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The most recent progress update on the PMA was released Nov. 30th, and it emphasizes how integral Category Management is to government-wide priorities and performance. Category management is best suited in the PMA's Priority Area 3:  Managing the Business of Government to Build Back Better. One of the three key strategies for this priority is to foster lasting improvements in the federal acquisition system to strengthen the U.S. domestic manufacturing base, support American workers, lead by example toward sustainable climate solutions, and create opportunities for underserved communities.

Visit the Acquisition Gateway to read more about Category Management and the PMA! 


 Nov. 28, 2022, ACQ 0840 deployed!  

ACQ 0840 will run on DAU's Cornerston on Demand (CSOD), so log in with your DAU ID by clicking on "Course Log In".  In both ACQ 0840 and its predecessor, you learn about the history of CM in the Federal government and US Air Force (USAF), the four principles of CM, Roles and Responsibilities, and the six Step CM Process.  

The first DoD-OMB CXO Council Category Management Sub-committee (DOCC-CM) met in August 2022.  This serves as the primary body for coordination of the DoD’s cross-Component Category Management activities in order to ensure that the Department makes best use of Component-level Category Management efforts. 

Charter established Aug. 17, 2022.
DOCC-CM Co-Chairs:  OSD Category Management Accountable Official and OSDA&M – Mr. Tenaglia & Dr. Rubino-Hallman

DOCC-CM = Department of Defense - Office of Management and Budget cross-Component Category Management Council

OSDA&M = OSD Administration & Management

Standby for a link to the charter signed Oct. 26, 2022!


The Air Force Security Forces Center-led Government Working Dog Category Intelligence Team recently submitted the Working Dog Category Intelligence Report (CIR), which looked into the requirements of maintaining working dogs within the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, in an effort to identify gaps and opportunities, recommend more effective and efficient sourcing strategies, close gaps between current practices and share government and industry best practices.  Find the six recommendations repodrted in this story, "Government Working Dog Category Intelligence Report Identifies Crucial Gaps And Best Practices."

Principal Director Defense Pricing and Contracting named the Category Management Accountable Official (CMAO) for DoD and co-chairs the DoD-OMB CXO-Category Management team.  A site was established on Intelink for CM working group business


​UPDATED Feb. 2, 2022.  The CAP goals were from the Trump Administration.  Links are provided to the archived pages for historical reference.  

From Aug. 31, 2020.  The first consideration in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) M-20-28 is to "Take full advantage of acquisition flexibilities and innovation tools."  The new cross-agency priority goal (CAP Goal) is "frictionless acquisition."  Here's where you can find out more about the resources [NOTE:  historical and no longer maintained] available, including Acquisition Innovation Hub, Periodic Table of Acquisition Innovation, TechFAR Handbook, Case Studies, and Frictionless Acquisition Resources Collection (search the Trump Administration Archive).


The new Category Management Credential, CACQ 007, provides an overview of Category Management (CM) and a foundation for both the Acquisition and non-Acquisition workforce on a CM team or that support CM oversight and reporting in the Department of Defense (DoD).  Upon completion of this credential, learners will be able recognize the concepts, principles and functions of category management.

The assumption is that learners have little or no experience or exposure to category management and this credential will provide the Just-In-Time knowledge to help them get their job done. 

You use CM in your everyday life—food, transportation, recreation may be some categories you think about.  If you commute in a metropolitan area, you have transportation options and likely you use cost, schedule and performance as data inputs to choose your transportation method.  What works best changes and when ride-share came along, that innovation changed the mix.  The Department needs innovations to improve how we do business.  CM is a way to find and adopt innovative solutions based on data to drive results! 

Visit the CM Credential Concept Card to review the requirements.  While there, just click on "Apply for this Credential" to apply.  The training is all on-line and you will earn 12 CLPs, plus a bonus of 2 CLPs for taking the credential exam (CLPs may change based on actual student times to complete CACQ 007).  The CM Credential will appear on your DAU transcript and it is good for 5 years.

How does the DoD define CM?  Category Management consists of a structured, data-driven business practice whereby the organization broadly and strategically analyzes and manages common categories of spend with an enterprise-wide focus in order to eliminate redundancies, increase efficiencies and enhance mission effectiveness.

From the US Army—the Army has taken a three-pronged approach consisting of improving contract processes, supporting decisions with data analytics, in order to save time, money, and manpower.  Initially the Army is addressing the areas of Transportation and Logistics, Information Technology, Facilities, Professional Services, Construction and Medical. 

