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DoD’s Deputy Chief Management Officer Hails New Day for IT Acquisition

DoD Deputy Chief Management Officer Elizabeth McGrath, Photo: defense.gov

The Defense Department’s Deputy Chief Management Officer Elizabeth McGrath at an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association event last Friday, said it’s a new day for defense IT acquisition.

DoD will procure capabilities in “smaller chunks,” she said, as well as use more testing in the field, according to a report on FierceGovernmentIT.

Ultimately, DoD would like to phase out the use of milestones in IT acquisitions and replace them with an acquisition template that features more frequent reviews and decisions.

In November, Ashton Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, proposed the use of the Business Capability Lifecycle, a template approach, for its million-dollar-plus systems.

The lifecycle follows three steps: defining the capabilities, investment management and execution. It’s designed to provide faster delivery of business capabilities.

In her DoD role, McGrath also serves as the performance improvement officer and leads the department’s effort to better synchronize, integrate and coordinate DoD business operations.

McGrath’s role has become especially high-profile as the Pentagon’s bottom line has come under scrutiny with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates continuing round of efficiencies and cost savings.

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