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Updates to Improve DAU Credential Equivalency and Fulfillmentstring;#/News/Updates-to-Improve-DAU-Credential-Equivalency-and-FulfillmentUpdates to Improve DAU Credential Equivalency and Fulfillment2021-02-26T12:00:00Z Credential Banner.png, Credential Banner.png Credential Banner.png<div class="ExternalClass4541692424284AD6B9D0939907B51AFC">Good News DAU students! Since DAU deployed credentials, there have been several documented cases where users were unable to achieve a credential because DAU Virtual Campus/CSOD did not recognize approved equivalencies/fulfillments. We are excited to share our solution to this problem.<br> <br> On March 8th, 2021, DAU will begin importing the Equivalent/Fulfillment training approvals requests that have been approved by the DACM offices entered in ATRRS. and displayed on into the user's transcript in DAU's Virtual Campus (CSOD)( Users will continue using the DACM ATRRS training application systems to request approval. DAU is receiving the approvals in a weekly file and the following process has been communicated and approved by the DACMs/DATMs.<br> <br> Right now, our plan is to migrate all (over 200k) historical records and then process new approvals on a weekly basis. The equivalents and fulfillments transcript record will show as "Exempt" on the user's CSOD transcript/training history. We are using the CSOD exemption process to record these equivalent/fulfillment approvals requests because it they will apply to prerequisites, provided credit for DAU credentials, will not provide DAU completion certificates, and will allow users to complete the DAU version of the course in the future for CLPs or new DAU course content.<br> <br> Going forward, expect the user's CSOD record to be updated with new Equivalent/Fulfillment records within 2 weeks of approval in ATRRS. DAU is evaluating the process and will provide updates if the processing time can be shortened. If the user believes their CSOD transcript has not been updated, they should please contact the DAU Help Desk (Email: | 866-568-6924, Option1) for further assistance.</div>string;#/News/Updates-to-Improve-DAU-Credential-Equivalency-and-Fulfillment
Time Management Webcast Helps the Workforce Focusstring;#/News/Time-Management-Webcast-Helps-the-Workforce-FocusTime Management Webcast Helps the Workforce Focus2021-02-24T17:00:00Z time mgmt webcast news banner.png, time mgmt webcast news banner.png time mgmt webcast news banner.png<div class="ExternalClass2A65059F76B5438595F5240DF228B24A"><p>For many, "busy-ness" is a 21st<sup> </sup>century badge of honor. Subsequently, it can take a toll on two of our most valuable commodities -- time and attention. Today’s leaders face fierce competition to maintain focus and balance in the realm of productivity — tracking endless streams of meetings and tasks while also maintaining a quality of life.</p> <p>DAU faculty member Dr. Glenn Lamartin recently hosted a recent webcast focusing on practical and educational ways to better manage time and focus on the issues that really matter. In the Feb. 3 episode of “Mastering the Strategic Moment:<strong> </strong>How to focus your time and attention to be more productive,” he prodded attendees to consider how their leadership approaches impact their ability to focus and prioritize tasks with questions such as, “How do I spend my time?,” “Why do I fear delegating?” and “How can I eliminate distractions?”</p> <p>“I would like participants to walk away with tools they can use to manage their time and focus their attention, so they can be fully present in each moment where they are needed,” Lamartin said.</p> <p>Lamartin shared powerful tips for acquisition professionals who seek to learn methods for mastering time and attention challenges. Driven by a mission to become effective, successful and resilient leaders, attendees absorbed counsel on managing time, team collaboration, prioritizing, the power of ‘no’ and setting boundaries, delegating tasks, avoiding perfectionism, self-care and conquering attention challenges such as multitasking and distractions.</p> <p>Lessons delving into scientific theories on the use of time, tools for time management and mindful practices to strengthen one’s focus were also touched on. Lamartin shared progressive thinking on leadership, supported by practical Defense acquisition examples to educate the viewers on how to apply tactics and knowledge gained in your professional role.</p> <p>Recognizing time is a finite resource, Lamartin suggested that leaders eliminate or delegate some things they are doing today.</p> <p>“The ability to recognize the things that get in the way of what they need to be doing with their time will free up space for what needs to get done,” Lamartin said.</p> <p>Acquisition professionals have an immense number of competing responsibilities, including negotiating prices, enforcing requirements and managing delivery on systems, while also considering factors such as interoperability, sustainability, cyber protection and supply chain security. Considering the spectrum of responsibility, the ability to manage time and focus attention can help improve the quality of work while also providing opportunities for professional growth.</p> <p>Lamartin's webcast is part of the Leading Acquisition series, a DAU webcast that provides acquisition professionals insight, methods and tools they can use today to grow as leaders.</p> <p>To view <em><strong>Mastering the Strategic Moment:</strong></em><strong> </strong><em>How to focus your time and attention to be more productive </em>please visit: video link pending, or to follow the Leading Acquisition webcast series, please visit: <a href="/dau-webcasts/p/Explore-Webcast-Series" target="_blank"></a></p></div>string;#/News/Time-Management-Webcast-Helps-the-Workforce-Focus



