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A Risk Assessment Methodology and Excel Tool for Acquisition Programs

A Risk Assessment Methodology and Excel Tool for Acquisition Programs

Lauren A. Fleishman-Mayer
Mark V. Arena
Michael E. McMahon
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 44
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  • Book Info
    A Risk Assessment Methodology and Excel Tool for Acquisition Programs
    Book Description:

    Implementing risk management principles for large defense acquisition programs is a priority for the U.S. defense acquisition community. To assist decisionmakers responsible for identifying major weapons programs’ risks, RAND developed a methodology and accompanying Excel risk tool (the “Assessor Tool”). It offers an approach to the evaluation of system integration risk for assessors such as Office of the Secretary of Defense staff.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8480-4
    Subjects: Technology, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-xii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    On May 22, 2009, President Obama signed into law the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act (WSARA) to improve program costs and schedules associated with the delivery of major weapon systems. Some of the oversight changes called for by WSARA depend on a program team’s ability to measure and manage the various risks associated with system integration (SI). Because SI may be influenced by all elements of the acquisition process, there exists a wide range of sources for SI risk. At any point, problems with hardware or software, design maturity, timely funding, test plan execution and personnel, facilities, and supplier capabilities...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Assessor Tool Methodology
    (pp. 9-14)

    This chapter describes the analytical and research basis of the Assessor Tool. In the process of developing the Assessor Tool, we held discussions with OSD AT&L for comments and suggestions as to how to leverage previous work in this area. Suggestions were incorporated into the methodology and design of the Assessor Tool.

    The Assessor Tool and its information-based risk assessment methodology are built upon a framework of OSD-level assessment questions. The methodology assumes that questions are general enough that OSD-level program assessors who are not intimate with the program and conduct program assessments only infrequently can answer them with the...

  10. CHAPTER THREE An Example Application of the Risk Assessor Tool
    (pp. 15-20)

    In this chapter, we present an example application of the Assessor Tool. The test case calls for an assessment of compliance risk associated with SI activities during the weapon systems acquisition process. That application of the methodology and tool as presented here would permit both individual program and portfolio characterization of weapon systems integration risk. As discussed in the first chapter, this is part of the annual reporting required by WSARA.

    Based upon discussions with AT&L, we drew upon existing material and checklists already in use by DoD and the services to develop a set of questions relevant to integration...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Further Applications
    (pp. 21-22)

    As demonstrated in the previous chapter, this Assessor Tool is appropriate for OSD-level information-based acquisition risk assessments. In addition, as we describe in this chapter, the tool has several other potential uses for the acquisitions community.

    Using the integration risk application described in this report, the tool and methodology permit both individual program and portfolio characterization of weapon systems integration risk as part of the annual reporting required by WSARA. As programs are evaluated using the methodology set out in this document, trends of relative risk scores can be benchmarked against the cost and schedule growths and performance metrics of...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusion
    (pp. 23-24)

    This report presented a methodology and Assessor Tool that can facilitate an OSD-level information-based risk assessment for acquisition or other major programs. It described a generalizable form of the Assessor Tool, using the integration risk Assessor Tool as an example application. The reproducible and documented tool for integration risk assessment may be considered for program office reporting to meet WSARA compliance as well as for other acquisition reviews, such as the OSD DAES and OIPT reviews, and for adaptation into other program assessment tools, such as the POPS tool. As of this writing, the Assessor Tool has not yet been...

  13. References
    (pp. 25-26)