Sales through the DoD 5000 process: the defense commissary system.Following DoD policy, the Defense Commissary Agency The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) is an agency of the United States Department of Defense that manages more than 260 grocery establishments on U.S. military installations worldwide. (DeCA) self-identified its new commissary COMMISSARY. An officer whose principal duties are to supply the army with provisions.
2. The Act of April 14, 1818, s. 6, requires that the president, by and with the consent of the senate, shall appoint a commissary general with the rank, pay, and emoluments point-of-sale system--the Commissary Advanced Resale Transaction System (CARTS)--for DoD 5000 process review in 2003. CARTS was designated as an Acquisition Category IAM IAM - Interactive Algebraic Manipulation. Interactive symbolic mathematics for PDP-10.
["IAM, A System for Interactive Algebraic Manipulation", C. Christensen et al, Proc Second Symp Symb Alg Manip, ACM Mar 1971]. (ACAT ACAT
See: Automated Customer Account Transfer IAM) program, as its funding exceeded both the $32 million single-year and $126 million total program thresholds (both FY 2000 dollars). CARTS thereby became the first known Major Automated Information System The term automated information system means an assembly of computer hardware, software, firmware, or any combination of these, configured to accomplish specific information-handling operations, such as communication, computation, dissemination, processing, and storage of (MAIS MAIS Major Automated Information System (US DoD)
MAIS Mediterranean Association of International Schools (Madrid, Spain)
MAIS Movimento per l'Autosviluppo, l'Interscambio e la Solidarietà ) acquisition program to go through the revised 2003 DoD 5000 process from program inception. This article summarizes DeCA's experience with the process and presents lessons learned and best practices that future programs might employ.
Providing the Commissary Benefit
DeCA manages DoD commissaries to provide a non-pay compensation benefit to military personnel and other designated beneficiaries. Two hundred and sixty-three commissaries around the world provide groceries and household items at cost, with savings that exceed 30 percent over their civilian counterparts. The commissary benefit is consistently listed as one of the top quality-of-life benefits in surveys of military personnel. Commissaries also serve the DoD by enhancing recruitment, retention, and readiness.
Within every store, the point-of-sale system is the center of operations and a key customer interaction point. A POS (1) See point of sale and packet over SONET.
(2) "Parent over shoulder." See digispeak.
POS - point of sale system is the collection of checkout lanes, terminals, scales, printers, and other equipment; along with a server to manage prices and quantities, record transactions, and communicate with DeCA headquarters. DeCA commissaries contain more than 3,000 checkout lanes.
When DeCA was first established in 1991 by the merger of individual Service commissaries, it inherited 28 different POS systems. DeCA fielded its first unified and modernized POS system in 1996. In 2002, it modernized the server hardware and software and extended the commercial maintenance contract to May 2008. By that date, the checkout equipment will have withstood 12 years of hard wear and tear. DeCA initiated the POS replacement program in 2003 to both replace aging equipment and provide customers with new features such as self-checkout lanes, gift cards, and electronic coupon and check verification.
It's Just a Cash Register
DeCA falls under the human resource management mission area of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness The Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness is a high-ranking position in the United States Department of Defense responsible for advising the Secretary of Defense on recruitment, career development, pay and benefits, and oversight of the state of military readiness. (OUSD OUSD Oakland Unified School District (Oakland, CA)
OUSD Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (P&R)). DeCA first identified the program to P&R in a meeting in 2003. The DeCA PM staff soon became immersed in the Office of the Secretary of Defense The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is part of the United States Department of Defense and includes the entire staff of the Secretary of Defense. It is the principal staff element of the Secretary of Defense in the exercise of policy development, planning, resource ACAT I review process. This included supporting integrating integrated product team (IIPT IIPT International Institute for Peace through Tourism (USA)
IIPT Institute of Islamic Political Thought
IIPT Integrating Integrated Product Team
IIPT Integrating Integrated Process Team ), working-level integrated product teams (WIPTs), and the Networks and Information Integration Overarching Integrated Product Team (OIPT OIPT Overarching Integrated Product Team
OIPT Overarching Integrated Process Team ) meetings, reviews, and other briefings to review the CARTS program. The CARTS program kickoff meeting with the IIPT was in December 2003. It had two immediate results.