DoD Labs: A Key Contribution to the Defense Mission Labs: A Key Contribution to the Defense Mission2021-03-01T17:00:00Z,<div class="ExternalClass101DE016E8644EDAAB64B9846D04EEC6">One important way the Department of Defense (DoD) accomplishes its mission is by transferring its inventions to industry for final development and manufacture. This allows the U.S. military to leverage the innovative skills, financial resources, and rapid-response capabilities of the American private sector and benefit from discoveries in DoD’s own nationwide network of research and development labs.<br> <br> This article describes how transferring DoD lab inventions to industry benefits the U.S. defense mission. First, it provides a brief overview of technology transfer (T2). Then, it explains the various ways that license agreements (one of the major T2 mechanisms) directly support the defense mission. Next, it addresses how businesses and entrepreneurs find DoD lab inventions available for licensing. Finally, it highlights several examples of DoD lab-developed technologies that are now benefiting the U.S. Warfighter. <h2>What Is Technology Transfer?</h2> Technology transfer, in simple terms, is the exchange of technology between the public and private sectors. This exchange can flow in either direction—for example, from a DoD lab to a company, or vice versa. Alternatively, new technology can be collaboratively developed by a DoD lab and a company for their respective applications. However it occurs, T2 clearly assists DoD with its defense mission.<br> <br> The prevailing guidance for DoD T2 is summarized in Directive 5535.03: “Domestic T2 activities are integral elements of...the DoD national security mission. ... T2 supports a strong industrial base that the Department of Defense may utilize to supply DoD needs. Those activities must have a high-priority role in all DoD acquisition programs and are recognized as a key activity of the DoD laboratories and all other DoD activities (such as test, logistics, and product centers and depots and arsenals).”<br> <br> DoD has a comprehensive suite of T2 mechanisms to enable partnering with industry. Of these, license agreements are one of the most important. DoD frequently patents inventions made by its approximately 35,000 scientists and engineers. The 65 or so major DoD research facilities nationwide generate approximately 600 patented inventions a year in virtually all technology areas. Through the use of license agreements, many of these inventions, along with certain unpatented inventions (such as software and biological materials), are transferred to industry.<br> <br> License agreements enable companies to transform DoD inventions into new products that support the defense mission and benefit the U.S. economy. They are used when companies intend to produce so-called “dual use” technologies (which have both military and commercial applications), products that have strictly commercial uses, or products for sale to friendly U.S. military allies. License agreements are not needed when companies produce DoD inventions exclusively for U.S. Government use. <h2>Supporting the Defense Mission</h2> License agreements support the defense mission in several essential ways. First, unless DoD lab inventions are transferred to industry, they are not likely to be put into operational use. DoD is not in the business of manufacturing equipment, weapons, and supplies. Instead, it needs to transfer its inventions to companies for conversion into new products that the U.S. military can procure.<br> <br> Second, license agreements provide a cost-effective way to get new technology to the U.S. Warfighter. Only a minor part of the cost of a new product is the expense of developing the underlying technology to the patent stage. By licensing its inventions to industry, DoD is able to offload the very substantial costs of transforming early-stage technologies or lab-bench prototypes into new defense-related products. Industry covers the majority of the product development costs. The alternative—contracting with a defense contractor for custom design and production of a defense-related product—is usually far more expensive.<br> Third, license agreements leverage industry’s capabilities in developing and maturing technologies. While universities and federal labs conduct most basic research in the United States, industry undertakes the majority of the nation’s applied research and advanced technology development. License agreements harness industry’s capability to help get DoD inventions into the hands of the U.S. Warfighter in a timely way.<br> <br> Fourth, license agreements reduce the cost and improve the supply chain for military products that also have civilian applications. Often, the commercial market for “dual use” technologies is larger and more continuous than the military market, which waxes and wanes in direct response to the ebb and flow of military operations. Commercial sales enabled by licensing create economies of scale that reduce DoD’s procurement costs. In addition, ongoing commercial sales help sustain the defense industrial base and ensure a more reliable supply of the military versions of these products.<br> <br> Finally, license agreements engage innovative, agile companies that are not traditional defense contractors. Most DoD licensing partners are small or medium-size businesses that have not previously interacted with the DoD. Many are highly innovative and entrepreneurial. Their capabilities strengthen the U.S. defense mission. Licensing its inventions to these companies enables DoD to expand its industrial base to innovative, nontraditional defense contractors. <h2>How Businesses Find and License DoD Inventions</h2> How do businesses find DoD inventions available for licensing? Some DoD labs list available inventions on their websites, promote them at trade shows, or send out technology availability announcements. However, the majority of DoD license agreements occur through the brokering efforts of TechLink, DoD’s national T2 partnership intermediary. Since 2000, TechLink has helped DoD labs establish more than 850 license agreements with industry. It currently facilitates or brokers nearly 80 percent of DoD license agreements. TechLink’s activities are funded through a line item in the annual Air Force research, development, test and evaluation budget.<br> <br> To help companies and entrepreneurs find DoD inventions available for licensing, TechLink manages the only public-access, continuously updated database of all active DoD patents, accessible at <a href=""></a>. Entities seeking licensing opportunities can search this database by keywords, technology area, and DoD lab. The database provides the platform for TechLink’s nationwide marketing of DoD inventions. This involves targeted outreach to industry and the use of social media to promote specific licensing opportunities, communicate licensing success stories, and build awareness of the DoD lab system as a major source of innovation.