U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Home
  2. Services Acquisition Workshop (SAW)

Services Acquisition Workshop (SAW)

APMT 055


A facilitated workshop built around a specific acquisition and its multi-functional team (MFT). The SAW facilitation team mentors and guides the MFT in developing their acquisition planning, market research, performance requirements, request for proposals, source selection process, and contractor performance assessment planning and execution documents.

General Information

For over a decade, the Department of Defense (DoD) has spent approximately the same amount or more on the services needed to run the department when compared to the supplies and equipment needed for national defense. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, 50.0% of the Department's obligations, or $163.7 billion, was spent on acquiring services.  A Services Acquisition Workshop (SAW) provides multifunctional teams (MFTs) tasked with acquiring contracted services needed by the department the knowledge, training, tools and critical thinking required for success. DAU has provided SAWs for over a decade with a goal of improving service acquisition outcomes.

The Adaptive Acquisition Framework described in DODI 5000.02 includes the Acquisition of Services pathway.  This pathway is for the acquisition of contracted services with a total estimated value at or above the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT).

Based on the Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 5000.74, Section 4.2, MFT Guidelines, MFTs that support services acquisition requirements applicable to this issuance with a total contract value of $500 million or more or an annual value of $250 million or more must participate in a services acquisition workshop (SAW), or equivalent program, as provided by the DAU.  For multiple award, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts, a SAW is not required for the base contract, but is required for any task order valued at $100 million or more.  In cases where a SAW is required, it is required before a services acquisition strategy will be approved.  Additionally, the policy requires an annual 5 year forecast of SAWs, including requirement names, with the forecast due by October 1st.

The SAW is a tailored Mission Assistance engagement, built around a specific acquisition and its intact MFT.  Consultations with the DAU facilitators leading up to the workshop prepare the MFT and DAU facilitation team.  The SAW is a consultative effort delivered on-demand at the customer's location or at DAU facilities.  Due to COVID 19, only virtual SAWs were available, but in-person workshops are again possible.  The SAW uses a life cycle approach to training, organized in three phases consisting of 7 steps as described in the Acquisition of Services Pathway. DAU tailors the SAW based on documentation provided by the MFT for their specific services acquisition. Certified DAU facilitators deliver the SAW and will often draw upon additional expertise across the DAU faculty representing other functional areas and knowledge areas. For more complex, large dollar value, or special interest acquisitions, DAU conducts multiphase SAWs, meeting the MFT's needs with appropriately timed events over the course of the sourcing activities which can span more than an entire year.

For Federal Civilian Agencies, GSA offers the Civilian Services Acquisition Workshop (CSAW). See also CSAW video.

To request a SAW, send an email to [email protected].  In your request, include a point of contact, name of the acquisition, approximate total value of the acquisition, desired location and number of MFT members.  Additional information may be found in the SAW Talking Paper.