Simulation Based Acquisition: A New Approach

Lieutenant Colonel Michael V. R. Johnson, Sr., USA; Lieutenant Colonel Mark F. McKeon, USMC; Lieutenant Colonel Terence R. Szanto, USAF
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Report of the
Military Research Fellows
DSMC 1997-1998


The objective of this book is to convince program managers that SBA is a smarter way of doing
business. We will do this by defining SBA, explaining the strengths of SBA, and describing the
forces that will encourage its use. Where possible, we highlight best practices and useful
implementation guidance.

Within the DoD, there are a staggering number of variables that an acquisition program office
must evaluate and analyze. There is an almost infinite number of possible applications of SBA
activities within DoD acquisition programs. Where they apply, we present examples of commercial
applications of SBA. Most, however, are narrowly focused and are of questionable
general use to acquisition program offices. This is partly because acquisition programs within
the DoD are unique in their complexity compared with many commercial enterprises. Systems
that the DoD produces are usually composed of many varied sub-components that push the
boundaries of technology. When these complex sub-components are brought together in the
aggregate at the system level, the complexity of the program is compounded. We hope that this
“round down range” will stimulate discussion and provide the mark from which to “adjust fire.”