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Empowering the Workforce

The Department of Defense (DoD) is modernizing its implementation of the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) to a 21st Century talent management framework.

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Learn more about specific topics in acquisition such as agile and program protection with a Defense Acquisition Credential. Our credentials program allows you to select smaller job-focused training so you can grow and deepen your skills.

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March 2022 Open Workshops: Seats Availablestring;#/News/March-2022-Open-Workshops--Seats-AvailableMarch 2022 Open Workshops: Seats Available2022-01-21T17:00:00Z Open Workshops.png, Open Workshops.png Open Workshops.png<div class="ExternalClass4C8BB6C37FBF49CF929E38B356B17F53"><p>DAU workshops allow the workforce to quickly learn about a specific subject and leave with actionable products and information. While normally presented in intact-team formats, it's not always possible to get everyone together even if a program could benefit from the information and tools provided. Our Open Workshops bridge that gap by offering individuals from different programs and organizations a chance to come together as a team and undergo a DAU workshop while networking with like-minded peers–plus, attendees walk away with actionable skills that they can apply directly to their programs.</p> <p>The workshops are virtual and attendance is limited, so register early!<strong> </strong></p> <p style="width:70%;background-color:#eee;padding:10px;border-radius:5px;"><span style="color:#B22222;"><em><strong>Registration is now open for workshops in March.</strong></em></span><strong><span style="background-color:#FFFFFF;"> </span></strong></p> <h3><strong><u>Software Acquisition</u></strong></h3> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong><strong>WSA 001 DEVSECOPS for the DoD: Fundamentals</strong></strong></a><br> <em>Provides of overview of DevSecOps in the DoD.</em></p> <p><em>Upcoming Workshops:</em></p> <ul> <li>Feb. 8-10; Register by Feb. 3</li> <li>Mar. 15-17; Register by Mar. 10</li> </ul> <hr /> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>WSA 002 DEVSECOPS for the DoD: Security Focus Workshops</strong></a><br> <em>Provides insight into Industry through a hands on DSO pipeline demonstrations.</em></p> <ul> <li>Mar. 22-23; Register by Mar. 17</li> </ul> <hr /> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>WSA 004 Cloud Services Workshop</strong></a><br> <em>An in-depth exploration of cloud services and information to manage and migrate organizations to cloud environments.</em></p> <ul> <li>Feb. 15-17; Register by Feb. 10</li> <li>Mar. 29-31; Register by Mar. 24</li> </ul> <h3><strong><u>Contracting</u></strong></h3> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>WSC 005 Source Selection Workshop</strong></a><br> <em>Discusses the key factors of the selection process relevant to negotiated acquisitions.</em></p> <ul> <li>Mar. 1-2; Register by Feb. 24</li> </ul> <h3><strong><u>Logistics</u></strong></h3> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>WSL 001 Performance-Based Logistics</strong></a><br> <em>Examines problem-solving and statistical methodologies, and provides students with techniques to improve work processes and achieve quality improvement goals.</em></p> <ul> <li>Feb. 1-3; Register by Jan. 27</li> </ul> <hr /> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>WSL 002 Provisioning Management Workshop</strong></a><br> <em>Explains events in a typical provisioning process and practice developing models.</em></p> <ul> <li>Mar. 8-9; Register by Mar. 3</li> </ul> <hr /> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>WSL 008 Supply Chain Management Workshop</strong></a><br> <em>Provides risk mitigation techniques, roles and responsibilities for key stakeholders in procurement process.</em></p> <ul> <li>Mar. 15-17; Register by Mar. 10</li> </ul> <h3><strong><u>Cybersecurity</u></strong></h3> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>WSS 010 Cyber Training Range Workshop</strong></a><br> <em>Provides hands on laboratory exploration of adversarial cyber threats to DOD networks and weapon systems. Students will learn and execute (in the lab environment) basic offensive cyber techniques, develop system requirements to defeat the threats, implement countermeasures and assess countermeasures effectiveness.</em></p> <ul> <li>Feb. 15-17; Register by Feb. 8</li> <li>Feb. 22-24; Register by Feb. 15</li> <li>Mar. 15-17; Register by Mar. 8</li> <li>Mar. 22-24; Register by Mar. 15</li> <li>Apr. 12-14; Register by Apr. 5</li> </ul></div>string;#/News/March-2022-Open-Workshops--Seats-Available
Helping at the Ground Floor: DAU Supports the Space Forcestring;#/News/Helping-at-the-Ground-Floor--DAU-Supports-the-Space-ForceHelping at the Ground Floor: DAU Supports the Space Force2022-01-13T17:00:00Z,<div class="ExternalClass458A02D657B14EA794095C2A0E1011AE"><p>Since its establishment on December 20, 2019, the Space Force has been collaborating with the other military Services and Department of Defense organizations to stand-up best practices for supporting the warfighter. In November, the Space Force asked DAU to conduct a mission assistance workshop focused on Performance Work Statements (PWS).</p> <p>"DAU has provided on-demand training, consulting, executive coaching and other support over the past 17 years [to the organizations that now are part of the Space Force]," said John Sarakatsannis, DAU Professor of Contract Management and a liaison to Space Systems Command (SSC). DAU’s support to the SSC, formerly Space and Missiles Center, has covered a wide range of topics, including leadership development and upskilling in technical areas such as source selections and project management.</p> <p>"SSC is an important strategic partner and we have provided them with a wide variety of time-urgent workplace solutions," Sarakatsannis said. "We have become their first choice for acquisition support because of our subject matter expertise and commitment to provide specific workplace learning solutions at the point of need."</p> <p>Dr. Thomas Mahoney, DAU Professor of Contract Management, supported Space Force’s needs when they were previously aligned under the Air Force, and DAU is excited to continue to support the mission now that it falls under the purview of Space Force. Overall, DAU’s support to SSC impacts more than 6,000 members of the acquisition workforce.