Pentagon urged to empower weapons development teams

The Defense Department could develop and deliver weapons more rapidly if it gave teams of experts more authority in managing weapons programs, according to a new General Accounting Office report. The report, "Best Practices: DoD Teaming Not Achieving Potential Results," (GAO-01-510) said Defense needs to make better used of integrated product teams, which have been widely used by commercial manufacturers. The product teams are groups of managers from different fields, such as engineering, manufacturing and finance, who jointly share their expertise to develop a product. "Integrated product teams work. Effective integrated product teams can make significant product development decisions quickly and without relying heavily on consultation with organizations outside the team," the report said. GAO surveyed several Defense organizations and found several programs that were behind schedule or over budget. In most cases, those teams had made sequential decisions and often consulted with outside organizations. Meanwhile, successful integrated product teams centered decision-making in the team and gave its members broad authority. GAO made several recommendations for improving teaming, including:
  • Creating only teams that have day-to-day decision-making authority.
  • Developing training programs on product teams for Defense managers.
  • Avoiding barriers between Defense program offices and contractors who are helping to develop the weapons.
In response to the report, Defense agreed that the teams should have day-to-day program responsibilities whenever possible.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.