First, DeCA needed to more clearly define its operating environment In computing, an operating environment is the environment in which users run programs, whether in a command line interface, such as in MS-DOS or the Unix shell, or in a graphical user interface, such as in the Macintosh operating system. , requirements, and alternative solutions to the OUSD(P&R) stakeholder stakeholder n. a person having in his/her possession (holding) money or property in which he/she has no interest, right or title, awaiting the outcome of a dispute between two or more claimants to the money or property. team, with primary input coming from the DeCA user community to justify the program need. This was addressed by OUSD(P&R)'s forming a WIPT WIPT Working Integrated Product Team
WIPT Working-level Integrated Product Team
WIPT Working Integrated Process Team
WIPT Working Integrated Project Team
WIPT Working-group Integrated Product Team to work with DeCA on program requirements, and DeCA's providing a new and more detailed briefing to describe the program. Over the next few months, DeCA and OUSD(P&R) representatives met many times, and the briefing underwent even more revisions. Admittedly, there were times when we had to ask ourselves why we were going through this process as a major program, given that we were not developing a major weapons system but simply buying 3,000 sets of commercial grocery store checkout lanes and approximately 280 store back-office servers with supporting commercial off-the-shelf Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) is a term for software or hardware, generally technology or computer products, that are ready-made and available for sale, lease, or license to the general public. (COTS) software. However, we always concluded that the process was inherently good, and the guidelines were flexible enough to accommodate a COTS system.
Second, OUSD(P&R) wanted DeCA to establish a more robust program management team. DeCA made organizational adjustments that included establishing a program management office (PMO PMO Prime Minister's Office
PMO Premier Oil Plc (stock symbol)
PMO Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (USA Milk Industry)
PMO Provost Marshal's Office
PMO Postmenopausal Osteoporosis ) to oversee all DeCA programs, and recruiting and appointing co-author Comer as the full-time Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) was signed into law in November 1990. It requires the Department of Defense to establish education and training standards, requirements, and courses for the civilian and military workforce. (DAWIA DAWIA Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act of 1990 ) Level III-certified (Program Management) CARTS program manager. After researching the program office composition of several major point-of sale-vendors, Comer set up a matrix-supported CARTS PMO. The core functionality of the PMO came from three major DeCA directorates: Resource Management provides the program control function; Information Technology provides the system engineering function; and Operations provides the logistics support function. This arrangement, with augmentation from the user community, provided the PMO with a dedicated CARTS integrated product team (IPT IPT - IP Telephony ). DeCA also appointed a DAWIA Level III-qualified program executive officer to oversee all its acquisition programs.
Process Tailoring: A Grocery CARTS' Worth of Documentation
The DoD 5000 process requires development of a number of documents to describe the project and explain how the program will be planned and managed throughout its life cycle. The following is a partial list of key acquisition documents that detailed our planning activities:
* Initial Capabilities Document
* Analysis of Alternatives
* Capabilities Development Document
* Acquisition Strategy
* Economic Analysis
* Technology Readiness Assessment
* Information Support Plan
* Test and Evaluation Master Plan
* System Engineering Plan.
Program managers live for the challenge of guiding a program through the various milestones. After all, they spend years training for the opportunity and are excited to get to work; however, that excitement can sometimes turn to frustration if the resources are not available to accomplish the mission, or if there is a lack of leadership support. The leadership support at DeCA has been outstanding. Realizing early on that it did not have government resources to spare for the required planning and to develop the related acquisition documents, DeCA obtained the services of the Logistics Management Logistics Management is that part of Supply Chain Management that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective, forward, and reverse flow and storage of goods, services, and related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet Institute to assist with developing documents and providing PM support. This additional support allowed DeCA to tackle the documentation requirement aggressively while still ensuring quality. Each document was reviewed by the DeCA IPT and submitted for DeCA-wide staff review before being submitted to OSD (1) (On-Screen Display) An on-screen control panel for adjusting monitors and TVs. The OSD is used for contrast, brightness, horizontal and vertical positioning and other monitor adjustments. for coordination.