</p> <h3><strong>Providing Mission Assistance to SSC</strong></h3> <p>The SSC Training Director recently invited DAU to provide its Development of a Performance Statement of Work workshop to 44 Space Force personnel.</p> <p>"We were working with them to help get them smarter on the acquisition process," said DAU Mahoney. The workshop included a session that spoke about the range of contracts. DAU’s guidance focused on specific and necessary contracting skills, such as how to determine the most suitable contracting type which opened up a lot more probing questions about the benefits of each type.</p> <p>"They’re really sharp and have a tremendous wealth knowledge and experience," said Mahoney about attendees. "Everyone at DAU has to be able to perform up to their standards; the U.S. Space Force cadre is the best in the world." In addition to expert field instruction, DAU also provided attendees with ready-to-use tools and helped them to apply their knowledge to better support the Service.</p> <p>Mahoney explained to participants how the PWS influences the cost of the effort and how the government ensures it is getting the service that was contracted and paid for. The workshop addressed a variety of topics, including: requirements standards, quality assurance surveillance plans and independent government cost estimates. The workshop also provided information on how to review and understand contractors’ quality control plans, work breakdown structures, risk management plans and how Federal Acquisition Regulations Part 11 interacts with the acquisition process.<strong> </strong></p> <p>These efforts are just some examples of DAU’s strategic consulting support, and Rob Tremaine, Associate Dean for Outreach and Mission Assistance at DAU's West Region explained that DAU continues to meet with senior acquisition leaders at SSC and other key partners to explore where else DAU can provide even greater workplace impacts. “We are committed to providing world-class content and frictionless learning in the years ahead,” Sarakatsannis said.</p></div>string;#/News/Helping-at-the-Ground-Floor--DAU-Supports-the-Space-Force



The AUKUS Submarine Project AUKUS Submarine Project2022-02-20T12:00:00Z,<div class="ExternalClassC3BAFA735E794E7EBA507BD074A6136D">Despite the prospect of continuing political confrontation, a few incontrovertible facts set the course and limits for the submarine project between the member nations of the AUKUS pact—Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The project is a key attempt to strike a maritime strategic balance in the Indo-Pacific Region.<br> <br> As an experienced contractor on the Trident Submarine Command and Control System, the Surveillance Towed Array Sonar System, and the Global Positioning System, I will present my vision for the AUKUS submarine project. AUKUS will stress the existing integration engineering capabilities of its international team members for security in depth, business continuity, survivability, resilience, and teamwork.<br> <br> The AUKUS submarine project is a leading case study of acquisition sustainability within a polarized industrial competition. The superiority of U.S. defense depends on the knowledge, skills, and behaviors of the people involved in program acquisition in both government and industry. It also depends on the alignment of interests among nations.<br> <br> The United States has been in the submarine business for decades. To counter the Soviet threat in the North Atlantic, the tactical attack submarine was developed, beginning with the ability of the Virginia Class attack submarine to launch conventional weapons. Next came development of the Trident submarine, a strategic submarine beginning with the Ohio Class capability of launching long-range nuclear missiles. The emergence of the Trident submarine proved instrumental in bringing down the Iron Curtain. Coming to the end of its 40-year life, the Ohio Class will be replaced by the Columbia Class. General Dynamics and its Electric Boat Division will continue as the prime contractor.<br> <br> While the AUKUS submarine project involves a highly improved and advanced tactical class hunter-killer submarine featuring a nuclear-propulsion system and conventional weapons, its defensive weapons fall short of meeting the rumored Chinese challenge of a supersonic high-speed torpedo. <br> <br> Moreover, in addition to the acute disappointment of the French in losing their bid for the Australian submarine development, a number of questions remain concerning the key Australian participation in the project.<br> <br> The AUKUS submarine defense is fraught with confrontation among buyers and sellers both past and present, including France, the French Naval Group, Australia, and the United States. And then there is the expected tension with China. <br> <br> Continuing issues are shortfalls in funding and an educated nuclear workforce, age of the fleet, underfunded operational effectiveness, demand for spending a 60 percent fixed percentage in Australia, and high Australian exports to China. Some problems may also arise from Australian aversion to hosting any nuclear weapons capability. Consequently, the AUKUS subs will feature only conventional weapons. Then there is the need to select additional dry dock sites. <br> <br> The U.S. submarine program includes 68 submarines and serves as the point of the spear for the U.S. TRIAD mission to deliver a nuclear deterrent on land, air, and sea. The Trident submarine is considered the most reliable due to its stealth capability, even though a Swedish submarine was able to pass between two U.S. submarines undetected during “war games” in 2005. Employing a Stirling Engine to achieve silence, the Swedish submarine used its passive sonar that emits no telltale pings. The Swede eluded escort protection of a U.S. aircraft carrier and “sank” the carrier.