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Dau pilots successful program startup workshop.

Although years of work may precede it, the real beginning for most acquisition programs occurs when a funded requirement is finally put on contract for system development. A common tendency for the government team, after a long and intense source selection, is to think, "Now we've got a prime contractor, and the ball's in their court to deliver on the program." This is a mistake, of course. program management is always a partnership, with both government and industry teams contributing to successful program execution.

As part of strategic partnering with industry, the Defense Acquisition University and Raytheon jointly developed a new Program Startup Workshop to facilitate better government and industry teaming after contract award on defense acquisition programs. Workshop objectives are to:

* Educate government and industry teams on effective program startup actions

* Produce key program startup products

* Build an environment of trust, collaboration, teamwork, and communication

* Establish the foundation to execute a successful program.

The workshop, whose design is tailored to match the specific needs of each program, is intended to:

* Be held two to four weeks after contract award

* Be conducted jointly with the government and contractor teams

* Be a high-energy concentrated effort over three to five days

* Provide training on essential start-up activities

* Be based on best practices of successful programs,

* Create an environment of teamwork, communication, and trust

* Lead to successful program execution.

Pilot with SLAMRAAM

Raytheon and DAU conducted the pilot offering of the workshop for the Surfaced-Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile program (SLAMRAAM) from March 16-19, 2004, in Huntsville, Ala. The agenda for the workshop was tailored in a preliminary meeting with the Army and Raytheon program managers (PMs). Real products were developed in the workshop, including joint program vision, values, mission, and goals; the contract change process; validation of program risks; and integrated product team (IPT) charters.

First Workshop with MMA

The first DAU offering of the workshop was held from July 13-15, 2004, in Seattle, Wash., with the Boeing Company and the Navy on the Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) program. There were over 55 attendees from Boeing, as well as Boeing subcontractors, the Navy program office, Navy headquarters staff and fleet sponsors, and the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA). The agenda was tailored to fit the needs of the program in a planning meeting with the Navy and Boeing MMA staff. Workshop topics included program requirements, vision and mission, contract baseline, change management, the program's integrated digital environment (IDE), risk management, planning and deliverables for the upcoming integrated baseline review (IBR), IPT structuring and chartering, and program metrics. The workshop sessions and development of products were facilitated by a small team of DAU faculty.

Commenting on impact of the MMA workshop, James Lackey, the Navy's deputy IPT lead, said, "Our evolved agenda, which allowed the Fleet and OPNAV to express their viewpoints on why MMA exists, was critical for contractor awareness and understanding of the warfighter big picture.... We did deliver products: face-to-face meetings to establish 'running rules,' the way ahead, program issues, and formulation of joint team charters.... The key accomplishment was to have Navy and Boeing team lead counterparts sit down with one another in a relaxed forum to discuss broad-based and team-focused challenges."

One workshop participant said, "I enjoyed the workshop. It is great being able to meet the people from all areas that you will be working with to make this program a success." Another participant agreed, adding, "DAU was a great forcing function to make this critical event happen. Thanks!"

Putting the Workshop to Work

DAU intends to make the workshop available throughout the defense acquisition community. Workshop materials will also be made available to government and industry through the DAU Acquisition Community Connection (ACC) at <> so that others can deliver the workshop. The Program Startup Workshop is a best practice that can contribute to the success of any acquisition program.
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Publication:Defense AT & L
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2004
Previous Article:Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (Dec. 6-9, 2004).
Next Article:USSOCOM Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Conference and Exhibition.

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