Mr. Rich Lombardi, Air Force deputy under secretary for management and deputy chief management officer, has said "With the publishing of the National Defense Strategy, we have a clear understanding of where the department is going and category management clearly is a good fit with the line of effort to reform the department."  This in turn provides the potential to realign resources to increase the lethality and readiness of the joint force.

"The Air Force is driving a paradigm shift from budget execution to strategic cost management in an effort to obtain maximum value for each precious taxpayer dollar spent," according to General Holt.

The USAF uses the "Parthenon" to illustrate the four pillars of CM principles:

  1. Manage Demand & Consumption;
  2. Issue Policy;
  3. Use Strategic Acquisition Solutions; and
  4. Adopt Industry Best Practices. 

Only the 3rd pillar is about an acquisition solution or procurement.  The CM processes are Categorize Spend, Assign Cost Ownership via Category Managers, Develop Business Intelligence and Drive Results!

Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) governs, coordinates, and synchronizes strategic supply chain decisions across Navy.  The 2022 Commander's Guidance to drive higher performance uses the following Pillars: 

  • Demand Management to reduce demand and increase predictability through design, engineering, maintenance, etc.;
  • Optimize Working capital fund portfolio, taking a portfolio approach to manage cash allocation to maximize readiness;
  • Shape the industrial base.  Expand competition with suppliers and deepen partnership with strategic suppliers;
  • Increase End-to-End (E2E) Velocity--shorten repair Turn-around-Times in line with commercial benchmarks and move parts in the supply system faster.
  • Integrate existing supply chain resources to achieve E2E integration.

At DAU, find the Category Management credential, CACQ 007, and other great learning opportunities on the CM Community.


It's not about beating down the price of an item we buy from a vendor.  Not always anyway.  What if you look at a requirement, analyze how industry satisfies the requirement, determine if technology is available that changes the way DoD can deliver on that requirement?  Thus, deliver the requirement differently.  Check out the Land Mobile Radio (LMR)​ video found on the community home page's video showcase at the bottom.  The requirement is two way push to talk communication over the LMR infrastructure.  We can accomplish that by buying a $5,000 radio or paying $15 a month to put an application on a cell phone that gives us the exact same functionality.  Will it work in all cases, no.  It requires understanding the requirement and figuring out where it will work  (e.g., our Chaplains, air show workers, etc.) and where it won't.  


The objective of Operation CATTLE DRIVE, initiated 1QFY21, is to accelerate the modernization and transformation of Navy IT capabilities by ensuring that decisions made to sunset or rationalize unneeded, obsolete, unproductive, insecure, and un-auditable IT systems and applications are realized.  Today, the effort has reduced redundant systems during the first year to improve the service's information technology infrastructure, a top Navy IT official told Inside Defense (see Navy Improving IT infrastructure).


​A new addition to the Category Management training page, ACQ 0830, deployed in mid-January.  This training will take approximately 1-2 hours to complete.  DAU will calculate the number of CLPs to award based on the times captured during the first 30-60 days.  You can use Course Login to access--just search for ACQ 0830!

Pursuant to section 901(b) of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2021 (Public Law 116-283), Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks has directed the transfer of each responsibility assigned to, and the personnel, functions, and assets of the former Chief Management Officer (CMO) of the Department of Defense to other DoD officials or organizations, effective Oct. 1, 2021.  In summary:

The authorities of the CMO will revert back to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, as the Chief  Operating Officer of DoD, and the functions and responsibilities of the former CMO will transfer to Office of the Secretary of Defense Principal Staff Assistants (PSAs).

The Director of Administration and Management (DA&M) will be designated as the Performance Improvement Officer and serve as the senior official for Defense Reform under the Deputy Secretary. 

The oversight of the Defense Business Systems will be shared by the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and the Chief Information Officer of the DoD. 

The Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (ATSD) for Intelligence Oversight (IO) will be combined with the Privacy Civil Liberty and Transparency (PCLT) functions under a new official called the ATSD (PCLT).

[NOTE:  open this announcement to select the link to the Memorandum signed by the Deputy Secretary of Defense]


​The Professional Service Council (PSC) 2020 Acquisition Policy Survey continues an 18-year PSC tradition of candid discussion between contractors and government acquisitions professionals concerning the most pressing trends and policies in government contracting. While contending with the COVID-19 emergency, procurement officials demonstrated considerable adaptability and flexibility in rising to this challenge. Often, these adaptations revealed underlying needs for smarter acquisition policies across the government.