<br> <br> Using this platform, TechLink identifies qualified companies and entrepreneurs interested in licensing DoD inventions. It subsequently helps them with their license applications and commercialization plans, to ensure they fully meet federal government requirements. In parallel, TechLink helps DoD labs develop effective licensing strategies. The goal is to maximize the benefits of their inventions. More generally, TechLink is helping DoD expand its use of T2 authorities to provide even greater impacts on the defense mission and U.S. economy.<br> <br> Once prospective licensees have applied for a license, TechLink remains involved in the ensuing negotiations as an objective, third-party facilitator or “honest broker.” This helps reach mutually acceptable agreements and increases the likelihood of practical application of the DoD inventions. <h2>Specific Examples</h2> The following are three representative examples of technologies developed in DoD labs—one each from the Army, Navy, and Air Force—that were successfully transferred to industry and subsequently converted into products supporting the U.S. defense mission. All three are also benefiting the national economy and/or improving the lives of American citizens. The inset box summarizes still more examples of successfully transferred DoD lab inventions. <h3><img alt="A soldier with a STORM 2 rifle-mounted laser rangefinder. U.S. Army photo" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/Mar-April_2021/MarApr2021_article01_image01.jpg" style="margin-left:3px;margin-right:3px;float:left;width:358px;height:200px;" />(1) New miniature laser resonator for rangefinders/target designators</h3> To reduce the size, weight, and cost of laser rangefinders and target designators, enabling their use on individual soldier weapons, the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, C5ISR Center, Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (Fort Belvoir, Virginia), invented a small monoblock laser resonator. This invention combines several laser components into a single strong structure (“monoblock”) that produces short-pulse, eye-safe lasers. Most notably, it is able to operate in harsh environments and withstand enormous shocks, such as those generated by the weapon systems to which the monoblock lasers are attached.<br> <br> After this novel laser was patented, the Army licensed it to Scientific Materials Corporation (Bozeman, Montana), which used its unique capabilities to manufacture the needed laser crystals and components for use in the U.S. Army’s Small Tactical Optical Rifle Mounted (STORM) Micro Laser Rangefinder (MLRF). Subsequently, Scientific Materials was acquired by FLIR Systems (Wilsonville, Oregon), the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of thermal imaging cameras, components, and imaging sensors.<br> <br> The Army laser invention now is widely deployed throughout the U.S. military on weapon systems ranging from special operator rifles to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), attack helicopters, and armored fighting vehicles. NASA also uses this laser to assist docking on the International Space Station. Commercially, the monoblock laser is used in flash lidar systems for various 3D mapping and <h3>(2) Communication systems interference minimizer and clarity enhancer</h3> The Air Force Research Laboratory, 711th Human Performance Wing (Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio), developed and patented a unique spatial processor to address an operator problem in command and control centers throughout the U.S. military. The challenge involves monitoring multiple, often overlapping conversations and making split-second decisions based on what is heard. The Air Force invented a device that creates the sensation that the multiple voices being monitored come from different spatial locations. This optimally differentiates these voices, making them more readily understandable and reducing operator stress and fatigue. The invention allows operators to effectively monitor five to eight conversations at once, compared to a maximum of three without the technology.<br> <br> <img alt="U.S. Army soldiers in 613th Air and Space Operations Center at Hickam Air Force Base. U.S. Air Force photo " src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/Mar-April_2021/MarApr2021_article01_image02.jpg" style="margin-left:3px;margin-right:3px;float:right;width:300px;height:200px;" />The Air Force licensed this unique spatial processor to Compunetix (Monroeville, Pennsylvania), a leading developer and manufacturer of digital collaboration systems. The company used the invention to develop state-of-the-art voice communications systems designed specifically for mission control centers.<br> Today, these systems are widely used for mission-critical operations by all branches of the U.S. military. In addition, they are used by NASA, the Department of Homeland Security, Drug Enforcement Agency, Centers for Disease Control, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other federal agencies. Outside the U.S. Government, these spatial processors are used by oil, gas, and power companies; airlines, railroads, and mass transit organizations; and major manufacturers needing to monitor large-scale industrial processes. <h3>(3) Detection kit for improvised explosive devices</h3> The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (Indian Head, Maryland) developed a deceptively simple invention to address one of the most challenging problems in modern warfare—the constant threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which are deployed using roadside bombs, car bombs, or suicide vests. One reason for their prevalence is that IEDs can be made using low-tech methods and readily available materials. To counter this threat, the Navy invented a simple, rapid, low-cost way to detect the basic energetic materials used in IEDs. These “explosive precursors” include ammonium nitrate, urea nitrate, potassium chlorate, and sodium chlorate.