<br> <br> Funding for TRIAD nuclear platforms and weapons is evenly split among the three U.S. military Services. Currently the aging U.S. submarine program is underfunded and consequently operating at only 75 percent effectiveness. Evidence of age and deterioration includes the loss of an Indonesian Navy Virginia Class submarine found split in three parts on the ocean floor with 53 declared dead in April 2021. Therefore, additional funding from the AUKUS submarine project for eight submarines would be useful if not essential. <br> The estimate at completion of the former French program to deliver 12 submarines was $90 billion, with $66 billion spent on six submarines. Overall, the French program, despite its best effort, was not meeting expectations. A strategic revision was considered necessary. <br> While Australia now prefers U.S. over French nuclear technology, it remains undecided who will supply the highly enriched uranium needed for nuclear propulsion. Presumably, this will be the United States. Generally, Australia has opposed housing a nuclear capability in its territory evidenced by its nuclear weapon-free zone (NWFZ) agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the International Atomic Energy Agency that formally limits involvement in nuclear weapons activities. Consequently, the AUKUS submarine will feature only conventional weapons even though it will employ a nuclear-powered propulsion system. But questions may arise when the AUKUS submarine as a whole is viewed as a weapon system. There is just one university course in nuclear engineering in Australia, and it is sparsely attended.<br> <br> How can Australia manage the nuclear component? Where will the land-based test and evaluation facility be located? Where will the eight nuclear-propelled submarines be berthed in Australia? Adelaide’s Osborne shipyard recently secured a major contract for AUKUS submarines. The AUKUS submarine 18-month study must answer these questions and many others.<br> <br> <img alt="The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS North Carolina (SSN 777) departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a regularly scheduled deployment. Source: U.S. Navy photo" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/Jan-Feb2022/janfeb2022_article7_image1.jpg" style="width:100%;" /> <h6>The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS North Carolina (SSN 777) departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a regularly scheduled deployment.<br> Source: U.S. Navy photo</h6> <h3>Pressing Questions </h3> <ul> <li>How can Australia be counted on to manage the nuclear component?</li> <li>What does the United Kingdom provide to the partnership?</li> <li>Can Australia proceed to field a nuclear-propulsion system without a close working relationship with Electric Boat?</li> <li>Beyond Adelaide, where will the land-based test and evaluation facility be located?</li> <li>Will China, which accounts for one-third of Australian exports, have significant leverage over Australia?</li> <li>Can AUKUS partners depend on Australia’s trustworthiness after its treatment of France?</li> <li>Can AUKUS proceed with confidence without a supercavitation supersonic torpedo?</li> </ul> <h2>Two Inescapable Facts </h2> The diesel-powered submarine is a thing of the past. The overwhelming advantages of nuclear-powered propulsion, including stealth and sustainable operations, are here to stay. Once turned on, the nuclear-powered propulsion system fueled by highly enriched uranium can last for 33 years and is never turned off. Longevity is limited only by the care and feeding of the crew. The United States will be the source of enriched uranium and intellectual property. The United Kingdom’s Astute class submarine from BAE Systems has been selected as the baseline design over the aging U.S. Virginia Class submarine from Electric Boat. <br> <br> Secondly, Australia’s location in the Indo-Pacific Region and its proximity to China ensure its membership in the partnership. Beyond geography, what else does Australia bring to the table, and what are its liabilities? Only liabilities come to mind. Complicating interplay among these facts is the lack of nuclear engineering capability in Australia anchored by the ASEAN and International Atomic Energy Agency agreement for an NWFZ. Furthermore, Australia has asserted that 60 percent of all expenditures for AUKUS must be made in Australia. Such a constraint has no connection to the AUKUS mission and needs to be dismissed by all partners. Also, partners may be wise to recall the lack of trustworthiness displayed by Australia in its termination of the French Naval Project earlier. <h2>Competition</h2> The AUKUS submarine project represents competition in every dimension, principally in sourcing and technology, to turn out a stealthier, speedier, and more sustainable weapon system capable of longer deployments in the Indo-Pacific Region.<br> <br> Competitiveness is based on control of the supplier, the customer, the competition, and event threats stemming from government action. The United Kingdom may become the chief supplier of the AUKUS submarine with its Astute class submarine design from BAE Systems. The United States is the chief supplier (from Electric Boat) of nuclear engineering knowledge and intellectual property for the AUKUS submarine. The international community in the Indo-Pacific Region is the principal customer. France was the front competitor before being unseated. French and Chinese attempts to frustrate the project can be expected.<br> <br> In sourcing, the AUKUS submarine project displaces France’s Naval Group—the supplier since 2016—using U.S. technology instead. This greatly upset France and prompted a brief recall of its ambassadors to the United States and Australia. Of course, the project also has upset China, at a time when tensions are rising in the Taiwan Straits. <br> <br> Australia had planned to use France’s Naval Group to replace six existing Collins class subs with 12 conventional attack class subs based on the French Barracuda class nuclear attack boat. <br> <br> Now where does the French Barracuda class submarine stack up as a competitor? In short, the French Naval Group attack class was evolutionary, not revolutionary, lacking any major new capabilities. The French offering was not competitive. In addition, the French project was over budget, increasing tension and stress between the buyer and seller, and prompting the search for a new acquisition strategy. <h2>Technology</h2> An elusive goal is to deploy a supercavitation torpedo capable of supersonic speed to counter the rumored Chinese initiative in this area. <br> While supercavitation fully promises to deliver on the goal for speed, it does so by jeopardizing accuracy and the distance within which it can operate. Furthermore, supercavitation increases noise and vibration thereby betraying the user’s position and requiring noise-canceling filters. These side effects, though perhaps surmountable, present challenging technical problems yet to be solved while meeting all the project goals. <h3>The AUKUS Submarine Technical Requirements Span</h3> <ol> <li>Nuclear-powered propulsion