Promoting Affordability in Defense Acquisitions: A Multi-Period Portfolio Approach

Report Number: NPS-AM-14-C11P17R02-064

Series: Acquisition Management

Category: Better Buying Power

Report Series: Proceedings Paper

Authors: Navindran Davendralingam, Daniel DeLaurentis

Title: Promoting Affordability in Defense Acquisitions: A Multi-Period Portfolio Approach

Published: 2014-04-01

Sponsored By: Acquisition Research Program

Status: Published--Unlimited Distribution

Research Type: Other Research Faculty

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Keywords: Better Buying Power, affordability, major defense acquisition programs


The implementation of Better Buying Power policies seeks to achieve affordability across the spectrum of major defense acquisition programs. However, the technical and programmatic challenges associated with sequential decision-making in the acquisition of large scale, increasingly interdependent defense systems prompts a need for quantitative frameworks that can better address the complexities of negotiating capability, schedule, and cost, while ulfilling target objectives of affordability. Our proposed research extends prior funded work and adopts innovations from financial engineering to enable quantitatively informed multistage decision-making under uncertainty. The method provides a means of assessing tradeoffs between capability, cost, and schedule risks, and the ability to objectively make sequentially dependent acquisition decisions on a portfolio of systems, towards some desired overarching capability. We adopt a dynamic programming approach using statistical measures and optimization techniques that balance short term decisions against long term implications on dimensions of cost, risk, and schedule. The method is demonstrated for the concept case of multi-stage acquisitions in a naval acquisition scenario.