Only a few documents required multiple reviews or had significant issues. One was the Analysis of Alternatives, which went through extensive review by OUSD(P&R). Issues included coming to agreement on the range and definition of the alternatives and how well the cost estimates supported them. Those discussions also affected the subsequent, more detailed Economic Analysis. Another was the Technology Readiness Assessment, where the issue was whether it should even be required at all, since DeCA's solution was to acquire commercial products that had proven track records in the commercial grocery industry; required no software development or integration; had no military application; would not interface with any military application; and would not require the implementation of any new technology. After some discussion, DeCA agreed to complete a brief submission. The Technology Readiness Assessment was, in some ways, reflective of the entire document suite, in that the DoD 5000 documents are understandably oriented toward largescale military and weapons systems applications, but not all DoD systems--such as CARTS--fit that mold.
Overall, the various OUSD(P&R) staff specialists who reviewed the documentation did so quickly and were helpful in addressing comments. Several of DeCA's documents were cited by OUSD(P&R) representatives as being very well-executed and models for future programs.
We are Here to Help
The DeCA CARTS PM first met with OUSD(P&R) representatives to identify the program in 2003. Both the Milestone Decision Authority--assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration (NII (National Information Infrastructure) The U.S. government's policy for managing advanced technology in the country. The Clinton/Gore administration (1993-2001) was very enthusiastic about the Internet and proposed that it should be funded by private industry and be )--and the under secretary of defense (P&R) assigned staff representatives to work with DeCA. These two key individuals and the DeCA PM worked together through Milestones A and B and, at the time of writing, are still doing so as the project moves toward Milestone C. As noted earlier, DeCA first briefed the program to the full OSD IIPT in December 2003. The next two months were spent working with the program WIPTs to develop a common understanding of the program. After that period, most of the interactions focused on working with individual OUSD(P&R) offices and on reviews of specific documents. Most of the work was accomplished electronically, with each document formally approved by both DeCA and OUSD(P&R) as the final process.
Throughout, the NII and P&R representatives were cognizant of progress and issues. As the program drew near to Milestones A and B, they conducted weekly teleconferences with the CARTS PM to review action items and to ensure that the project remained on schedule and achieved the milestone. These weekly teleconferences were key to identifying and resolving issues early, thus keeping the program schedule on track.
The OUSD(P&R) staff often get a bad rap for being too bureaucratic, inflexible in their interpretation of the acquisition guidelines, and for not being willing to help. It is no wonder that PMs sometimes shy away from Verb 1. shy away from - avoid having to deal with some unpleasant task; "I shy away from this task"
avoid - stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something; "Her former friends now avoid her" this kind of help. However, those involved in the CARTS program found working with the OUSD(P&R) staff an enjoyable experience that was truly beneficial to the program. Like all programs, CARTS had its inherent risks--such as a very aggressive schedule that appeared to be exacerbated when coupled with the OUSD(P&R) oversight and approval process. During a discussion of the schedule risk, the NII Overarching Integrated Process Team leader commented to a nervous PM and PEO that he and his OUSD(P&R) staff would help make CARTS a success. Those words have held true today and were backed up by a staff of true professionals who were consistently devoted to the program throughout the process.
In a program as large as CARTS, and with details of the new DoD 5000 process still being ironed out, everyone learned many lessons. A post-Milestone B review between DeCA and OUSD(P&R) identified the following as among the most important:
* DeCA benefited by identifying the CARTS program, at its inception, for DoD 5000 oversight and by embracing the process. Early meetings between DeCA and OUSD(P&R) staff clarified the program goals and DoD 5000/Joint Capability Integrated Development System (JCIDS JCIDS Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (US DoD; replaces Requirements Generation System, RGS) ) process requirements for both sides. DeCA and OUSD(P&R) established a core team of action officers who stayed on the project throughout and who coordinated and staffed the program with management and other stakeholders Stakeholders
All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government. at both DeCA and OUSD(P&R).