system for stealth, speed, and longevity </li> <li>Ship control for navigation</li> <li>Sonar for rapid, accurate, and stealthy detection using active and passive sonar and a variable length towed array of up to 1,500 feet </li> <li>Defensive weapons including a supercavitation supersonic torpedo designed for speed</li> <li>Magnetic silencing for stealth based on precise longitudinal alignment</li> <li>Noise and vibration monitoring and management for stealth and silence </li> <li>Integrated Radio Room with point-to-point, over-the-horizon, and satellite communication capabilities</li> <li>Global Positioning System for pinpoint accuracy</li> <li>Cyber-security defenses</li> </ol> <h2><img alt="A Royal Navy Astute Class submarine plies the waters in sea trials off the west coast of Scotland. This submarine class body design was selected for the AUKUS project. Photo used by permission of UK Ministry of Defence. UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/Jan-Feb2022/janfeb2022_article7_image2.jpg" style="width:100%;" /></h2> <h6>A Royal Navy Astute Class submarine plies the waters in sea trials off the west coast of Scotland. This submarine class body design was selected for the AUKUS project.<br> Photo used by permission of UK Ministry of Defence. <br> UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021</h6> <h2><br> Conclusion and Outlook</h2> Will the AUKUS submarine actually be a stealthier, speedier, and more sustainable weapon system capable of longer deployments in the Indo-Pacific Region? That is the question. Let’s assess the situation.<br> <br> The first advantage goes to Australia and its ability to berth the AUKUS submarine in the Indo-Pacific Region. This berthing advantage will contribute to a more sustainable weapon system capable of longer deployments.<br> <br> With its decades of experience combating a persistent Soviet adversary in the North Atlantic, the United States has evolved a more refined capability to deliver on the stealth objective through magnetic silencing based on precise longitudinal alignment and noise and vibration monitoring and silence management. <br> This generational experience of experimentation followed by deployment operations has equipped the United States with a refined nuclear-powered propulsion system that delivers speed and further contributes to longevity of operations.<br> <br> Similarly, the U.S. experience in developing and operating active and passive sonar as well as towed arrays cannot be duplicated without a similar expenditure of time and resources by an adversary.<br> <br> On the other hand, the Achilles heel in the AUKUS submarine project might be the relative weakness in defensive weapons due to the possible Chinese advantage in a supercavitation supersonic torpedo. The prudent baseline approach may be to settle for the conventional speed torpedo in order to avoid the side effects of incorporating the advanced technology supercavitation torpedo. <br> <br> The supersonic torpedo may be a reach too far. Here we lack experience based on iterations of usage. While speed is nice to have, stealth is a necessity and cannot be traded off. Better may be the enemy of good enough.<br> <br> Beyond the known obstacle of supercavitation, there is the lesser-known scientific challenge of delivering anechoic tiles to coat the skin of the submarine and provide stealth-improving camouflage. The rubber or synthetic crystal polymer tiles contain thousands of tiny dimples and are applied to the hulls of submarines to absorb sound emissions and improve noise and vibration management. The problem lies in the effectiveness and durability of the glue that attaches the tiling to the hull. The glue may give way under environmental conditions, including large temperature swings, pressures at 1,000 feet below the surface, and the friction of moving under water.<br> <br> The AUKUS submarine project may end up producing a paper tiger. The weak link is Australia, although its proximity to China ensures its participation. Australia lacks the knowledge, skills, and behaviors in nuclear engineering to lead in designing, building, integrating, testing, evaluating, and operating a nuclear-propelled submarine fleet focused on stealth and sustainability. <br> <br> In addition to its antipathy toward nuclear, Australia remains focused on the one-third of its exports going to China and that 60 percent of AUKUS expenditures be made in Australia. The planned 18-month study is unlikely to remedy the situation. <hr />O’Neill was president of the Center for National Software Studies from 2005 to 2008. Following 27 years with IBM’s Federal Systems Division, he completed a three-year residency at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI) under IBM’s Technical Academic Career Program and has served as an SEI Visiting Scientist and a Justice Department Litigative Consultant. A seasoned software engineering manager, technologist, and independent consultant, he has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.<br> <br> The author may be contacted at <a class="ak-cke-href" href=""></a>. <hr /> <h6>The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the Department of Defense. Reproduction or reposting of articles from Defense Acquisition magazine should credit the author and the magazine.</h6> <hr /><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="tweet" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/Sept-Oct_2021/tweetbutton.jpg" style="width:15%;border-width:0px;border-style:solid;" /></a><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="subscribe" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/Sept-Oct_2021/suscribebutton.jpg" style="width:15%;border-width:0px;border-style:solid;" /></a></div>string;#/library/defense-atl/blog/AUKUS-Submarine-Project
