The Defense Acquisition System exists to manage the Nation's investments in technologies, programs, and product support necessary to achieve the National Security Strategy and support the United States Armed Forces. In that context, our objective is to acquire quality products that satisfy user needs with measurable improvements to mission capability at a fair and reasonable price. The fundamental principles and procedures that the Department follows in achieving those objectives are described in DoD Directive 5000.01 and DoD Instruction 5000.02.

The Defense Acquisition Guidebook is designed to complement those policy documents by providing the acquisition workforce with discretionary best practice that should be tailored to the needs of each program. The Guidebook is not a rule book or a checklist and does not require specific compliance with the business practice it describes. It is intended to inform thoughtful program planning and facilitate effective program management.

The Guidebook is an electronic reference source rather than a "book." The "reader" "navigates" the information instead of "leafing" through hundreds of physical, collated pages. "Navigation" is electronic movement through the reference system. Discussions, explanations, and electronic links to related information are intended to enable the "reader" to be efficient, effective, innovative, and disciplined, and to responsively provide warfighting capability.

The DAG includes the following chapter content:

Chapter 1, Program Management, provides the principal concepts and business practice needed to thoughtfully organize, plan, and execute a DoD acquisition program regardless of acquisition category, program model, or program type.

Chapter 2, Analysis of Alternatives, Cost Estimating and Reporting, addresses resource estimation and program life-cycle costs, as well as the processes for conducting Analysis of Alternatives.

Chapter 3, Systems Engineering, describes standard systems engineering processes and how they apply to the DoD acquisition system.

Chapter 4, Life-Cycle Sustainment, provides guidance for program managers and program support managers to develop and execute successful sustainment strategies.

Chapter 5, Manpower Planning and Human Systems Integration explains the total-systems approach to HSI, including documenting manpower, personnel and training elements, and the use of program manager tools that appropriately incorporate HSI considerations into the acquisition process.

Chapter 6, Acquiring Information Technology and Business Systems, describes policy and procedure applicable to the development of DoD Information Technology (IT).

Chapter 7, Intelligence Support to Acquisition, provides information to enable the program manager to use intelligence information and data to ensure maximum war-fighting capability at minimum risk to cost and schedule.

Chapter 8, Test and Evaluation, supplements direction and instruction in DoD Directive 5000.01 and DoD Instruction 5000.02 with processes and procedures for planning and executing an effective and affordable T&E program.

Chapter 9, Program Protection, explains the actions needed to ensure effective program protection planning throughout the acquisition life cycle.

Chapter 10, Acquisition of Services, describes the principles of successful services acquisition based on the Seven Steps to the Service Acquisition Process included in DoD Instruction 5000.74, Defense Acquisition of Services.