilities Board (FCB) will establish Joint priorities for all capability requirements submitted to their respective FCB portfolios in Initial Capabilities Document (ICD), Joint Emergent Operational Needs (JEON), Joint Urgent Operation Needs (JUON), or DOD Component Urgent Operation Needs (UON). [1]

  1. Successor documents: Capability Development Document (CDD), Capability Production Document (CPD), and Joint DOTMLPF Change Recommendations (DCR) – typically address capability requirements already established in ICDs, and thus do not require additional priorities and will be traceable to the capability requirements and priorities from predecessor documents. In cases where CDDs, CPDs, or Joint DCRs are submitted without a preceding ICD, Joint priorities will be established for the capability requirements contained within these documents.
  2. FCB efforts to establish Joint priorities are conducted primarily as part of JCIDS document staffing activities to facilitate low workload on the part of the FCBs, and avoid an increase to staffing timelines. Some level of initial effort will be required to establish Joint priorities for previously validated capability requirements in each FCB portfolio.
  3. Priorities determined by the Sponsor of each capability requirement will not be considered during FCB assessments of Joint priorities. Document Sponsors may participate in normal FCB and FCB Working Groups activities to ensure that pertinent information relating to the capability requirements under review may be considered by the FCBs and FCB Working Groups.

 

AcqLinks and Resources:

Updated: 7/12/2017

Acquisition Process

Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell (JRAC)

 

The Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell (JRAC) was established to meet Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUON) and Joint Emergent Operational Needs (JEON) in a quicker time frame than the standard Defense Acquisition Process approach. The JRAC rapidly assesses requirements and solutions, collaborating with the Joint Staff J-8 and the respective Combatant Commanders (COCOM), and facilitates the transfer of funds to DoD components to resolve Immediate Warfighter Needs (IWN). The JRAC provides the COCOMs the means to rapidly resolve shortfalls and capability gaps identified during ongoing operations.

 

Rapid Acquisition Fund (RAF): The RAF establishes a flexible means for the JRAC to rapidly respond in the current year to JUON and IWN from Combatant Commanders (COCOM). [1]

The JRAC reports directly to the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) (USD(AT&L)).

 

See: DoD Instruction 5000.02 “Operation of the Defense Acquisition System” – Enclosure 13

 

JRAC Procedures:

  • Commander originator recommends JUON & obtains approval of first General Officer (GO) in chain-of-command.
  • JUON submitted to COCOM for certification/prioritization.
  • COCOM rejects or certifies/prioritizes JUON and submits to Joint Staff / JRAC simultaneously.
  • With Joint Staff recommendation, JRAC designates or declines JUON as IWN within 14 days of submission to JRAC.
  • JRAC tracks IWN and facilitates its resolution and forwards to DoD Component for action.

 

SECDEF granted special authority in Bob Stump National Defense Act for Fiscal Year 2003 as amended by the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 for JRAC.

  • Waive statutes and regulations for testing and procurements – short of criminal statutes
  • $100 million in authority, per fiscal year, to move funding regardless of “color”
  • Notify Congress within 15 days of action
  • Provides valuable flexibility for quick response to Immediate Warfighter Needs in response to combat fatality

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/6/2018

PPBE Process

Joint Programming Guidance (JPG)

 

Update: The Guidance of the Development Employment of Force (GDF) and JPG have been combined and been replaced by the Defense Programming/Planning Guidance (DPPG) [2]


Joint Programming Guidance (JPG) provides the transition between the Planning Phase and Programming Phase of the PPBE Process.  It establishes the guidelines and priorities to the DoD and other defense agencies on the development of the Program Objective Memorandum (POM). The JPG document is issued by the Secretary of Defense and provides firm guidance in the form of goals, fiscal constraints, priorities, and objectives. Fiscal Guidance (FG) and JPG set specific fiscal controls and direct explicit program actions for each agency consistent with the outcome and output goals established in the Guidance for Development of the Force (GDF). It’s updated biannually. [1]

The JPG is the principal DoD planning document and reflects the President’s prioritized national security objectives drawn from the National Security Strategy (NSS), the National Military Strategy (NMS), and the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/13/2017