<br> <br> <img alt="U.S. troops using explosive detection kit in Afghanistan. U.S. Central Command photo, courtesy of American Innovations, Inc." src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/Mar-April_2021/MarApr2021_article01_image03.jpg" style="margin-left:3px;margin-right:3px;float:left;width:380px;height:200px;" />In areas where IEDs are prevalent, such as Afghanistan, these materials, although illegal, flow freely through the local economy and are difficult to detect. They are easily disguised as bags of cement, sugar, flour, or other bulk goods. Also, they are difficult to differentiate from legal fertilizer materials. Further complicating matters, combat zones often are highly contaminated with explosive residues, making trace-detection methods, such as the sample swabs used in U.S. airports, virtually useless.<br> <br> The Navy invention enables an easy rapid test that requires little training: a pea-sized sample of a suspected explosive material is placed in a test tube containing a small amount of water, the tube is shaken, and a test strip is inserted into the tube. If the test strip turns red or purple within 5 seconds, nitrate is present. If it remains white, a different test strip is combined with a reagent to test for chlorate, which turns the strip blue or black within 10 seconds if this chemical compound is present.<br> <br> This Navy invention was licensed to American Innovations, Inc. (Monsey, New York), which used it to produce the Bulk Homemade Explosives (HME) Precursor Detection Kit, known as AiHME. Each AiHME kit is able to perform 33 full detection tests and has a shelf life of at least three years. It weighs only 6 ounces, and can be strapped onto Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment or attached to a belt. The kit comes with simple illustrated instructions in 25 languages, including Dari, Pashtu, Arabic, Somali, and Urdu, to enable use by partner-nation security forces. The AiHME kit is credited with detecting 440 tons of illegal IED component materials in Afghanistan in 2012 alone. By helping collapse the supply-chain for IED source materials, this Navy lab invention has substantially increased safety in conflict areas for U.S. troops, coalition forces, and civilians. <h3>Other Successfully Transferred DoD Lab Inventions</h3> <ul> <li>Rapidly deployable port security barrier (PSB) to protect valuable assets within a harbor area from attack by explosives-laden watercraft traveling at high speeds. This innovative, cost-effective PSB was developed by the Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (Port Hueneme, California) in response to the attack on the USS Cole. It subsequently was exclusively licensed to Truston Technologies, now Oceanetics (Annapolis, Maryland). The company has extensively installed PSBs at Navy installations worldwide. Other customers include the U.S. Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and commercial port facilities.</li> <li>Geospatial application for smartphones called ATAK developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory, Information Directorate (Rome, New York). ATAK displays an interactive layered map showing the location of team members and other critical positions, and enables information-sharing from multiple communication sources. ATAK now is used throughout the U.S. military, particularly by special operator teams, as well as by first responders, law enforcement, and the recreational industry. It has been licensed to more than 100 companies.</li> <li>Next-generation tool for DNA analysis developed by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory—DoD’s only full-service forensic laboratory, now part of the Defense Forensic Science Center (Forest Park, Georgia). This unique software-based system enables rapid analysis of the DNA of up to three people in a single biological sample. The Army exclusively licensed the system to NicheVision Forensics (Akron, Ohio), which used it to develop a product called ArmedXpert, now used worldwide in crime laboratories.</li> <li>Innovative metal coatings developed by the Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division (Patuxent River, Maryland) that prevent corrosion, increase paint cohesion, and meet strict environmental regulations. These metal coatings have been licensed to multiple major paint and coating manufacturers. They are used extensively for U.S. military aircraft, UAVs, marine vessels, and ground vehicles, saving the DoD hundreds of millions of dollars per year in maintenance costs. These Navy-developed coatings also are used on hundreds of consumer products.</li> <li>Attenuating Custom Communication Earpiece System (ACCES), which was developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory 711th Human Performance Wing (Wright- Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio) in collaboration with Westone Laboratories (Colorado Springs, Colorado). ACCES was developed to optimize hearing protection for pilots while providing clear communications in high-noise environments. The Air Force subsequently exclusively licensed ACCES to Westone, which has developed an improved product that is widely used by both air and ground crews. By reducing noise by an average of 30 A-weighted decibels (dBAs), ACCES has significantly reduced the cost of treatment and disability for hearing loss.</li> <li>Shock-absorbing concrete known as SACON, developed by the U.S. Army Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory (Vicksburg, Mississippi) for use in firing ranges and targeted structures. This unique, fiber-reinforced concrete absorbs bullets and hand-grenade fragments and eliminates ricochets, greatly increasing safety during live-fire exercises. In addition, by trapping the lead from munitions, SACON substantially reduces the costs of hazardous waste disposal and environmental remediation. SACON has been licensed to multiple companies and is widely used in constructing live-fire training facilities for the U.S. military, National Guard, law enforcement personnel, and commercial shooting ranges.</li> </ul> <img alt="Next-generation DNA analysis is just one of the many developments by DoD Labs." src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/Mar-April_2021/MarApr2021_article01_image04.jpg" style="width:655px;height:200px;margin-left:3px;margin-right:3px;" /> <hr />Cusker is executive director of TechLink, DoD’s national technology transfer partnership intermediary. He retired as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force in 2016.<br> <br> Leach, TechLink’s associate director, oversees the organization’s technology licensing program for the DoD laboratory system. He has a PhD in materials science and engineering.<br> <br> Swearingen, TechLink’s senior advisor, served as TechLink’s executive director from 2000 to 2018. He has a PhD in geography.<br> <br> The authors can be contacted at <a class="ak-cke-href" href=""></a>, <a class="ak-cke-href" href=""></a>; <a class="ak-cke-href" href=""></a>.</div>string;#/library/defense-atl/blog/A-Key-Contribution-to-the-Defense-Mission
