From the Chairman and Executive Editor - Issue 104
The first article, by Capt Sammantha J. Jones, USAF, Edward D. White, Jonathan D. Ritschel, and Shawn M. Valentine, is titled “Cost Estimation Trends for Major Defense Acquisition Programs.” The authors investigated how schedule and cost estimates compare across the 1970s to the 2010s for ACAT I programs. Their results indicate that program schedule slippage and cost growth have remained consistent over that 50-year period, but the variability of cost estimates has decreased over time, bringing somewhat more predictability to the process.
The second article is “Successful Adoption of DevOps Practices in Software Development in DoD Acquisition Programs—The CREATE Example” by Richard P. Kendall, Nathan S. Hariharan, David R. Sears, and Douglass E. Post. This case history describes how some of the widely acknowledged obstacles within DoD Acquisition programs were overcome using the DoD’s Computational Research and Engineering Acquisition Tools and Environments (CREATE) portfolio suite to develop software pipelines, based on the principles of DevSecOps (development, security, and operations), a process that develops more consistent, relevant value to DoD acquisition customers across the Services.
The third article is by Jennifer W. Elkins, with the somewhat Dickensian title, “A Tale of Two Organizations: A Qualitative Comparative Study of Contracting Organizations.” The author used interviews and behavioral analyses to compare and contrast one organization that exercises the new authorities provided in the DoD’s adaptive acquisition framework (which came into effect in 2020), with another organization that operates in a traditional acquisition environment.
This issue’s Current Research Resources in Defense Acquisition focuses on artificial intelligence (AI), which has seen a great increase in public awareness since the release of several generative AI platforms in late 2022 and early 2023.
The featured work in the Defense Acquisition Reading List book review is Logistics: Principles and Applications (Second Edition) by John W. Langford, reviewed by Shawn Harrison. Mr. Eric Lofgren and Dr. Keith Snider have left the Editorial Board. We thank them for their service.