The theme for this edition of Defense Acquisition Research Journal is “Thinking Small in Order to Think Big,” as many of the articles drill down into the important details of processes and procedures in order to develop larger lessons for defense acquisition. The first article, “Survey of Small Business Barriers to Department of Defense Contracts,” by Ronnie Schilling, Thomas A. Mazzuchi, and Shahram Sarkani, examines the factors that small businesses see as inhibiting them from pursuing defense contracts, which Better Buying Power specifically attempts to encourage. They found that lack of communications and long timelines for approvals and decisions were some of the most important reasons cited by small business leaders. The next article, “Using Heuristics for Supportability Analysis of Adaptive Weapon Systems in Combat,” by Samuel H. Amber argues that, given the difficulty of obtaining supportability data on deployed weapon systems that often have been modified for combat, incorporating heuristics as an alternative field data source in the decision matrix can improve the development of supportability requirements.
Shelley M. Cazares, in “The Threat Detection System That Cried Wolf: Reconciling Developers with Operators,” points out that some threat detection systems, which perform well in testing, can generate many false alarms or “cry wolf” in operation. One way to mitigate this problem may be to use these systems as part of a tiered system that, overall, exhibits better performance than each individual system alone. Next, “Increasing Army Supply Chain Performance Using an Integrated End-to-End Metrics System” by Fan T. Tseng, Laird Burns, James T. Simpson, and David Berkowitz describes a process of pulling information from multiple data systems into a single integrated end-to-end performance metrics system that enables a high-level dashboard overview as well as full drill-down capabilities to source-level data and documents. Finally, thinking big rather than thinking small, Roger Witek addresses one of the largest defense acquisition programs in history in “Scandal and Tragedy? Or Acquisition Lessons Relearned by the F-35 Program,” in which he compares the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program with previous joint aircraft acquisition programs, and mines observations from think tanks and policy experts in order to weave together a compendium of lessons learned, lessons relearned, and recommendations for future acquisition strategies.
The article “Federally Mandated Furloughs: The Effect on Organizational Commitment and Organizational Citizenship Behavior” by Robert L. Shepherd is available in full in the online edition of the Defense Acquisition Research Journal, and abstracted in the printed version. It identifies the negative effects associated with furloughs, such as decreases in morale, lowered productivity rates, and increases in employee turnover so that managers can more effectively address them.
The featured book in this issue’s Defense Acquisition Professional Reading List is Rational Action: The Sciences of Policy in Britain and America, 1940–1960 by William Thomas, reviewed by Petros Boutselis of the Centre for Defence Acquisition at Cranfield University UK.
As a final note, the Defense Acquisition University Press is now officially a member of the Publishers International Linking Association, Inc. (PILA), a non-profit which operates the collaborative organization, CrossRef. Now that membership is established, CrossRef allows us, through the use of technology, an affordable means of providing continuous access to the scholarly material we publish. CrossRef DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) also gives us the means to establish unique identifiers which serve as persistent and actionable links to intellectual property online.
What this means for both the authors and readers of the Defense ARJ, is that the articles are now afforded both more exposure and greater consistency, for unlike URLs which are subject to change, DOIs never change. With proper implementation, DOI citation links are an invaluable tool for both researchers and readers alike to help them get to the material they want when they need it.