Please Change the Acquisition Culture! Change the Acquisition Culture!2021-03-01T17:00:00Z,<div class="ExternalClassDFE07B4FDD124A198A9C02493CC00C98">One of the recent themes in Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition reform is the need for culture change. The consensus is that our culture is too risk-averse, too resistant to change, and too focused on compliance. While defense acquisition is a very broad subject that involves many different organizations, stakeholders, and cultures, this article will focus on an acquisition program office.<br> <br> The recent rollout of the Adaptive Acquisition Framework (AAF) provides impetus and opportunity for significant culture change. The framework empowers milestone decision authorities (MDAs) and program managers (PMs) with broad authority to plan and manage their programs. DoD Instruction 5000.02, Operation of the AAF, directs PMs to “employ a thoughtful, innovative, and disciplined approach to program management” and identifies that the acquisition system needs a culture of performance. PMs should ensure that the culture in their program office suits the new landscape, including actions to shift away from the legacy culture they may have inherited.<br> <br> MDAs and PMs cannot go it alone when addressing acquisition culture change. Congress plays an important role by enabling the change through statutory language that DoD receives every year in defense authorization acts and other statutes. All the oversight and emphasis on legal, regulatory, and policy requirements have contributed to a compliance-focused acquisition environment. Changing this culture, which has existed for decades, will not be easy and must be a concerted effort. Other key stakeholders such as the requirements, test, comptroller, and headquarters staff organizations must support the culture change as PMs rely on their collaboration for success.<br> <br> PMs plan and execute programs in a program office that can include hundreds of business, technical, and functional staff. So, assuming the PM wants to transform the program office culture, how would one go about it, what should it look like, and how would we know when we have achieved it?<br> <br> We will begin by identifying some common issues in the acquisition culture. They often appear in climate or organizational effectiveness surveys when new PMs baseline their new organization to get a feel of strengths, issues, and potential areas for improvement. As I reflect on many of these climate surveys—some of which I have helped administer for other organizations as a third-party consultant—common threads for improvement often emerge. Survey respondents identify issues such as poor communications, unclear roles and responsibilities, too many layers of management, excessive micro-management, lack of trust, and lack of empowerment.<br> <br> Many of these common issues link back to the longstanding risk-averse and compliance-focused culture. These issues will lead to behaviors that become ingrained in the organization, and we can observe the “culture in action” in the daily conversations and behaviors of staff. Newcomers to the organization will quickly learn the unwritten rules as they observe how things operate in different scenarios and routine tasks. For example, one may learn quickly that a poor quality paper or presentation is acceptable, as long as the individual submits it on time and has included a minimum of content. Even though the presentation has multiple errors and does not fully address the important issues, no one provides that feedback to the originator. The message becomes clear: Just submit something on time, even a poor product.<br> <br> Confronted with these issues, PMs should take corrective actions, as the issues will not go away and usually get worse over time. Many of these climate survey issues can be resolved by changing the organizational culture. The imperative to change the culture should follow a process that starts with a baseline of the current organization, identifies issues and weaknesses, and then addresses a plan of action for change. The process will take time to yield results, but it is well worth the time and effort. While there are numerous models from organizational development experts, Figure 1 shows an approach based on my experience and reflects many common elements found in other process models. PMs can leverage the expertise of many organization development specialists as they decide to implement such a process.<br> <br> As the model shows, the critical upfront question is what behaviors do we want to ingrain and reinforce in the new culture? One could come up with a long list, but I will discuss my top three behavior categories. Within each behavior category, I will identify an example of the desired behavior. <h3><img alt="Figure 1. An Approach to Culture Change" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/Mar-April_2021/MarApr2021_article02_figure01.jpg" style="margin-left:3px;margin-right:3px;float:right;width:357px;height:400px;" />1. Critical Thinking</h3> Outside of the functional core competencies, critical thinking is the top skill needed in defense acquisition. This skill improves with practical application and training. PMs must carefully plan how to establish a critical thinking culture and ensure that integrated product teams embrace this skill. Priority should be given to developing both individual and team skills while establishing group norms and expectations.<br> <br> One important behavior associated with critical thinking is to take an objective view of possible courses of action. This involves active listening and fact finding to avoid the tendency to jump to a conclusion after only a cursory review of information. The critical thinker applies a disciplined analytical approach to the task and employs appropriate intellectual standards throughout the process.