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  • INTO the21st Century

    INTO the21st Century

    A Strategy for AffordabilityA Strategy for Affordability

  • acquisition organization, whether it be a program officeacquiring a new system or a logistics organizationsupporting a fielded system.

    To be successful, several changes are needed in DoDsmanagement, business, and technical practices. Manychanges are underway; others are just starting. We askyou, the reader, to focus on our challenge. Think aboutthe efficiencies and improvements the commercialsector is making and ask How can we apply them?We all must rededicate ourselves to more aggressivechange. We will make mistakes along the way. And wemay be criticized for these mistakes, but dramatic effectscan only come when we take and manage risks and beginto act more as the competitive, commercial sector does.

    Our workforce is the principal source of the innovationto achieve our goals. Thus, we must provide ourworkforce with continuous education and training tomeet the challenges of the new business paradigms. Theold way of detailed government engineering andextensive technical oversight must be replaced by strong,technical management and better use of incentives.

    We have already begun to achieve significant results inimproving products and lowering their cost. Thisstrategy seeks to reaffirm a close partnership across theDepartment to accelerate the process. We are activelysoliciting your help and ideas on changes needed at alllevels. (E-mail us at We havean open door for your ideas and will support you. Allof us need to bring about a revolution in the way wedo business.

    We are facing an unprecedented challenge tomodernize our forces in a world that demandsmore efficient as well as more effective acquisition. Tomeet that challenge, we are engaged in the Revolutionin Business Affairs. As articulated in the DefenseReform Initiative, the key elements of the Revolutionin Business Affairs will help deliver needed, modernsystems and support services to our warfighters better, faster, and cheaper. The goal is to provide theresources and processes for effective warfightingcapability in the next decade.

    For this next phase of acquisition reform, we mustfurther adapt the best world class business and technicalpractices to our needs, rationalize our infrastructure,restructure our support systems, and reduce cycle timesand ownership costs while simultaneously improvingreadiness. The Defense Systems Affordability Council(DSAC) is our forum for setting and monitoring toplevel goals, objectives, and metrics for these areas metrics which must be mirrored in each and every DoD

    Dr. Jacques S. GanslerUnder Secretary of Defense (Acquisition &

    Technology)January 20, 1999

  • The Deputy Secretary of Defense chartered theDefense Systems Affordability Council (DSAC)to develop and guide the implementation of anintegrated DoD strategy for better, faster, cheapermodernization. In this leadership role, the DSAC hasenumerated three top level goals for the Department:

    Field high-quality defense products quickly; supportthem responsively.

    Lower the total ownership cost of defense products.

    Reduce the overhead cost of the acquisition andlogistics infrastructure.

    The DSAC is organized to achieve these goals. It is ledby the Defense Acquisition Executive, and makesdecisions based on a consensus of its memberstheService Acquisition Executives and other senior policymakers from the acquisition, logistics, comptroller,programming, and requirements communities.

    These three goals interrelate in a strategic way. Theyseek to remove the barriers to change and improve theDepartments ability to be innovative in order toimprove readiness and accelerate modernization.

    Goal 1 will reduce the cycle time of DoD processes foracquisition (including development) and support.Success will act as a catalyst for reducing costs acrossthe board while improving readiness and responsivenessto changing situations. Goal 2 will reduce the totalownership costs of systems. By reducing the investmentcost for new systems, the purchasing power ofmodernization funding will increase. By reducing theoperating and support costs for fielded systems, moreresources can be made available for modernization andreadiness. Goal 3 will reduce the overhead costs ofsystems providing acquisition and support. Efficienciesachieved can be reallocated for modernization oressential support.

    Process change is needed to achieve the objectives foreach of these goals. Metrics and incentives are neededto drive change. Implementing change and measuringresults are the combined responsibility of the Office ofthe Secretary of Defense, the Services, the Joint Staff,the Defense Agencies, and industry. We have alreadybegun to achieve significant results in improving theproducts and lowering their cost. This document seeksto communicate these goals to accelerate the process.



