DAU International Acquisition Mission Assistance
While these areas – known in DAU lingo as “Functional” and “Workflow Learning” – are great resources, were you aware that we also support the workforce’s day-to-day IA+E activities though DAU Mission Assistance (aka “Performance Learning”)? Here’s a brief summary of how DAU Mission Assistance (MA) works, and why it could help you address and resolve specific IA+E challenges you may be facing in your program, project, or activity.
Over the past few years, our International Center – which is part of the Defense Systems Management College (DSMC) organization within DAU – has provided IA+E MA support in various forms to numerous workforce “customers.”
- PEO and PM Level: Assessments and advice on Program Executive Officer (PEO) or Program Manager (PM) level IA+E matters, including development of tailored IA+E learning content pertaining to the PEO/PM mission area(s).
- Program/Project Level: Assisting DoD Component International Program Organization (IPO) and PM/Integrated Product Team (IPT) Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in their efforts to address and resolve program/project-level IA+E.
- Issue Level: Responding to inquiries from IPO or PM/IPT SMEs on specific issues (normally a short e-mail or brief phone call) in unfamiliar or complex IA+E topic areas.
What are the “mechanics” involved in obtaining DAU IA+E MA support at each level? Pretty simple really:
- For PEO/PM Level efforts, DAU does not require reimbursement for DAU faculty hours, but does require that the requesting organization fund any travel costs for site visits (which normally last 1-2 days).
- For Program/Project Level efforts, site visits aren’t normally required. MA support is normally provided through short (1-3 hour) meetings in the DC area or through conference calls/Skype (if local travel is not an option) with follow-up e-mails. No charge for DAU faculty hours spent.
- For Issue Level efforts, MA support is provided through calls and e-mails that normally last 15-30 minutes. DAU’s “Ask a Professor” website is also an option, but we have found that some PMs/IPTs would rather not have the details of their issue published on the web for all to see. No cost for this type of MA support either.
There are a few other ground rules worth mentioning that apply to all three levels. By necessity, DAU IA+E MA support efforts are conducted on a “space available” basis so as not to interfere with our course teaching and website maintenance responsibilities. Also, we cannot conduct any classified-level MA efforts since we don’t have the facilities (including SIPRNET access) needed. We can (and often do) work on Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) IA+E MA matters, however, so this is not a problem. Lastly, we are happy to work with government, support contractor, and industry personnel, but require that a DoD organization sponsor (and participate in) IA+E MA efforts.
Here are a few final observations that are intended to illustrate how DAU IA+E MA support could help improve your organization’s international acquisition outcomes.
- We’ve conducted a few PEO/PM level efforts, which we believe have helped improve overall IA+E performance at an organizational level.
- We’ve assisted in several Program/Project level efforts which developed specific products that have “moved the ball down the field” and, in some cases, even “scored points.”
- We’ve helped numerous acquisition workforce members with working level IA+E issues by providing “just in time” answers and advice to address and resolve problems hindering or blocking progress.
In our 75+ years of experience with the “good, bad, and ugly” aspects of international acquisition we’ve seen and dealt with IA+E challenges of all shapes and sizes. In many cases, a 30 minute call -- or brief e-mail exchange – has helped address (and often resolve) an IA+E issue that’s caused significant delays or problems at the local level. Accordingly, please contact us at [email protected] if you think we might be able to assist in achieving your organization's international acquisition objectives.
Until next time … Prof K