With the more than 22 government officials surveyed from 10 federal agenices, five themes emerged:  Operational resilience through the COVID-19 emergency; Difficulty in maintaining a stable acquisition workforce; Need for budget flexibilities when continuing resolutions are the status quo; data management strategies as critical considerastion in upcoming acquisition polices; and a framework for better industry-government communications.

Download the December 2020 PSC Acquisition Policy Survey to learn more.


CON 0150 Category Management Overview deployed just in time for the start of FY21.  For information on this On Line Training, visit the Concept Card where you can find Objectives, a summary of the training and a link to take CON 0150.


ACQ 0820, Intro to Business Intelligence, introduces the concepts, processes and methodologies tied to using Business Intelligence to better inform acquisition decision making. Additionally, this course explores various Business Intelligence tools and their application to executing cost effective, mission enhancing support to US Air Force (USAF) and DoD customers.


UPDATE of 16 OCT 2020--CON 0150, Category Management Overview deploys!  CON 0150 is available and will take you about 2 hours to complete.  The number of Continuous Learning Points will be determined based on actual student data and will post in about 30 days.  If you take CON 0150 now, don't worry as your Transcript will be updated with the appropriate number of CLPs.​

CON 0150 is well along in development and should deply by 1QFY21.  The purpose of this course is to provide a foundational understanding of category management principles and concepts for the Department of Defense.

The techniques presented in this course will enable you to impact the requirements you own by considering category management solutions and implementing category management practices.  This course has eight objectives. Upon completion, you will be able to:

 - Define category management.
 - Recognize the key concepts of category management.
 - Recognize the categories used in the Office of Management and  Budget’s taxonomy of Categorization of Spend.
- Identify the roles involved with assigning cost ownership in category management.
 - Recognize the techniques used to develop business intelligence in category management.
 - Recognize the four areas to drive results in category management.
 - Recognize the key participants of category management.
 - Recognize critical steps for category management implementation.

A CM Credential is planned for FY21 with CON 0150 along with a subset of the training identified here on the CM Community Training Resources Tab.  This first credential would be an awareness of CM.  So what training would you recommend for an awareness level CM credential?  Please reply here or email me at 


It's here--Section 876 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authority! The “unpriced multiple award contract (MAC)” where costs only matter at each individual task order level. Section 876 provided a limited exception to the general requirement in 41 U.S.C. § 3306 that agencies must include cost or price to the Government as an evaluation factor in evaluating proposals. It took almost two years for the provision to become law. Now “cost or price” as an evaluation factor for the award of MACs with a value greater than the SAT is no longer a “shall”. FAR 15.304(c)(1)(ii)(A) and (B) make it clear the Contracting Officer has a choice in deciding whether to make cost or price an evaluation factor for award of MACs valued above the SAT that are for the same or similar services. But if they choose not to, the Contracting Officer shall consider price or cost as one of the factors in the selection decision for each order placed under the contract. Congress's stated goal is to increase competition at the task order level, so not surprisingly we find that base contract awards are made to every 'qualifying offeror.'  While Section 876 provision applies to non-defense agencies, note that Defense agencies had previously been granted a similar exception in the FY 2017 NDAA [See 10 U.S.C. § 2305(a)(3)(C)]. Does this impact the DoD?  Check out how GSA is pushing price competition to the TO level on the GSA FEDSIM ASTRO Program] [ASTRO Solicitation].

ASTRO will establish a family of ten separate, individual, Multiple Award (MA), Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts that encompass a variety of services related to manned, unmanned, and optionally manned platforms and robotics.  Section M of the solicitation states:  "For ASTRO, the best value basis for awards will be determined by the Highest Technically Rated Qualifying Offerors. In accordance with 41 U.S.C. 3306(c) and associated GSA Class Deviation CD-2020-14, cost and pricing information shall not be considered at the Master Contract level."

Policy Update

​The Category Management ACQuipedia article has this DoD definition:  The Department of Defense's implementation of Category Management (CM) consists of a structured, data-driven business practice whereby the organization broadly and strategically analyzes and manages common categories of spend with an enterprise-wide focus in order to eliminate redundancies, increase efficiencies, and enhance mission effectiveness. What shall we discuss about this definition?  What would you like to see here on the community to help the department implement this business practice?


The Introduction to Air Force Category Management is now available to all.  Search the DAU Tools​ Catalog or follow the link above.  This training will take approximately one hour and at the end you will receive a certificate for 1 Continuous Learning Point (CLP).  Learn about the Air Force's roles and responsibilities, processes and principles that you can apply to your efforts today.

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