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    Looking for information/guidance/lessons learned on how to transition technology developed in a program using 804/806 rapid acquisition authorities into an existing program of record. What is the "hand off" between resource sponsors supposed to look like?


    Answer

    The short answer is “it depends”.

    After reviewing the information provided and getting further information about your situation via phone on 29 August 2019, it seems that your program is probably as Section 804 as opposed to Section 806 effort.

    OSD(AS) Ms Lord has stated that FY19 will be a year of collaborative policy development for Section 804, Middle Tier of Acquisition Authority.  Each service has approved several Middle Tier programs, none of them have yet progressed sufficiently to “transition”.

    The effort you referenced will have an Acquisition Decision Memorandum signed by the Service Acquisition Executive which should narrow down the approved way forward.  In addition, USD(AS) is expected to publish guidance on the conduct of Middle Tier efforts in the near future.  This guidance should be helpful.  At the end of the day, Middle Tier authority provides the program a wide degree of latitude to define the character of their program.  There are boundaries:  the program must be completed within 5 years; the prototype must be demonstrated in an operational (or some would say operationally relevant) environment; the program must provide a residual capability.

    An appropriate lens through which to consider these ideas might be risk management.  What are your framing assumptions and who are your stakeholders?  What are the roles and responsibilities? What promises is the effort making and to whom?  How will success of the effort be determined?  What might occur that would prevent the program from fulfilling its promises (in terms of cost, schedule, performance) going forward.  What should be done (if anything) to mitigate these risks? How are any agreements documented?

    The DOD Risk, Issue and Opportunity Management Guide is a good reference.  https://www.acq.osd.mil/se/docs/2017-RIO.pdf

    Another reference that may be helpful is the recently published Prototyping Guide. https://www.dau.edu/tools/Lists/DAUTools/Attachments/329/DoD%20Prototyping%20Guidebook,%20v1.1.pdf

    DAU seeks to provide value to acquisition efforts by serving as a thinking partner to enable program success.  Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

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