The Art and Science of the Workaround Art and Science of the Workaround2022-02-10T17:00:00Z,<div class="ExternalClass681EF74E89344F539B5B29044E28A1FF"><blockquote> <p>“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”<br> — Albert Einstein</p> </blockquote> Some consider defense acquisition as one of the most complex industrial processes in the world. Acquisition teams must deal with advanced technologies, challenging operational environments, frequent policy changes, fiscal uncertainty, evolving threats, and changing requirements. Stakeholders demand we go faster and deliver high quality systems that are supportable and easy to maintain. Unfortunately, program progress often will deviate from the program plan, necessitating adjustments to stay on track.<br> <br> Developing a workaround to solve an unexpected problem should be a familiar concept as we often use workarounds in our everyday lives: When something is not working as expected, we find an alternate path to achieve the desired result. Duct tape seems to be one of the more popular workaround tools to fix everything from a hole in a garden hose to a broken snow shovel. The workaround may be a temporary fix until we can employ a more suitable or enduring solution. Given the many unexpected events in defense acquisition, effective workarounds can help program teams avoid costly work stoppages and maintain progress.<br> <br> This is my definition based on experience: A workaround is a temporary solution to solve an immediate (and unexpected) problem. In an acquisition context, the word “temporary” is important because it suggests that while the solution may work at some level, it is not acceptable in the long term. However, the temporary fix can be critical in allowing the effort or task to continue, even if it is not an optimal solution. The unexpected aspect is important because it suggests we do not have the luxury of planning well in advance. Unlike risk mitigation plans that anticipate negative events, the need for a workaround is difficult to forecast. Finally, the word “immediate” indicates that we must develop workarounds with a sense of urgency; thus, the situation requires a rapid response.<br> <br> Workarounds in an operational environment can save lives and enable mission success. During the first Gulf War in 1991, distributing the Air Tasking Order (ATO) to the execution organizations was challenging due to communications and interoperability issues. The ATO disseminates a comprehensive listing of air missions for a 24-hour cycle and includes the aircraft, call signs, times, and other mission information needed for coordinated air operations. To send the ATO from the Air Component Commander (in Saudi Arabia) to the Navy carriers, the Navy had to modify ships with a “Band-Aid” communications package or physically deliver the ATO to the carrier fleet via aircraft.<br> <br> Another example from my experience highlights the importance of workarounds in acquisition. This workaround kept a major program moving forward, enabling deployment of a critical capability on schedule and within budget. The program was a command-and-control aircraft upgrade to the mission system, sensors, and communications. As background, the initial estimates for software required to perform the mission system functions were an order of magnitude lower than what was needed late in development. This initial software estimate drove the mission’s computing hardware architecture, originally designed for a significantly smaller workload of processing tasks, many of which were time sensitive.<br> <br> Test results indicated that the mission computers would lock up and crash when stressed. Unfortunately, due to technical, budget, and schedule constraints and the original software load estimates, the mission computing design could not be upgraded during development, leaving a critical system deficiency unresolved. The possibility of delaying the program until implementation of this major design change would threaten support for the program, even to the point of a possible termination.<br> <br> With few good options, one team member asked if the user could perform the mission with some operational workarounds. We knew that some of the tests were successful so some mission scenarios must have prevented excessive stress. After detailed analysis, we believed the system could function without crashing if the users followed prescribed procedures to limit processing demand. The workaround simply involved running fewer applications on the mission system. While not an optimal solution, it enabled operational use and subsequent fielding of an initial capability.<br> <br> In concert with the testing and operational observations, our engineering team collected and analyzed data to help feed a more robust mission computing design upgrade. This collaborative effort involved multiple stakeholders, including senior acquisition decision makers, contractors, program offices, testers, resource sponsors, and users. It resulted in a path forward for the program to deploy on schedule with a release contingent on implementing the design change. <h2>The Science</h2> The previous example illustrates some key steps that enabled workaround success. A notional process model illustrates these steps (Figure 1). Tailoring these steps, including skipping and conducting steps concurrently, is appropriate based on the situation. A brief discussion of the model follows:<br> <br> <strong>Step 1.</strong> Define and Analyze the Problem: The most important steps involve fully understanding the problem. Part of this overall problem analysis includes Steps 2 and 3. Note the feedback loop as more information becomes available.<br> <strong>Step 2. </strong>Identify Assumptions and Constraints: It is important to document and communicate key assumptions to stakeholders for validity checks. Constraints (e.g., time and resources) will limit the range of possible solutions.<br> <strong>Step 3. </strong>Collect and Analyze Data/Observe Users: This involves the collection and analysis of data and collaboration with workaround users. As highlighted in the previous example, leveraging existing data to analyze both the cause of the problem and potential mitigating steps can help identify alternatives. Models and other program evaluation tools can help accelerate this step.<br> <strong>Step 4. </strong>Develop Alternatives: This usually is limited to a small number due to resource and time constraints. A thorough job of problem analysis will help facilitate this step.<br> <strong>Step 5. </strong>Test Alternatives/Vet with Stakeholders: This is a critical step to ensure stakeholder buy-in and acceptance of the workaround. Initial testing may involve simulations and data analysis rather than live testing in an operational environment.<br> <strong>Step 6. </strong>Select and Implement: This involves a down selection and implementation of the preferred approach. Initial implementation may also involve testing and data gathering to verify the workaround works as expected.<br> <strong>Step 7. </strong>Evaluate and Update: Evaluating the workaround effectiveness and updating the solution occurs in this step. A feedback loop is depicted that represents the additional data collected after the workaround is implemented. This data helps to refine the workaround and helps inform requirements and design features for the long-term fix.