CHANGE: IT Acquisitions (excluding Weapon Systems imbedded IT), drives very different architecture and acquisition approaches, cultures and processes, requiring an adaptation needed to drive change and manage risk.
LEADERSHIP: IT is a transformational technology that creates more distracters than advocates; it requires much greater Leadership support, accountability, and authority to be effective. This was the intent of the Clinger Cohen Act. Good policy, poor implementation. Leadership must be engaged, and drive cultural, process and technology changes.
OVERSIGHT: Congress and Agency leadership must codify and re-certify program vision, architecture and outcomes through the entire lifecycle, especially when leadership/PM changes occur. Senior leadership attention and commitment to success must come from the top and be driven all the way down to every stake holder and value chain partner.
WORKFORCE: IT requires additional disciplines and skills often not present. The work force must be bolstered in a significant way, ensuring qualified and EXPERIENCED staff who is encouraged to understand the technology domains they are supporting. FAI, DAU and NDU should build out their current programs to not only train, but mentor Acquisition PMs to make sure they are vested in the success of the program. Failure risk mitigation must trump process rigidity.
ARCHITECTURE & METRICS: PMs must solidify, validate and propagate an actionable/measurable Solution Architecture that freezing requirements and measurable outcomes. Vague requirements and statements of objectives do not work for IT. Every stake holder and value chain participant should sign off on the required interfaces, business process changes and willingness to live with the 80% solutions. An architecture without Performance Metrics and SLAs will not survive.
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES: With so many participants involved in an IT program, agency acquisition strategy must clarify roles and responsibilities of all participants, seeking to optimize contributions and buy in from the entire value chain. This includes "contracts" with users, overseers, CIOs, CMOs, CPOs, Congress, standards bodies, FFRDCs, non-profits, COTS/Open Source developers and Systems Integrators. Entry/Exit criteria must be established up front to set expectations and time lines.
The goal is to provide decision makers within White house, Congressional and Agency leadership in revamping IT Acquisition policies and processes required ensuring the effectiveness, timeliness and transparency of its estimated $177B investments. If properly applied, this effort could effect a major economic stimulus for one of the nationís greatest industries. An actionable IT reform roadmap would improve effectiveness and reduce the failure rate of major IT programs and the critical missions they support. The IT-AAC and its membership offer the administration a conflict free structure, body of knowledge, expertise and analytical mechanisms needed to enable sound decisions on critical issues confronting our national leadership.
The IT-AAC builds on the Interoperability ClearingHouse public/private partnership structure, seasoned thought leaders, and significant body of knowledge associated with 8 years of root cause analysis. The IT-AAC leadership recognizes the increased role technology plays in furthering our nationís Defense, Intelligence, Healthcare and E-government missions, and brings forth the knowledge and experience needed to make transformational decisions on policies, processes and investments.