Research Projects Academic Year 2012-13
TEST AND EVALUATION SEMI-PROFESSIONAL ACQUISITION WORKFORCE CAREER FIELD By Chris J. Addison
The intent of this research study was to examine the impact of changes in the certification standards for the Test and Evaluation (T&E) Acquisition Workforce Career Field (AWCF) from the perspective of leaders, supervisors, and Human Resources staff members within the Army test community. On October 1, 2012, the proponent for the T&E AWCF directed implementation of sweeping changes in certification standards to “increase the intellectual proficiency within test and evaluation.” These sweeping changes affected the formal civilian education requirements and amount of Defense Acquisition University (DAU) training required to achieve certification in the T&E AWCF.
The impact of the changes on the Army test community is significant. The changes impact hiring practices, position descriptions, and coding of positions for inclusion in the T&E AWCF. Many positions coded as T&E AWCF positions do not require the level of civilian education dictated by the new standards. An additional impact is the exclusion of prior military personnel from being hired into these positions if they do not meet the formal education requirements. This research study also addressed the loss of operational and tactical knowledge and experience provided by prior military personnel, particularly within the Operational Test Command, which has a major impact on their ability to perform their mission.
The research study recommended splitting the current T&E AWCF into two tiers: A professional tier for engineering and scientific positions and a semi-professional tier for T&E AWCF positions not requiring an engineering or science degree. Certification standards for the semi-professional tier were also proposed in this research study. The proposed recommendation would achieve the goal of providing Army test organizations the flexibility to tailor formal education and DAU training certification standards to meet the requirements of their specific job positions.
STRATEGIC HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A JOINT PROGRAM EXECUTIVE OFFICE By Lowry Brooks
People represent an organization’s most important resource. An organization’s people determine its ability to execute its mission and define the internal work culture. People supply the organization’s most strategic asset, its intellectual capital, by acquiring, developing, and applying specific knowledge, skills, and abilities supporting mission goals and objectives. Managing people at all levels as strategic resources is therefore essential if organizations are to ensure people effectively contribute to mission objectives.
During the past several years, organizations have experienced significant changes in their external and internal operating environment. These changes represent challenges that will have a profound impact on the ability to plan, recruit, develop, and sustain the workforce. Government organizations are not immune to these challenges; in fact, public sector organizations face numerous constraints and challenges in addition to those in the private sector. According to Dr. Jay Liebowitz in the 2004 book, Addressing the Human Capital Crisis in the Federal Government, these challenges “… are the result of government downsizing over the past decade, the ‘graying’ workforce, little infusion of new, young talent into the government, the mobility and changing work patterns of entering workers, lack of interest in working for the federal government due to salary shortfalls in the government vs. those in the private sector, lack of adequate mentoring and workforce planning, and many other reasons” (Liebowitz, 2004). Strategic human capital management has been on the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) High-Risk Areas since 2001. The strategic importance of human capital management is a theme reiterated in numerous studies developed by GAO and the Department of Defense (DoD) among others. It is succinctly captured in GAO Report GAO-07-556T: “Driven by long-term fiscal constraints, changing demographics, evolving governance models, and other factors, the federal government faces new and more complex challenges in the 21st century, and federal agencies must transform their organizations to meet these challenges. Strategic human capital management must be the centerpiece of any serious change management strategy” (GAO, 2007). These challenges represent just some of the factors impacting the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) that the human capital planning program will face now and in the near future. Exacerbating an already challenging situation are several additional challenges confronting the JPEO-CBD. Analysis of workforce demographics will yield many important questions that will need to be addressed in order for JPEO-CBD to execute strategic human capital management.