<br> <strong>Step 8. </strong>Refine Long-term Fix: This step provides the enduring solution that will eliminate the temporary workaround. We attempt to optimize the long-term solution with the data and user feedback associated with the workaround. <h2 style="text-align:center;">Figure 1. Notional Workaround Development Process</h2> <img alt="Figure 1. National Workaround Development Process" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/Jan-Feb2022/janfeb2022_article6_figure1.jpg" style="width:100%;" /> <h6>Source: The author</h6> <h2>The Art</h2> The art of developing workarounds often involves creativity needed to fully define and understand the problem. As the Einstein quote suggests, we should prioritize time for analyzing the problem versus analyzing solutions. A full understanding of the problem will lead to quicker and more effective solutions. A central part of the notional process in Figure 1 highlights how vetting the problem not only enables resolution of the immediate issue but also helps to define and improve the longer-term fix.<br> <br> An essential element of artistic ability is creative thinking. Creative thinkers can reflect on different perspectives and then generate new ideas. Creativity enables innovation in acquisition, which is a big emphasis area as the Department of Defense (DoD) attempts to go faster and deliver greater value. While there is abundant literature on creativity, there is no one-size-fits-all approach on how to instill it in our acquisition environment. Studies and experience suggest that one can learn and improve creative thinking skills.<br> <br> The following are some thoughts about enablers to foster creative thinking within our acquisition teams:<br> <br> Learn and apply creative thinking techniques as a team: Since acquisition is a team sport, consider team training in critical thinking. This will help to avoid the “one and done” training conundrum where one person takes training and finds it valuable but cannot leverage it because others on the team did not learn it. It also avoids confusion when team members use a method unknown to others, who therefore cannot help with implementation. DAU has several workshops that are tailorable to meet your needs.<br> <br> Build creative thinking sessions into your team rhythm: Building regular creative thinking sessions into the teams’ battle rhythm sets the expectation of a thinking culture. Since it is not always easy to get staff to open up and offer ideas, it is advisable to ensure that the team norms include valuing and obtaining input from all members. Incentivize the thinking culture with fun exercises to stimulate the thinking and provide appropriate rewards for achievements.<br> Reinforce the creative thinking behaviors: Leadership plays a key role in ensuring that creative thinking is more than just a buzzword. Great practices include providing feedback to teams, ensuring different views receive consideration, and demonstrating an open mind to new ideas. Avoid “suggestion box defensive behavior.” This occurs when individuals reject a suggestion with a lengthy explanation of why the status quo is better than trying the new idea. <h2>Final Thoughts</h2> The Adaptive Acquisition Framework empowers program managers to tailor regulatory requirements and bypass efforts that hinder speed, value, and agility. While there is no silver bullet, tailored workarounds can help DoD address some of the strategic acquisition issues we face. These issues include barriers to leveraging commercial technology, risk-aversion, overcoming bureaucratic processes, and the need to speed weapons modernization. While some of the solutions may involve congressional authority, DoD has several tools available, including using workarounds in traditional processes.<br> <br> One example is the use of the Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) authority to exploit innovations and move fast. The CSO is a potential workaround to the often lengthy and cumbersome contracting process that follows the Federal Acquisition Regulation’s best-value source selections. First authorized in the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the CSO is a pilot program that provides a new source- selection approach. CSOs are available to acquire innovative commercial products and services that directly meet program requirements or to acquire research and development solutions in basic and applied research. DoD can use CSOs to award both Other Transaction Agreements and Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 12 commercial contracts.<br> <br> The primary benefits of using the CSO are speed and flexibility to access innovative technology. Using streamlined procedures provides a great opportunity for acquisition programs to deliver capability quickly. Very short evaluation timelines accelerate contracting cycle time. I recently supported a CSO effort valued at $60 million for medical supplies where the total evaluation period to contract award was a couple of weeks.<br> <br> Workarounds, while frequently used in acquisition, do not receive much attention. As we look for innovative ways to go faster and streamline processes, we should consider increased emphasis to skills and training to enhance acquisition workarounds.<br> <br> Please share your experiences and lessons learned so others may benefit. Feel free to follow up with me on workshop opportunities. The juice is worth the squeeze, but we must start squeezing! <hr />SCHULTZ is a professor of Program Management and an executive coach in DAU’s Capital and Northeast Region at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.<br> <br> The author can be contacted at <a class="ak-cke-href" href=""></a>. <hr /> <h6>The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the Department of Defense. Reproduction or reposting of articles from Defense Acquisition magazine should credit the author and the magazine.</h6> <hr /><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="tweet" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/Sept-Oct_2021/tweetbutton.jpg" style="width:15%;border-width:0px;border-style:solid;" /></a><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="subscribe" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/Sept-Oct_2021/suscribebutton.jpg" style="width:15%;border-width:0px;border-style:solid;" /></a></div>string;#/library/defense-atl/blog/the-workaround



