Keeping the Faith in Federal Acquisition for R&D and Delivering New Capabilities

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In this episode Strategic Institute talks about keeping the faith for 30 years. It has been that long since Other Transactions (OT) authorities were first introduced in the DoD.  The early pioneers, adopters, and educators still have faith that one day leaders in DoD/federal acquisition will have an ‘ah-ha’ moment of clarity, realizing the potential of these flexible contracting authorities for leveling-up R&D activities and delivering new capabilities. With policies and Congressional mandates already in place telling them to do exactly that, all that is needed is leadership action. A dearth of education and support has predictably resulted in a handicapped workforce unable to make full use of the authorities, an easily identifiable and known weakness.  Leading educators and pioneers with fully developed educational curricula are standing-by to initiate the virtuous cycle of education. This is a ripe and immediately actionable item!

It has been nearly 5 years since Congress mandated that DoD leadership ensure OT education and training for ‘management, technical, and contracting’ personnel involved in R&D and prototype projects. This continues to be ignored, or worse. To realize success it takes just one senior leader, a champion in the right position, who is inspired by the common good and wants to make the most out their position and time to affect real positive change (and wants the biggest bang for the buck). Much of the fight and hard work has already been done. So faith remains that a thoughtful, selfless leader will recognize the need and do the right thing as laid bare by the representatives of the people (democracy and law). If acquisition leaders want a simple action to be a real hero; here is your sign! This is low hanging fruit hitting you in the face. With so much unexplored up-side potential, it curious and remarkable to see such unanimous rejection of education and workforce support for innovative, flexible acquisition authorities.

This is an easy part of a greater solution. Go for it and take the WIN!