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DoD Contracting Update: The Adaptive Acquisition Framework – A Survey

December 1 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

DoD’s acquisition framework has been a constantly changing approach over the last decades. The most recent major change was in January 2020 with the changeover to the Adaptive Acquisition Framework – DoD Instruction 5000.2 (Operation of the Adaptive Acquisition Framework). Changes to the DoD system have been driven by changes in technology complexity and the laws passed by Congress which exist to “keep the playing field level.” Most changes in the recent decades have been relatively minor compared to this set of changes. This time, the intent is to take the previous implementation documentation (5000.02) of 200 pages, and split it into smaller chunks, known as “pathways”.
This enabling approach accomplishes its objectives by modifying the previous singular “one size fits all” acquisition approach into 6 acquisition “pathways” better recognizing sets of unique program needs. It also goes one step further, with a change to move to a mindset of “tailoring in” requirements for the acquisition strategy, rather than the previous “tailoring out” approaches from the “one size fits all” model. This new approach starts with a baseline set of rules that apply for the pathway applicable, and the program manager “tailors-in” those additional requirements needed for the program. The approach cannot tailor out statutory requirements (law), but it can tailor the regulatory requirements to a smaller list of things needed to manage risk in a particular program. The pathways are not intended to be the 6 “be all and end all” answers, as the pathways can be tailored for a particular program such that a complex program may require features from multiple pathways.
This series starts with a single session survey of why the DoD made the change and introduce the 6 pathways. Then we will take each pathway during a singular session and provide a working knowledge of what to expect, to include features and benefits/challenges of that pathway. We will finish out this series during the final (8th) session with a “now, what do I do with this knowledge?”
December 1 (Wednesday, 2:00-3:30 ET):
Summary
This class (part of the “DoD Adaptive Acquisition Framework Series”) covers a bit of historical context of DoD Acquisition approaches, the “why the change,” as well as provides a survey of the 6 acquisition “pathways.” Additionally, we will provide a survey of the 17 FAR based, and 7 Non-FAR based contract / agreement strategies and how they add additional dimensions to this new acquisition approach. The class outline is:
  • A brief history of DoD Acquisition Policy
  • Why the change to the Adaptive Acquisition Framework (AAF)?
  • AAF Policy, Purpose, and General Procedures
  • Survey of the 6 DoD AAF Pathways
  • Adding a dimension to AAF, using the 17 FAR based, and 7 Non-FAR based contract / agreement strategies
December 8 (Wednesday, 2:00-3:30 ET):
Summary
This class (part of the “DoD Adaptive Acquisition Framework Series”) covers the Urgent Capability Acquisition pathway and how it enables DoD to field capabilities to fulfill urgent existing and/or emerging operational needs or rapid reactions in less than 2 years. The class will provide an overview and characteristics of the pathway and include select policies and guidance. It will also include a survey of Government best practices in the use of this pathway in formulation of an Acquisition Strategy inclusive of contracting or agreement approaches. Lastly, we will survey how this DoD approach may affect a competing company’s pursuit strategy. The class outline is:
  • Urgent Capability Acquisition Pathway Overview & Characteristics
  • Select Policies & Guidance
  • Government Best Practices (Acquisition Strategy inclusive of Contracting/Agreement approaches)
  • How might this affect a competing company’s pursuit strategy?
December 22 (Wednesday, 2:00-3:30 ET):
Summary
This class (part of the “DoD Adaptive Acquisition Framework Series”) covers the Middle Tier Acquisition (MTA) pathway and how it enables DoD to rapidly develop fieldable prototypes within an acquisition program to demonstrate new capabilities and/or rapidly field production quantities of systems with proven technologies requiring minimal development. The class will provide an overview and characteristics of the pathway and include select policies and guidance. It will also include a survey of Government best practices in the use of this pathway in formulation of an Acquisition Strategy inclusive of contracting or agreement approaches. Lastly, we will survey how this DoD approach may affect a competing company’s pursuit strategy. The class outline is:
  • Middle Tier Acquisition (MTA) Pathway Overview & Characteristics
  • Select Policies & Guidance
  • Government Best Practices (Acquisition Strategy inclusive of Contracting/Agreement approaches)
  • How might this affect a competing company’s pursuit strategy?
January 5 (Wednesday, 2:00-3:30 ET):
Summary
This class (part of the “DoD Adaptive Acquisition Framework Series”) covers the Major Capability Acquisition pathway and how it enables DoD to acquire and modernize military unique programs that provide enduring capability. These acquisitions typically follow a structured analyze, design, develop, integrate, test, evaluate, produce, and support approach. This process is adapted from the previous “one size fits all” approach, but tailored to support major defense acquisition programs, major systems, and other complex acquisitions. Acquisition and product support processes, reviews, and documentation will be tailored based on the program size, complexity, risk, urgency, and other factors. Software-intensive components may be acquired via the software acquisition pathway, with the outputs and dependencies integrated with the overall major capability pathway. The class will provide an overview and characteristics of the pathway and include select policies and guidance. It will also include a survey of Government best practices in the use of this pathway in formulation of an Acquisition Strategy inclusive of contracting or agreement approaches. Lastly, we will survey how this DoD approach may affect a competing company’s pursuit strategy. The class outline is:
  • Major Capability Acquisition Pathway Overview & Characteristics
  • Select Policies & Guidance
  • Government Best Practices (Acquisition Strategy inclusive of Contracting/Agreement approaches)
  • How might this affect a competing company’s pursuit strategy?
January 19 (Wednesday, 2:00-3:30 ET):
Summary
This class (part of the “DoD Adaptive Acquisition Framework Series”) covers the Software Acquisition pathway and how it enables DoD to acquire software-intensive systems. The pathway facilitates rapid and iterative delivery of software capability to the user, integrating modern software development practice such as Agile Software Development, DevSecOps, and Lean Practices. This pathway features active user engagement, leveraging enterprise services, working software rapidly and iteratively, delivered to meet the highest priority user needs. Tightly coupled mission-focused government-industry software teams leverage automated tools for development, integration, testing, and certification to iteratively deploy software capabilities to the operational environment. The class will provide an overview and characteristics of the pathway and include select policies and guidance. It will also include a survey of Government best practices in the use of this pathway in formulation of an Acquisition Strategy inclusive of contracting or agreement approaches. Lastly, we will survey how this DoD approach may affect a competing company’s pursuit strategy. The class outline is:
  • Software Acquisition Pathway Overview & Characteristics
  • Select Policies & Guidance
  • Government Best Practices (Acquisition Strategy inclusive of Contracting/Agreement approaches)
  • How might this affect a competing company’s pursuit strategy?
February 2 (Wednesday, 2:00-3:30 ET):
Summary
This class (part of the “DoD Adaptive Acquisition Framework Series”) covers the Defense Business Systems pathway and how it enables DoD to acquire information systems supporting DoD business operations. This pathway applies to defense business capabilities and their supporting business systems, including those with “as-a-service” solutions to include financial and financial data feeder; contracting; logistics; planning and budgeting; installations management; human resources management; training and readiness systems; and may also be used to acquire non-developmental, software intensive programs that are not business systems. The class will provide an overview and characteristics of the pathway and include select policies and guidance. It will also include a survey of Government best practices in the use of this pathway in formulation of an Acquisition Strategy inclusive of contracting or agreement approaches. Lastly, we will survey how this DoD approach may affect a competing company’s pursuit strategy. The class outline is:
  • Defense Business Systems Pathway Overview & Characteristics
  • Select Policies & Guidance
  • Government Best Practices (Acquisition Strategy inclusive of Contracting/Agreement approaches)
  • How might this affect a competing company’s pursuit strategy?
February 16 (Wednesday, 2:00-3:30 ET):
Summary
This class (part of the “DoD Adaptive Acquisition Framework Series”) covers the Acquisitions of Services pathway and how it enables DoD to acquire contracted services with a total estimated value at or above the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT). This pathway is intended to identify the required services, research the potential contractors, contract for the services, and manage performance. The pathway activities are broken into three phases: planning, developing, and executing. The seven steps ensure the use of proven, repeatable processes and procedures contributing to successful service acquisitions. The class will provide an overview and characteristics of the pathway and include select policies and guidance. It will also include a survey of Government best practices in the use of this pathway in formulation of an Acquisition Strategy inclusive of contracting or agreement approaches. Lastly, we will survey how survey how this DoD approach may affect a competing company’s pursuit strategy. The class outline is:
  • Acquisition of Services Pathway Overview & Characteristics
  • Select Policies & Guidance
  • Government Best Practices (Acquisition Strategy inclusive of Contracting/Agreement approaches)
  • How might this affect a competing company’s pursuit strategy?
March 2 (Wednesday, 2:00-3:30 ET):
Summary
We will finish out this series with a final (8th) session presenting: “Now, what do I do with this knowledge?” The overall series was intended to provide an initial “operating knowledge level” for contractors to understand how pursuit of DoD opportunities has changed since January of 2020 using the AAF “pathways.” It is also useful for Government employees seeking a similar level of knowledge as to how DoD is reshaping the acquisition landscape. In this specific class, we will review the 6 DoD AAF pathways and the 7 tenants of DoD PMs in defining their acquisition approach, as well as “tailoring-in” desired features needed to control risk. We will also define examples of how pathways may be combined to implement a complex acquisition strategy. We introduce tools DoD uses to help define which pathway(s) to use – this can enable industry to engage DoD early in strategy formulation, helping the DoD-Industry team be informed of risks likely to be encountered in a particular program. This enables understanding pros and cons of pathways and “tailoring-in” considered to enhance risk control.
  • Review of the 6 DoD AAF pathways
  • Review of the 7 tenants PMs use to define their acquisition approach and “tailoring-in” control of risk
  • Combining AAF pathways for complex acquisitions
  • Tools DoD uses to help define the best practice pathway – and Industry best practice response
  • Reminder how the 17 FAR based, and 7 Non-FAR based contract / agreement strategies integrate with the AAF pathways

Details

Date:
December 1
Time:
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Categories:
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