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Accession Number ADA564481
Title Don't Come to the Dark Side: Acquisition Lessons from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.
Publication Date Oct 2011
Media Count 5p
Personal Author D. Ward
Abstract Yes, the Empire should stop building Death Stars. It turns out the DoD shouldn't build them either, metaphorically speaking. What sort of system fits into this category. I'll resist the urge to give specific examples and instead will simply point out that any enormous project that is brain-meltingly complex, ravenously consumes resources, and aims to deliver an Undefeatable Ultimate Weapon is well on its way to becoming a Death Star, and that's not a good thing. Why are Death Stars a bad idea. The main objections fit into two categories: operational and programmatic. The operational shortcomings of the Empire's doomed battlestations are well known and widely mocked. Their programmatic shortcomings are less well known but worth considering. We'll take a look at both categories. Consider this: A Death Star is an Empire weapon that aims to intimidate opponents into submission. Droids are Republic technology. They don't intimidate anyone. Instead, they earn their keep by being useful and practical. Droids are about finesse, while Death Stars are about brute force. And given the current world situation, finesse is clearly what we need. Droids aren't expensive; their requirements aren't overstated. One might argue that a droid can't do what a Death Star does, but then again, the Death Stars didn't do very much when all was said and done. In the final accounting, a droid like Artoo does more than it was designed to do, while a Death Star ends up doing much less. If you want to develop and deliver effective weapon systems, build droids instead of Death Stars. The key is exercising design restraint, focusing our requirements on the essential requirements rather than the endless list of desirements, living within our budget and resisting the temptation to extend the schedule. There are all sorts of ways to simplify a design, to reduce a set of requirements to the bare minimum, to make sure we build what we can afford.
Keywords Affordability
Cost reduction
Department of defense
Large weapons programs
Lessons learned
Military procurement
Project management
Weapon systems

Source Agency Non Paid ADAS
NTIS Subject Category 74E - Logistics, Military Facilities, & Supplies
70B - Management Practice
96 - Business & Economics
Corporate Author Defense Acquisition Univ., Fort Belvoir, VA.
Document Type Journal article
Title Note Journal article.
NTIS Issue Number 1303
Contract Number N/A

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