  • The United States commercial sector hasdemonstrated an ability to develop, produce, andservice low cost, quality products in significantly lesstime than it did 10 years ago. The defense sector hasnot kept pace. Budget reductions and programinstability are often cited as the reasons, but thatexplanation avoids the fact that the defense industryneeds to make the same productivity gains achieved bythe private, commercial sector. The ability of the UnitedStates to preserve its technological advantage is at riskbecause our modernization, modification, and logisticssupport cycles are so long. Because much of thistechnology is available commercially, potentialadversaries may field it first. When DoD fields a newweapon system today, many embedded subsystems areobsolete. We cannot continue to have 10-year weaponacquisition cycles when the underlying technologybecomes obsolete in two to five years or less. Similarly,we can not afford logistic support cycles many timeslonger than the commercial counterparts. Top-levelDSAC objectives are shown below.

    (1) The average systems acquisition cycle time (mea-sured from program start to initial operatingcapability) for all program starts in FY 1999 andbeyond will be 50% shorter than historicalaverages.

    (2) Reduce logistics response time from an average of36 days (in FY 1997) to under 18 days by FY 2000,with a stretch target of five days by FY 2005.

    (3) Reduce the repair cycle times for end items andreparable parts by 10% by FY 2000 and by 25%by FY 2001 compared to FY 1997 baselines.

    Although many initiatives affect cycle time, thefollowing two initiatives will be major contributors toachieving these objectives:

    Establishing Accelerated Cycle Time Processesas the Norm: Improving the acquisition process tomake better use of evolutionary defense acquisition,integrated product and process development, modelingand simulation, and other information system

    Goal #1: Field High Quality Defense ProductsQuickly; Support Them Responsively

    capabilities is not sufficient. Better partnershipsinvolving users; the programming, budgeting andrequirements communities; the basic and appliedtechnology base developers; and test and evaluationcommunities are also vital. These partnerships arecrucial, not only in changing cultures, but also forproviding program stability that is essential in meetingthese objectives. When funding changes occur, it isincumbent upon the program manager, in concert withthe warfighter, to develop restructured program planswith an emphasis on maintaining schedule. Cycle timemust be actively managed. It must become a planningconstraint defined early in a program and enforced atall levels throughout all interacting organizations.

    Re-engineering the Logistics System: We have alogistics system that costs too much and takes too long.Advanced information systems and rapid transportationare keys to lowering cost while improving readiness andperformance. We also need to reform our inventorymanagement systems and practices (to focus onsuppliers, not supplies) and adapt commercialdistribution systems to satisfy material requirements.Commercial products today are delivered worldwidein a few days.


  • Total ownership cost of a weapon systemencompasses development, production,operations, support, and disposal. The DSAC believescosts in all ownership cost categories are too high andcan be reduced substantially if we better emulate thebest practices of the public and private sectors. Ourinitial approach is to set and achieve total ownershipcost reduction targets in a series of pilot programs.Targets will be extended to all programs and becomeincreasingly more aggressive as lessons learned areapplied across all systems. DSAC top-level objectivesare shown below:

    (1) For systems in acquisition, surpass or achieve ag-gressive Cost as an Independent Variable unitcost and total ownership cost targets (that are 20-50% below historical norms) for at least 50% ofprograms by FY 2000.

    (2) For fielded systems, reduce the logistics support costper weapon system per year compared to FY 1997baselines as follows: 7% by FY 2000; 10% by FY 2001;and a stretch target of 20% by FY 2005. The FY1997 baseline total is $82.5 billion.

    In addition to the cycle time reduction activities, thefollowing important activities will contribute to achievethese objectives:

    Integrating the Civil and Military IndustrialBases: The commercial sector is using processes thathave improved product quality and customeracceptance while maintaining or lowering costs. Tocontrol its rising costs, DoD and the defense industrymust adopt the best practices of both the private andpublic sectors. We will promote the best practices fromboth the commercial and defense industries and fromthe Government (e.g., prime vendor, competitivelysourced product support, integrated supply chains,Lean Aer


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