Comparison of Department of Defense Information Technology Acquisition Processes: A Case Study   [open pdf - 775KB]

"This thesis presents a comparison and analysis of two Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition methods: the formal acquisition process and the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD). Both processes can be, and are, used by DoD to acquire information technology (IT), but while DoD has utilized the formal acquisition process for 30 years, the ACTD process is only 6 years old, and was specifically designed to improve upon the standard acquisition process (when applied to IT). By describing and studying the events surrounding, actors participating in, and results of one ACTD, this thesis will determine what lessons-learned can be applied to the standard acquisition process. While the ACTD and acquisition processes share some similarities in their management and funding, there are also significant differences. For example, ACTDs gain approval through a completely different process than acquisitions, and are subjected to less bureaucratic oversight. The recommendations provided in this thesis indicate that, based upon the experiences of the real-life ACTD sampled, the ACTD process does represent an improvement upon the standard acquisition process, specifically when the standard process is utilized to acquire IT."

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