<br> <br> Many years ago my team was recommending a sole-source business strategy based on a lack of data rights for a complex integration effort and a legacy of previous sole-source contracts. My boss suggested that I work with the project team and stakeholders to explore other alternatives, including the costs, risks, and benefits. After additional analysis and deeper thinking, we developed a strategy that avoided a sole-source contract to the original equipment manufacturer. The new approach would cost less and open the door to greater competition in subsequent contracting actions. This experience highlighted the general need to analyze alternatives and new possibilities with an open mind and fully explore the realm of the possible. Critical thinking enables these new possibilities, but only if the culture reinforces this behavior. <h3>2. Trust</h3> DoD acquisition has historically lacked trust. We see it in the continued attempts at acquisition policy reform, new policy mandates, and intense oversight. This lack of trust flows downhill and eventually lands in the program office. The data is clear on the importance of organizational trust. Studies show that organizations with high trust not only deliver better outcomes but are more desirable places to work and have higher morale.<br> <br> A common behavior associated with trust is to empower staff. A strong, motivating influence is imparted when team members see that leadership has chartered them to accomplish some important objective and they own it. People like to be challenged, but they also want the support and help they need to meet the challenge without being micro-managed.<br> <br> In my industry experience, I had no choice with a lean staff but to empower my team. The business model, unlike most government organizations, also provided a great deal of autonomy to managers in running their part of the organization. Managers at each level understood that they would be accountable for achieving their business goals. This autonomy actually enhanced communication and teamwork as managers would assess their business progress, identify barriers or issues, and seek assistance from others when appropriate. Assistance included practices such as offering aggressive price discounts, sharing resources across business centers, or approving of the hiring and firing of personnel. Compensation incentives at a larger business-unit level encouraged the teamwork and collaboration to meet the desired outcomes.<br> <br> DoD PMs should empower integrated product teams in the program office and give them the autonomy and support to develop sound plans and strategies. Once the staff believes that leadership trusts them, great things will happen. <h3>3. Continuous Learning</h3> The pace of new technology, emerging threats, and new methodologies means that acquisition professionals must improve and learn new skills. As many have suggested, if we are just staying the same and not improving, then we are going backward. Continuous learning does not necessarily mean that staff must disengage from work while taking training courses. We all have opportunities every day to learn something new.<br> <br> One of my previous organizations instituted regular “integration weeks.” These integration weeks, typically occurring during a shortened holiday week, were devoted to special topics, catch-up training, brown-bag lunch learning sessions, and other events designed to instill a culture of continuous learning. Most sessions were not mandatory, but attendance was usually very robust. As a newcomer to the organization, I asked a colleague why the learning sessions were so popular. She indicated that subject-matter experts conducted the sessions with relevant content, and there was a good exchange of ideas. Sometimes we even follow up with the experts to explore something further or to vet ideas on how to solve a problem. Continuous learners seek new ideas and knowledge and are eager to apply it on the job. <h3>Measuring Culture Change</h3> Culture change, like any significant change initiative, should involve multiple strategies and supporting actions. As we develop the change plan, we should ensure that our efforts are measurable. If we cannot measure the progress with meaningful metrics, we do not have an effective plan.<br> <br> There are many possible metrics, but they should include both soft and hard measures. By soft, we mean things like job satisfaction, trust, communications, and work environment. Climate surveys are a good tool to capture these soft measures. PMs should introduce the survey and its importance in advance and then address results of and actions to make timely improvements. It sends a bad message to the staff when communications and follow-up lag, so consider providing an interim update if needed and communicate the actions and progress.<br> <br> The hard metrics should link either directly or indirectly to business results. These measures provide insight into how well the organization is accomplishing its mission. While each organization will have unique circumstances, items such as process time, quality checks, system cycle time, cost savings, and value assessments of delivered capability are some examples. Most change models suggest establishing some early success metrics to gain confidence in the change and build momentum. <h3>Final Thoughts</h3> Many have suggested that changing the culture is the most difficult challenge in bringing about real change in acquisition. It all starts with leadership setting the standard and then leading by example. Leaders at all levels should continually reinforce the desired behaviors and avoid any temptation to revert to the old, familiar ways. It will not be easy, but now is the time to get started.<br> <br> Please share your ideas and experience with culture change. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and we can all benefit from collaborating on new ideas and methods. I am optimistic that we can complete this difficult task, but only if we fully commit to it and stay the course! <hr />Schultz is a professor of Program Management and an executive coach in DAU’s Capital and Northeast Region at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.<br> The author can be contacted at <a class="ak-cke-href" href=""></a>.</div>string;#/library/defense-atl/blog/Please-Change--the-Acquisition-Culture!