This paper presents recommendations relating to a conceptual framework of strategic human capital management based on research and analysis of the primary issues facing the JPEO-CBD. Workforce demographics and attributes of the current workforce supply were analyzed to characterize potential human capital risks to the organization. A strategic human capital management model was presented with specific recommendations related to each of the critical steps involved in its application to the JPEO-CBD. The model involves a systematic process of identifying and analyzing the current workforce, identifying organizational strategic objectives and workforce competencies to achieve them, comparing present workforce competencies to those needed in the future, and then developing plans to transition from the present workforce to the future workforce. Together, strategic human capital management will greatly assist the organization in achieving its vision of an agile, results-oriented, and transformational acquisition enterprise delivering Net-centric, modular, tailorable, and multi-purpose capabilities to the nation.
THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY REFRESHMENT ON THE DEFENSE ACQUISITION LIFE CYCLE By Yen-Chou Chou
In this paper, we will define what technology refreshment (or tech refresh) is in the Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition context. We will show the awareness of the acquisition community on this subject and assess the sentiment of the community toward the acquisition process with respect to tech refresh, and, in particular, the adequacy of the acquisition process in dealing with rapid advancement in Information Technology (IT) and Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) tools.
ORGANIC VS COMMERCIAL CONVENTIONAL AMMUNITION PRODUCTION By Lawrence F. Franz (Limited distribution - Requests for distribution should be referred to the author at,
The Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) procurement of conventional ammunition over the past two centuries has been one of small procurements during peacetime and surges during war as depicted by Figure 1 above. The DOD’s approach to manufacturing conventional ammunition has been to rely on both the government’s arsenals (organic) and the commercial sector. Historically arsenals were focused on ammunition research and design as well as production of products that commercial industry could or would not produce, typically due to low volumes or high initial capital equipment costs. This established the inherent competitive discussion between two camps, one that focused on total reliance on the organic government’s Arsenals and the other focused on the commercial sector. A plethora of studies suggest the elimination of the government’s ownership and operation of its organic facilities and reliance on only the commercial sector. Just as many studies argue that the facilities are required as a risk mitigation policy. This study focus utilizes a holistic three-pronged approach: potential supply chain risk, impact on quality, and cost differences of the organic and commercial base.
The Army’s traditional approach of manufacturing conventional ammunition is to maintain an organic manufacturing facility in lieu of depending on commercial industry. The munitions business sector has experienced both boom and bust periods throughout the last centuries with a manufacturing base that has been able to expand (surge) when required. Prior to World War II, the U.S. Government began construction of “temporary” ammunition facilities that resulted in 112 ammunition plants being authorized for construction. Of the 112 authorized, only 84 ammunition plants were constructed. All were constructed as Government-Owned Contractor-Operated (GOCO) facilities. In 1943, the U.S. production of ammunition peaked and shortly after began a sharp steady decline. As of today, there are nine organic ammunition facilities remaining. Approximately 25 percent of all munitions used by the DOD are produced at these organic facilities with the remaining 75 percent being produced by the commercial sector. The Army faces a dilemma in that the current organic manufacturing structure is expensive and not the optimal business model to provide the Army with a flexible manufacturing that it requires. The potential fiscal devastation triggered by the sequester issue may finally force DOD leadership to reexamine the business model and consider a radical change in how ammunition is acquired. The dilemma: How does the Army manage the proper amount of conventional ammunition production for surge and reserve capacity required during any potential major conflict while maintaining an efficient and cost-effective production infrastructure during the periods of peacetime that inherently dictate a low production environment? Key Words: surge capacity, supply chain risk, cost analysis, quality, organic, commercial, conventional ammunition, production.