* DeCA established a dedicated program team, led by an acquisition-qualified PEO and PM; and an internal stakeholder team that mirrored the OSD IPT functions.
* The OUSD(P&R) staff was committed to both the review process and DeCA's program schedule. The staff worked closely with DeCA on planning activities and document review, providing timely responses and increasing communications and coordination as the program neared milestones. The Human Resources The fancy word for "people." The human resources department within an organization, years ago known as the "personnel department," manages the administrative aspects of the employees. Management Mission Area representative was particularly proactive in monitoring OUSD(P&R) reviews and the project schedule.
* DeCA used the DoD 5000 documents as its primary program documentation and guides, not just as required "shelfware" paperwork. DeCA hired a contractor experienced in both the DoD 5000 and DeCA business functions in order to apply the focused resources and develop high-quality documents for DeCA review and approval prior to submission to OUSD(P&R). This minimized the number of cycles and potential delays between OUSD(P&R) and DeCA and also promoted confidence within OUSD(P&R) concerning DeCA's management of the project. The contractor participated directly in DeCA/OUSD(P&R) meetings and worked directly with OUSD(P&R) specialists on technical issues. This also reduced review and cycle times.
Milestone A was achieved in February 2005, and Milestone B in November 2005. As a direct result of program success, the MDA (1) (Monochrome Display Adapter) The first IBM PC monochrome video display standard for text. Due to its lack of graphics, MDA cards were often replaced with Hercules cards, which provided both text and graphics. See PC display modes and Hercules Graphics. delegated milestone decision authority to the DeCA director in the Milestone B acquisition decision memorandum. Both of these milestones were approximately a quarter behind DeCA's initial schedule. However, the OUSD(P&R) staff were cognizant of the criticality of DeCA's procurement and deployment schedules and, through the past year's work, developed sufficient confidence in the program's approved acquisition strategy to allow DeCA to release the final Request for Proposal to industry before obtaining Milestone B approval. Because of the close collaboration between DeCA and the OUSD(P&R) staff, the project remained on schedule. DeCA's initial 2003 program schedule called for contract award in September 2005. The contract was actually awarded in December 2005 (see the graphic on page 25).
DeCA's CARTS program was the first to go through the revised 2003 DoD 5000 process from program inception to Milestone B. It was an ACAT IAM, using a full-and-open-competition acquisition strategy for COTS hardware and software, and was an atypical DoD application. Despite these potential hindrances, through close cooperation between DeCA and the OSD staff, it was successfully managed through the DoD 5000/JCIDS and procurement processes without major deviation from the program schedule or direction. The program is currently in the system development and demonstration phase, with the results to be seen in commissaries near you in 2007, and with a projected full operational capability by May 2008.
Comer is a retired Army lieutenant colonel, now serving as Defense Commissary Agency's CARTS program manager. He received a bachelor's degree in zoology zoology, branch of biology concerned with the study of animal life. From earliest times animals have been vitally important to man; cave art demonstrates the practical and mystical significance animals held for prehistoric man. from North Carolina State University History
An academic degree conferred by a college or university upon those who complete at least one year of prescribed study beyond the bachelor's degree.
Noun 1. in acquisition logistics from the Air Force Institute of Technology The Naval Postgraduate School serves a similar purpose for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The U.S. Army does not have a comparable school; Army officers study at the Naval Postgraduate School or AFIT. . Egan is a program manager at the Logistics Management Institute supporting the CARTS program. He received a bachelor's degree in computer science and a master's degree in library science from the University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university located in Berkeley, California, United States. Commonly referred to as UC Berkeley, Berkeley and Cal .
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