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Acquisition Strategy—Services Acquisition

DAU GLOSSARY DEFINITION

Describes the Program Manager's plan to achieve program execution and programmatic goals across the entire program life cycle. Summarizes the overall approach to acquiring the capability (to include the program schedule, structure, risks, funding, and the business strategy). Contains sufficient detail to allow senior leadership and the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) to assess whether the strategy makes good business sense, effectively implements laws and policies, and reflects management's priorities. Once approved by the MDA, the Acquisition Strategy provides a basis for more detailed planning. The strategy evolves over time and should continuously reflect the current status and desired goals of the program.

General Information

The Acquisition Strategy required by Department of Defense (DoD) Instruction 5000.74 describes the plan to achieve the goals set in the services acquisition.  The services acquisition strategy document is called an Acquisition Plan when the total cost of the contracts for the acquisition program is estimated to be equal to or greater than the threshold described in Subpart 207.103(d)(i)(B) of the DFARS. The services acquisition strategy contains sufficient detail to allow senior leadership and the Services Category decision authority to assess whether the strategy makes good business sense, effectively implements laws and policies, and reflects management’s priorities, including affordability.

Consistent with the size and complexity of the program, requiring activities will prepare acquisition plans when the total cost of contracts for the acquisition program is estimated to be equal to or greater than the threshold described in Subpart 207.103(d)(i)(B) of the DFARS.  The contents of written acquisition plans must be consistent with Subpart 207.105 of the DFARS.

The acquisition strategy developed under Step Five of the Seven-Step Service Acquisition Process shall be sent to the appropriate decision authority shown in Table 1 of DoDI 5000.74. Decision Authorities are responsible for ensuring a proposed services acquisition is consistent with DoD’s policies, procedures, and best practices guidelines for the acquisition of services through approval of the acquisition strategy.

Once approved, the Acquisition Strategy provides a basis for more detailed planning. The strategy evolves over time and should continuously reflect the current status and desired goals of the program.

A Guide to DoD Program Management Business Processes, Para. 7, states "The acquisition strategy should be based on the most appropriate AAF pathway. The program content and decision points can be influenced by various considerations."  Considerations listed that are most relevant to services acquisition include:

  • Level of risk including threats to DoD's technological advantages
  • Integration activities
  • Life-cycle sustainment
  • Customer's priorities for performance
  • Resource constraints

The tenets of the DoD-wide architecture for the acquisition of services along with the associated review criteria (formerly listed at PGI 237.102-76): 

Tenet 1:  Acquisition approach 
Tenet 2:  Clearly Defined Requirements
Tenet 3:  Period of performance
Tenet 4:  Appropriate contract type
Tenet 5:  Small Business and socio-economic considerations
Tenet 6:  Participation decision points
Tenet 7:  Competition
Tenet 8:  Objective incentives

Army Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (AFARS) 5137, Acquisition Strategy Content.

Air Force Instruction (AFI) 63-138 Para 4.2 describes the Early Strategy and Issues Session (ESIS). The purpose of an ESIS is to simplify an Acquisition Strategy Panel (ASP) and to mitigate re-work. An ESIS is mandatory for all services acquisitions greater than or equal to $100M and is recommended for services acquisitions below $100M.  It is a synergistic approach to sharing top level ideas and best practices prior to the formation of the formal acquisition strategy.  Optimally, plan to conduct an ESIS at least 120 calendar days prior to the ASP.  The ESIS is intended to facilitate dialogue from the first day of ESIS through meeting the Acquisition Strategy Panel brief; however, an ESIS it is not meant to establish an acquisition strategy or to solicit a decision.  Para. 4.3 describes Acquisition Planning.

Department of the Navy (DoN) see Navy Marine Corps Acquisition Regulation Supplement (NMCARS) 5237.503.

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