Maintaining Your Motivation during the Academic Journey Your Motivation during the Academic Journey2022-01-21T12:00:00Z,<div class="ExternalClass588A0A653A8F4E008B801FC32CE90BFE">A lack of motivation can affect us all. I remember feeling unmotivated to return to school and pursue my doctorate. I wanted to acquire a doctoral degree, but I put it off for five years. After six continuous years of post-secondary education, I was truly burnt out and chose to enter the workforce full time.<br> Upon getting a taste of the working world, I thought about going back for a degree, but I lacked the motivation to <a href="">go back to school</a>. I kept thinking about all of the aspects of earning my doctorate – the time commitment, the cost of pursuing a terminal degree, and the years of courses and writing needed to achieve my goal.<br> <br> In addition, the feeling of <a href="">imposter syndrome</a> – the self-doubt that you can truly accomplish your goals – led me to believe I would fail. It’s common to doubt your skills and abilities to accomplish a task.<br> Fast-forward four years later, and I walked across the graduation stage. The doctoral hood was placed over my head as my close family and friends celebrated my success with joy and delight.<br> So how did I stay motivated to reach my goal of attaining a doctoral degree? Here are a few strategies to stay motivated even in the toughest of circumstances. <h4><strong>The Locus of Control and Its Relationship to Motivation</strong></h4> First, it’s important to understand that motivation is purely internal. You may have external motivations – such as family, employers or finances that spur you to make a decision – but a decision is yours alone to make.<br> A research study that supports this concept of the power of internal motivation was conducted by Stanford University professor <a href="">Claudia M. Mueller</a>. For this study, Dr. Mueller asked students of 10 to 11 years of age to assemble puzzles and divided the students into two groups.<br> <br> The study found that students in the first group – who were told they were smart and could easily assemble puzzles – had lower levels of motivation. The students in the second group were told they were hard workers and could assemble the puzzles based on their ability to solve problems.<br> <br> This second group of students had a different reaction to the study. They worked harder on the puzzles and said they enjoyed the experiment.<br> <br> This particular study involved the <a href="">“Locus of Control” concept</a>. This concept has two components – internal control (you control whatever happens to you) and external control (events that happen control you). In the research study conducted by Dr. Mueller, a feeling of internal control meant the participants’ hard work and effort led them to do well on the puzzle.<br> <br> However, external control can be a curse because you stop making an effort to succeed if you feel the world is conspiring against you. Ultimately, the results of this research study can be extrapolated to mean that people with a high internal locus of control are not only more successful, but also healthier and happier than those with a more external locus of control.<br> <br> Locus of control is directly related to motivation, because it is necessary to feel that you have control over your life and the power to change your life. In other words, you need to be an extremely motivated individual in order to successfully pursue the goals you have.<br> <br> The key is to learn how to solve the problems you’ll inevitably encounter and to understand that you are the key to your success. Motivation is built on the belief that you are the master of your destiny and have control of your future.<br> <h4><strong>Tips for Finding Your Motivation</strong></h4> You may be wondering about how did I get motivated to pursue my doctorate degree and stay motivated. Here are a few of my strategies for successful motivation. <ul> <li><strong>Be disciplined</strong> – Stay motivated by surrounding yourself with success factors. Understand that you are always learning, which means practicing great study habits and performing under the pressure of tight deadlines. Self-motivation will get you started toward your goal of attaining your degree, but discipline will keep you on track as you make progress toward your goal.</li> <li><strong>Identify why you lack motivation</strong> – For example, if you are unable to complete a writing assignment by the assigned deadline, ask yourself, “What’s causing my writer’s block?” and write down the answers. Literally writing down why you have writer’s block can be key to alleviating that block and helping you to start writing. In this case, feeling unmotivated may mean you need more time to write, to research the topic in more detail or to find a quiet location in order to write.</li> <li><strong>Set goals</strong> – Goal setting is important. It’s essential to create goals, set goals and work toward achieving them. Goals can be both either short-term and long-term, and they can be broken into subparts. If you remember your previous goals and your success in achieving them, that can motivate you to move forward toward future goals.</li> <li><strong>Establish a vision</strong> – Visualize yourself in the future. Think about how you will feel when you walk across the graduation stage, accept your degree and realize that your goal has been achieved. <a href="">Vision boards</a> are a great way to stay focused on your goal; they can be an electronic or paper visual that you can view on a daily basis.</li> <li><strong>Practice daily affirmations</strong> – Spend time daily telling yourself you are capable and worthy of achieving your goals. Staying motivated is a daily and even hourly experience.</li> <li><strong>Build a community of like-minded individuals</strong> – Stay connected with positive people such as peers, instructors and university staff. Read about inspirational achievements, listen to podcasts, watch videos and connect to like-minded social media groups to stay motivated. Focus on the positive every day.</li> <li><strong>Keep a journal</strong> – Highlight the little successes you have as you progress toward your goal of attaining a degree, which will help you remember why you started your academic journey. A strong desire, an inner drive and a spirit of achievement is needed to make progress, and a journal can help you document and review your progress toward your goal. A journal is also a great way to retain the positive memories to help you keep motivated.