Extensive study of the defense acquisition system has produced numerous recommendations for its improvement. A recommendation found throughout is the need for empowered and protected teams. When it comes to R&D, innovation, and delivering new capabilities, teaming strategies as well as skill-sets are vital to doing it well. Equipped with flexible contracting authorities, the government can rethink how it approaches the business of tackling critical problems and accomplishing mission goals. Advancing hi-tech R&D with same procurement system geared for purchasing routine supplies and services results in a lot of losses and missed opportunities, where win/win and winning scenarios are clearly more beneficial. Win/win scenarios and program success are more likely when combining smart teaming strategies with innovation friendly, flexible contracting authorities, like other transactions. Alternative acquisition approaches not only exist but their use along with education was Congressionally mandated FOUR years ago!!! There is no waiting on policy, these acquisition authorities for R&D are already light-years ahead of practice.
The war-fighter, taxpayer, industrial base, and our collective national security and competitiveness need smart teams and leaders who are willing to go to bat for them.
Special note: you can now find Innovation in Government Business podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, please follow us there.