; A Roadmap for the Obama-Biden Administration
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A Roadmap for the Obama-Biden Administration


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    Acquisition Root Cause of Failure and Suggested Remediation
A Roadmap for the Obama-Biden Administration

About the IT-AAC: (summary from charter)

The IT-AAC is a public/private partnership formed to bring together the collective experience
and expertise of world class people and organizations whom are committed to guiding the
Obama-Biden Administration through real IT Acquisition Reform. Its members realize that this
problem has been studied to death, with some 130 reports already identified. The IT-AAC will
build on this body of knowledge and bring together the collective knowledge needed to establish
the roots causes of failure and an actionable roadmap that will drive measurable results. The
first deliverable will be a Root Cause Analysis derived from past studies and experiences of this

Preface: Acquisition Reform. Achieving Key Administration Objectives and Priorities.

Bringing Government into the 21st Century by Creating a Transparent and Effective Technology
Acquisition Process. “Restore Honesty, Openness, and Commonsense to Contracting and
Procurement: The Obama-Biden Administration will realize savings by reducing the corruption
and cost overruns that have become all too routine in defense contracting. This includes
launching a program of acquisition reform and management.”

“Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to
cooperate among themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit
organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector.”

Executive Summary and Approach; Putting the past 130 studies into perspective. The IT-
AAC has indentified a dozen key studies and reports that will be incorporated by reference,
developed by CSIS, Rand, ICH, ACT/IAC, AF-SAB, DSB, Markle Foundation, NDU/DAU, and
independent sources. To assure maximum consensus and transparency, all recommendations
and findings will be sourced, avoiding any subjective analysis if possible.

Summary of Common IT Acquisition Failure Areas; Policies, Process Integration,
Acquisition Tools, Incentives, Collaboration, Openness

Chapter 1: Introduction: Failure Impact on Timely Mission Critical Capability Delivery
      1.0 Defense
      2.0 Healthcare
      3.0 E-Government

Chapter 2: IT Policy. Good laws, bad implementation; CCA, E-Gov Act, OMB A119

Chapter 3: Architecture and Acquisition Processes;
      3.1 Why we still have shelf ware (SOA What)
      3.2 Integrating the process stove pipes; simplify and verify
    Acquisition Root Cause of Failure and Suggested Remediation
Chapter 4: We don’t need no stinking requirements. Just buy IT. A discussion of why many
seek to buy-pass and game the current process due to its failure to meet the needs of the user in
timely, measurable and repeatable manner.

Chapter 5: Why programs fail to leverage Innovations of the Market (COTS/OSS). The
US’ leadership in Information Technology innovation is being lost, due in part to significant
barrier to market entry and ability for acquisition leaders to grasp “the realm of the possible” .
This chapter will discuss why the world’s largest buyer of IT is unable to leverage innovations of
the market and its impact on US competitiveness in the global IT market place. Open Source has
a potential of driving down cost and reduce custom development, using standards as a guiding
light, but who is responsible for making sure this growing market is properly represented.

Chapter 6: Requirements Over specification. Why perfection is the enemy of good enough.
Discussion will bring identify why PM are unable to acquire the 80% solution that can providing
immediate value to the user.

Chapter 7: Supply Chain mis-matches and disincentives. The IT Value Chain includes many
stake holders whose contribution has not been optimized. Are current Performance Based
Contracts really time and material contracts in disguise? Obama wants to increase the roll of
public service non-profits, and stop sole source and ear marks to public companies.

Chapter 8; Acquisition Leadership, Accountability and Transparency. Who’s in charge.
Why are there no senior leaders in charge of billion dollar acquisitions? Has oversight become
its own root cause? The path to hell is paved with good intentions.

Chapter 9: Acquisition Work Force; overwhelmed and uninformed. Some believe more is
not better. Why is the work force uninformed about the solutions they are buying, and do they
have the right tools and support to make informed decisions. Our data says NO.

Chapter 10: Summary Conclusions. A Roadmap to IT Acquisition Reform we can believe
      1.0 Recommended Actions for Congress
      2.0 Recommended Actions for OMB
      3.0 Recommended Actions for Civil Agencies
      4.0 Recommended Actions for DoD & Intel

Appendix A: Commission Leadership Profiles (Chairs)

Appendix B: List of Advisors and Subject Matter Experts (contributors)

Appendix C: Prior Studies and Research

Appendix D: Case Studies, Anatomy of Failure. Recognizing common failure patterns.
    Acquisition Root Cause of Failure and Suggested Remediation
Appendix E: Case Studies, Innovative Approaches that are delivering results.
Institutionalize these patterns of success.

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