</li> <li><strong>Focus on what you can influence</strong> – Understand what you can control and cannot control. There are some things that will not change, no matter how much focus and energy to devote to it. Understand that nothing just happens. Everything has an origin (cause) that creates an outcome (effect). This way of thinking can help you shift your focus and retain your motivation for what really matter and what you can control.</li> <li><strong>Be resilient</strong> – It is a reality that you will fail at times. Maybe you’ll get a grade that is lower than what you expected on an assignment, exam or final project. Failure is not fatal if you take time to analyze why that failure happened and then make corrections to improve your future classwork.</li> <li><strong>Turn big goals into manageable smaller goals </strong>– There’s an expression, <a href="">“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”</a> In another words, any big challenge can be achieved by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. That is also true when you’re looking for the motivation to attain a degree. Break the process down into more manageable pieces: getting financing, choosing a major, deciding when to enroll and <a href="">selecting courses</a>.</li> </ul> <h4><strong>Power, Practice and Purpose</strong></h4> It’s important to understand that with motivation, you have the power to achieve your future goals by putting into practice key skills and using activities to attain your goal. Having a purpose or inner drive can motivate you to persevere through your academic journey.<br> <br> A poem that highlights the concept of internal motivation is <a href="">“Invictus” </a>by British poet William Earnest Handley. The 4th stanza states: <br> <br> <em>It matters not how strait the gate, </em><br> <em>How charged with punishments the scroll, </em><br> <em>I am the master of my fate:</em><br> <em>I am the captain of my soul.</em><br> <br> This poem, written over a century ago, captures the key to motivation. There’s a lot of negativity and positivity in the world, and chances are you’ll encounter some of each as you journey through life.<br> The choice is which quality do you want to focus on – negativity or positivity? Each of us can decide and achieve our future goals if we are properly motivated to succeed. Motivation gives you the energy needed to move forward, achieve personal and professional goals, and realize the life that you truly want.<br></div>string;#/partnerships/blog/Maintaining-Your-Motivation-during-the-Academic-Journey
Upcoming No Cost Virtual Learning Opportunities from our Higher Education Partners! No Cost Virtual Learning Opportunities from our Higher Education Partners!2022-01-10T17:00:00Z for Offerings.png, for Offerings.png for Offerings.png<div class="ExternalClass6C79589057C944B189A01CF5CADF93F5"><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> <hr /></address> <h5><img alt="" src="/partnerships/PublishingImages/APU_Stacked_NoSlogan.jpg" style="width:200px;height:83px;float:left;" /><b><u>More opportunities from APUS coming soon!</u></b><br> <br> <br> <br> <br> </h5> </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> <h5>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.</h5> <h5 style="text-align:center;">Link to view on-demand webinar: <a href=""></a></h5> <h5 style="text-align:center;"><strong>___________________________________</strong></h5> <h5>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></h5> <hr /> <h5 style="text-align:center;"><a href="/partnerships/PublishingImages/Logo-Trimmed.png"><img alt="" src="/partnerships/PublishingImages/Logo-Trimmed.png" style="width:250px;height:93px;margin:2px 4px;float:left;" /></a></h5> <h5 style="text-align:center;"><b><u>More opportunities will be posted soon!</u></b></h5> <br> <br> <hr /> <h5 style="text-align:center;"><img alt="" src="/partnerships/PublishingImages/GW_Law_Logo.png" style="width:206px;height:90px;margin:2px 4px;float:left;" /></h5> <h5 style="text-align:center;"><b><u>Combating Fraud in Government Procurement</u></b><br> <br> <strong>January 25, 2022<br> 12:00 p.m. ET</strong></h5> <h5>Please join the GW Law Government Procurement Law Program on <b>January 25, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. ET</b> for a <a href="" target="_blank"><b>free webinar</b> </a>where representatives from the government, whistleblower bar, and defense bar will discuss recent False Claims Act developments and their impact on the future of procurement fraud enforcement and compliance. <b><a href="" target="_blank">Learn more and register</a></b></h5> <hr /> <h5><img alt="" src="/partnerships/PublishingImages/UCLA%20Extension%20Logo%20(2020).jpg" style="float:left;width:300px;margin:2px 4px;height:61px;" /></h5> <h5>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 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.<br> Visit <a href=""></a> for more information.</h5> <hr /></div>string;#/partnerships/blog/Upcoming-No-Cost-Virtual-Learning-Opportunities-from-our-Higher-Education-Partners!



New 4th Estate DACM Back-to-Basics (BtB) Resourcesstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/New-4th-Estate-DACM-Back-to-Basics-BtB-ResourcesNew 4th Estate DACM Back-to-Basics (BtB) Resources2022-01-20T17:00:00ZBill Kobrenstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/New-4th-Estate-DACM-Back-to-Basics-BtB-Resources
New Defense Pricing and Contracting (DPC) Websitestring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/New-Defense-Pricing-and-Contracting-DPC-WebsiteNew Defense Pricing and Contracting (DPC) Website2022-01-20T12:00:00ZBill Kobrenstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/New-Defense-Pricing-and-Contracting-DPC-Website
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Celebrates their 60thstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/The-Defense-Logistics-Agency-DLA-Celebrates-their-60thThe Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Celebrates their 60th2022-01-19T12:00:00ZBill Kobrenstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/The-Defense-Logistics-Agency-DLA-Celebrates-their-60th
New DoD IG Audit of DoD FMS Acquisition Processstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/New-DoD-IG-Audit-of-DoD-FMS-Acquisition-ProcessNew DoD IG Audit of DoD FMS Acquisition Process2022-01-19T12:00:00ZBill Kobrenstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/New-DoD-IG-Audit-of-DoD-FMS-Acquisition-Process



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