ARMY ACQUISITION WORKFORCE DEPENDENCY ON E-MAIL FOR FORMAL WORK COORDINATION By Kenneth A. Lorentzen
Army and Department of Defense (DoD) initiatives such as Better Buying Power 2.0 (Kendall, 2012) explicitly identify the need to improve defense acquisition workforce effectiveness and efficiencies. The Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW), as a large-scale geographically dispersed organization, presents significant challenges in obtaining timely and quantitative data of its organizational behavior, to support analysis and strategic decisions for improving its performance. Current research and commercial practices of companies hosting social networks (e.g., Google), reflect that significant insight into the collective behaviors of large-scale populations can be obtained from social network analysis (SNA) of e-mail and other collaboration traffic data. This research study presents the findings of an AAW survey (N=948) to assess the dependency of this workforce on e-mail to manage execution of formal work task and decision processes. These survey findings are intended to support validation of AAW corporate e-mail traffic data as a foundation for SNA-based organizational development (OD) campaigns supporting workforce improvement initiatives. This study also provides an overview of relevant OD campaign considerations, as well as a comprehensive annotated bibliography of contemporary research of e-mail-based SNA, to cultivate “art of the possible” discussions for AAW improvement. More..
TECHNICAL DATA RIGHTS FOR ADVANCED DEVELOPMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PROJECTS By Larry Muzzelo
The objective of this research was to improve the government staffs’ understanding of the relationship between government ownership of TDRs and the transition of technology from the Science and Technology community into Programs of Record (PoRs). Survey questionnaires were used to solicit feedback from Program Executive Offices (PEOs) and Program Managers (PMs) on Advanced Technology Development (ATD) projects to ascertain whether the ATDs transitioned technology products as well as the associated TDRs of transitioned technology. Through an analysis of survey responses, this research indicates that government ownership of TDRs makes a statistical difference in the successful transition of technologies from the Science and Technology community to PMs for use in PoRs. Based on survey findings, this research points to the importance of TDRs that technology developers acquire since those data rights may ultimately effect the transition of their innovative technologies into advanced weapons systems for use by the Department of Defense (DoD).
EFFECTS ON THE JOINT PROGRAM EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL DEFENSE OF OBLIGATION AND EXPENDITURE GOALS OF THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE By Gail Soubie
The purpose of this paper is to identify how the Obligation and Expenditure goals of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) affect programs within the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD). The hope is that a compilation of results will affect a change in the process so the Acquisition and Budget processes can be refined to better serve the end user and the Chemical Biological Defense (CBD) communities.
Research and survey data demonstrated that, not only are OSD Obligation and Expenditure goals relevant to program management, but Continuing Resolution Authority (CRA), regulation, release of funding, oversight, and internal processes are as well.
Respondents’ comments were consistent regarding the perceived problems where the processes were concerned. Suggestions ranged from permitting program execution based upon milestones vs. a fiscal year calendar to goals being tailored to the acquisition strategy and program plan vs. OSD goals. There was support for giving the Joint Program Managers (JPMs) full funding autonomy while holding them accountable, expressing that program goals should be program specific and not universal.
GAUGING INTEREST IN THE SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE By Lydia Lindsay Yowell
The Senior Executive Service (SES) is a position classification in the federal government loosely analogous to the rank of a general officer in the U.S. Armed Forces. The intent of establishing the SES was to identify and place government leaders who possess well-honed executive skills, a broad perspective of government, and a commitment to public service in positions to influence the continuing transformation of the government.
Having Army civilian leaders in the SES with a broad diversity of skills, experience, and knowledge is imperative as our military faces unprecedented challenges, both domestically and on the foreign battlefields. Civilian senior leaders who understand these challenges and can apply the appropriate answers are vital to meeting the Army’s objectives. This research study focused on the level of interest among Army civilian senior leadership to pursue the SES and factors or concerns that may influence this decision. One factor, attendance of a Senior Service College (SSC) or Senior Service College Fellowship (SSCF) program, was individually explored to determine influence in a decision to pursue the SES. A survey was provided to a target audience of General Schedule (GS)-14/GS-15/Band IV equivalents in several Army organizations and 455 responses were received. More than one-fourth (26.7 percent) of participants responded as being interested in pursuing the SES, 22.1 percent were undecided, and the remainder were not interested. Participants identified three common factors that influenced their decision: Work-life balance, politics, and mobility requirements. Additionally, 39.7 percent of participants who attended an SSC or SSCF said their interest to pursue the SES was influenced while attending the program.