Excelsior College Offers Decades of Experience in Online Learning College Offers Decades of Experience in Online Learning2021-02-11T12:00:00Z Banner.jpg, Banner.jpg Banner.jpg<div class="ExternalClass4AB09C4CCF1F479A81340717A8D20737">This year Excelsior College is celebrating 50 years of offering non-traditional learning to adult learners across the United States and the World. As a leader in the online college community Excelsior has awarded over 197,000 degrees ranging from areas of study in Liberal Arts, Technology, Public Service, Business and Nursing. The college has developed successful online degree programs with faculty and staff that understand the challenges related to teaching and learning online and how to overcome those challenges. With so many schools shifting to online learning, Excelsior recently compiled a list of tips and resources to help students be most successful in online learning. <ol> <li>Create a Study Plan: A study plan keeps you grounded and focused to meet your goals/targets. This involves making a chart or schedule of where you need to block out time each day to accomplish your tasks. <ol style="list-style-type:lower-alpha;"> <li>Take routine breaks</li> <li>Create mini deadlines for projects</li> <li>Manage your time</li> <li>Identity and complete the most important work first</li> </ol> </li> <li>Improve Time Management: online learning requires discipline and time management skills help to achieve daily tasks. <ol style="list-style-type:lower-alpha;"> <li>Create a time log</li> <li>Identify time eaters</li> <li>Avoid perfectionism</li> <li>Adjust if current routines aren’t working</li> </ol> </li> <li>Avoid Procrastination: online learning makes you accountable to timelines and deadlines, don’t wait until the last minute to complete assignments. <ol style="list-style-type:lower-alpha;"> <li>Track excuses</li> <li>Breakdown projects</li> <li>Monitor your work environment for distractions</li> <li>Set reasonable goals</li> </ol> </li> </ol> For more information about getting started with Excelsior College and the academic partnership with DAU, visit <a href=""></a> or call <a href="tel:18448439296">(844) 843-929</a><br></div>string;#/partnerships/blog/Excelsior-College-Offers-Decades-of-Experience-in-Online-Learning
Upcoming No Cost Virtual Learning Opportunities from our Higher Education Partners! No Cost Virtual Learning Opportunities from our Higher Education Partners!2021-02-09T17:00:00Z for Offerings.png, for Offerings.png for Offerings.png<div class="ExternalClassEB1149421DAD4596BE742C2D38AB63AF"><h5 style="text-align:center;"><br> <strong>DAU's Strategic Partners are offering free e-learning opportunities and resources to the workforce! The list below is updated as information is received, so check back often for updates.</strong></h5> <address style="text-align:center;">If you are a partner school and wish to be included on this list, contact us at <a class="ak-cke-href" href=""></a></address> <address style="text-align:center;"> <address> <address> </address> </address> </address> <hr /> <h5 style="text-align:center;"><img alt="" src="/partnerships/PublishingImages/Bellevue_University.png" style="float:left;width:238px;height:45px;margin:2px 4px;" /> <u><strong> Agile Project Management Webinar – A Methodology That Generates Value</strong></u></h5> <p>The philosophy of Agile Project Management is “Motivating and empowering team members, so that projects are completed faster and with better quality”. It builds projects around motivated individuals; giving them the environment and support they need, and trust to get the job done.<br> <br> Watch this webinar with Dr. Emad Rahim, award-winning author, educator, TEDx Speaker, and Bellevue University’s Kotouc Family Endowed Chair to learn the 12 Agile Principles and how this process can contribute to successful projects in your organization.</p> <p style="text-align:center;">Link to view on-demand webinar: <a href=""></a><br> <strong>___________________________________</strong></p> <p>In the <a href="">Tuesday Take Aways</a> series, Bellevue University is sponsoring 52 weeks of inspiration, encouragement, and practical tips with world-renowned speaker, Ryan Avery. The series is designed to provide motivating, real-life tips for being THE best version of yourself. Catch the series every Tuesday at 11 a.m. (central).<br> View our additional Career resources available on-demand here: <a href=""></a></p> <div style="text-align:center;"> <hr /></div> <div style="text-align:center;"><img alt="" src="/partnerships/PublishingImages/Logo-Trimmed.png" style="width:250px;height:78px;float:left;margin:0px;" /></div> <h5 style="text-align:center;"><u><strong>Advising Day Webinar—Financial Aid 201: Grants and Loans </strong></u></h5> <div style="text-align:center;">Join your academic advisors and financial aid specialists on <strong>Wednesday, February 17</strong> for <strong>Zoom into Advising Day: Financial Aid 201.</strong></div> <div style="text-align:center;">During this Financial Aid 201 webinar, our team will discuss how you can take advantage of loan and grant opportunities to cover your college costs. They will talk about approved lenders and applications, as well as the steps to take with Excelsior College after you choose a loan or grant program. The webinar will answer frequently asked questions about using grants and loans to attend Excelsior.