2008 version Edit
This DoD Instruction establishes a simplified and flexible management framework for translating mission needs and technology opportunities, based on approved mission needs and requirements, into stable, affordable, and well-managed acquisition programs. Specifically authorizes the program manager (PM) and the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) to use discretion and business judgment to structure a tailored, responsive, and innovative program.
2013 update Edit
In November 2013, the DOD published updated acquisition guidance for DOD programs. With this update, the DOD hoped to create an acquisition policy environment that will achieve greater efficiency and productivity in defense spending.
For satellite programs, there are two major changes that will improve the acquisition process. First, the instruction was changed to formally allow satellite programs to combine two major program milestones, B and C, which mark the beginning of the development and production phases, respectively. According to the Air Force, satellite programs have typically seen a great deal of overlap in the development and production phases, mainly because they are buying small quantities of items. They are often not able to produce a prototype to be fully tested because of the high costs of each article, so the first satellite in a production is often used both for testing and operations. Air Force officials believe that this change to the acquisition guidance will allow for streamlining of satellite development and production processes, and provide more efficient oversight without sacrificing program requirements.
A second change made this year is the requirement that DOD programs, including space programs, undergo independent development testing. While development testing for DOD programs is not new to this policy revision, now the testing organization will be an independent organization outside the program office. For space programs, this organization will be under the Program Executive Officer for Space, and will report their findings directly to that office, providing what the Air Force believes will be an independent voice on a program’s development status. The Air Force is confident that these changes will provide benefits to program oversight, although because these are recent changes, we have not yet assessed their potential for process improvements.
- "2008 version" section: Defense Acquisition University, Glossary, at B-58 (13th ed. Nov. 2009) (full-text).
- "2013 update" section: Space Acquisitions: Acquisition Management Continues to Improve but Challenges Persist for Current and Future Programs, at 9-10.