Identifying Governance Best Practices in Systems-of-Systems Acquisition

Report Number: CSIS-AM-14-006

Series: Acquisition Management

Category: Systems-of-Systems

Report Series: Sponsored Report

Authors: David Berteau, Guy Ben-Ari, Joshua Archer

Title: Identifying Governance Best Practices in Systems-of-Systems Acquisition

Published: 2014-02-01

Sponsored By: Acquisition Research Program

Status: Published--Unlimited Distribution

Research Type: Other Research Faculty

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Keywords: System-of-Systems, Complexity, Interoperability, Program Management,, Governance, Acquisition Workforce, Defense Technology


Acquisition governance currently confronts two problems: the growing size and complexity of systems-of-systems capabilities and the limited effectiveness of existing governance models to ensure the on-cost and on-schedule delivery of those capabilities. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is engaging in research on systems-of-systems acquisition governance best practices that could help the defense acquisition community overcome some of these problems. This report provides the results of several case studies illustrating the challenges of complex systems-of-systems acquisitions. It characterizes how existing acquisition governance models fall short of meeting the challenges of complex systems-of-systems acquisition, and offers five best-practice themes meant to address those challenges based on the results of CSIS research and interviews with stakeholders in the acquisition community. Finally, it concludes that the attributes most critical to success in complex acquisition efforts are level of organizational focus, decision-making authority, and enforcement.