</div> <div style="text-align:center;">Two session times are offered for your convenience on February 17:</div> <div style="text-align:center;"><a href="">Register for Session 1</a> - <strong>11 a.m. ET</strong><br> <a href="">Register for Session 2</a> - <strong>6 p.m. ET</strong></div> <p style="text-align:center;"><strong>___________________________________</strong></p> <h5 style="text-align:center;"><strong><u>Webinar: Conflict Management</u><br> February 22 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST</strong></h5> <div style="text-align:center;"><em>“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” </em><br> Do you agree with this quote by William James?<br> Conflict management is the practice of identifying and dealing with conflicts sensibly, fairly, and efficiently. The workplace has conflicts daily, therefore, it is necessary to understand and resolve conflicts. Attend this webinar to learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy conflict, keys to effective conflict management, and the importance of effective communication to resolve conflict. Panelists for this webinar are Dr. Michele Paludi, Matthew Baird, Dr. Garry McDaniel, and Dr. Gary Stroud.</div> <div style="text-align:center;"><strong>February 22 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST</strong><br> <a href="">Click to register</a></div> <div style="text-align:center;"><em>Presented by SHRM Student Chapter at Excelsior College</em></div> <hr /> <div style="text-align:center;"><img alt="" src="/partnerships/PublishingImages/UCLA%20Extension%20Logo%20(2020).jpg" style="float:left;width:300px;margin:2px 4px;height:61px;" /></div> <div style="text-align:center;">We recognize the challenges our communities are facing today. We want to help light the way forward and give back by offering professional development and personal enrichment seminars this summer at no cost. These programs give you the opportunity to learn from experts in their field and connect with others. For your convenience and safety, all programs are offered remotely. Visit <a href=""></a> for more information.</div> <hr /></div>string;#/partnerships/blog/Upcoming-No-Cost-Virtual-Learning-Opportunities-from-our-Higher-Education-Partners!



DoD IA&E – Risk and Opportunity Managementstring;#/training/career-development/intl-acq-mgmt/blog/DoD-IAandE-–-Risk-and-Opportunity-ManagementDoD IA&E – Risk and Opportunity Management2021-02-26T17:00:00ZFrank Kenlon (Prof of Int'l Acq, DAU/DSMC-Int'l)string;#/training/career-development/intl-acq-mgmt/blog/DoD-IAandE-–-Risk-and-Opportunity-Management
End of February 2021 DAU LOG Blog Compendiumstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/End-of-February-2021-DAU-LOG-Blog-CompendiumEnd of February 2021 DAU LOG Blog Compendium2021-02-26T12:00:00ZBill Kobrenstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/End-of-February-2021-DAU-LOG-Blog-Compendium
February 2021 CRS Reports of Potential Interest (Part 2)string;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/February-2021-CRS-Reports-of-Potential-Interest-Part-2February 2021 CRS Reports of Potential Interest (Part 2)2021-02-26T12:00:00ZBill Kobrenstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/February-2021-CRS-Reports-of-Potential-Interest-Part-2
Defense Department Spotlight: Engineering in the DoDstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/Defense-Department-Spotlight-Engineering-in-the-DoDDefense Department Spotlight: Engineering in the DoD2021-02-25T12:00:00ZBill Kobrenstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/Defense-Department-Spotlight-Engineering-in-the-DoD



Leading Acquisition Series: How to build collaboration and cooperation to get things done Acquisition Series: How to build collaboration and cooperation to get things done2021-03-03T17:30:00Zstring;#/events/Leading Acquisition Series How to build collaboration
Let’s Talk Agile Webinar - DevSecOps - Enabler to Weapons System Success’s Talk Agile Webinar - DevSecOps - Enabler to Weapons System Success2021-03-03T18:00:00Zstring;#/events/Let’s-Talk-Agile-Webinar---DevSecOps---Enabler-to-Weapons-System-Success
DCMA Commercial Item Group Open Office Hour March 2021 Commercial Item Group Open Office Hour March 20212021-03-04T18:00:00Zstring;#/events/DCMA-Commercial-Item-Group-Open-Office-Hour-March-2021
Adaptive Acquisition Framework: DoD Instruction 5000.90 Cybersecurity for Acquisition Decision Authorities and Program Managers Acquisition Framework: DoD Instruction 5000.90 Cybersecurity for Acquisition Decision Authorities and Program Managers2021-03-08T17:00:00Zstring;#/events/Adaptive Acquisition Framework DoD Instruction 500090 Cybersecurity
Sustainment Series: Sustainment Enterprise Conditions, Global Conditions, Organic Industrial Base Improvement, and Achieving Predictive Maintenance Series: Sustainment Enterprise Conditions, Global Conditions, Organic Industrial Base Improvement, and Achieving Predictive Maintenance2021-03-09T16:00:00Zstring;#/events/Sustainment Series Improving Timeliness and Workload Planning
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