Skip to comments.Senators to probe Air Force’s $1 billion failed software
Posted on 01/25/2013 7:01:48 PM PST by Rabin
. Computer Sciences Corporations performance on a failed $1 billion software project for the Air Force, a major objective of departing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.. An additional $1.1 billion would have been required to fix the system and put it in operation by 2020 -- eight years after the planned date.. I can understand the senators frustration, Air Force top uniformed acquisition official Lieutenant General Charles Davis.
(Excerpt) Read more at stripes.com ...
As an ERP system practitioner, this subject is near and dear.
There are several off the shelf products that would do 90% of what the Airforce wanted. The mistake likely centered around doing too many things, with too many people involved, at once.
Scale it down, make it work, then scale it up.
You know, like testing the new fighter plane. Push the performance envelope in small increments.
Fixed price contract.
For $527 million.
And the Air Force lost $1 billion on this package.
Pretty much tells you everything you need to know about how broken our acquisition system is.
The Air Force acquisition program is EXCEPTIONALLY broken.
I don’t even bother writing proposals for the air force or DOD anymore.
Just another brilliant idea of Panetta’s, thank God he’s leaving, maybe we will get lucky and he will get lost in the Bermuda Triangle or Hillary’s butt and we will never have to hear from him again.
Ya think??? Heads should roll starting with yours.
This is one of the reasons that the DoD budget can be trimmed.
What is wrong with out of the box, Microsoft air to air and Microsoft air to infidel? Why reinvent the wheel?
I rarely have anything good to say about the Chinese government, but to their credit, if they spent a billion dollars on military software, had “essentially nothing” to show for it, and the company asked for another billion dollars to fix it, the heads of that software company would be executed.
That performance is only allowed if you’re working a “Green Energy” contract.
Not Invented Here
Absolutely. I never saw so much waste first hand as when I was in the military. God bless our heros on the front lines, but as an organization the military is just as bloated and inefficient as any other agency of the government.
Yes, the AF acquisition system is broken, but not all parts. Those “black” programs and those high speed programs that are out there work fairly well. Why? because each successive program manager is NOT allowed to make minor, mainly cosmetic, changes to put his personal stamp on the effort. IMHO, the second reason the system is broke there is no penalty for failure.
If you want to see what can be done go look into a program called Creditable Sport also known as YMC-130. In 1980 it took us less than six months to modify three C-130 aircraft for a SpecOps mission. The required minimum performance was to land and then take off from an open soccer stadium without any ground based assistance. The time-line was less than six months. Every critical mission requirement was achieved including the time-line. It was successful because there was NO change in the management team, there was no time to spend on conferences and risk avoidance, and it was impossible to spend all the money given the program.
But, every acquisition professional out there would never attempt such a program today. I will not comment on why.
Now someone needs to look at Space Command’s Electronic Schedule Dissemination (ESD) fiasco.
Its sadly ironic you went back 33 years for an example of how it went well.
Today the AF is lumping requirements into these 5 or 10 yr programs worth multiple billion dollars. They are killing off competition as the losing companies have no hope of getting any business for those 5 or 10 yrs. The sheer size of the programs makes them unmanageable.
I say this as a SDVOSB who has been working with federal agencies for the last 9 years.
He’ll just retire and be sole-sourced a sweet-heart deal.
In China that would happen regardless of whether it was actually the companies fault.
In many cases these fiasco’s are due to changing customer requirements or their simple ignorance/arrogance.
Several years ago I was working for a contract mfg. co. We were approached by a major navy contractor to manufacture a cooling system to be used in nuclear subs. After looking over the engineering drawings I suggested a cost saving idea.
There was an off the shelf system that sold for less than $100.00. it would have needed the addition of two air flow switches in order to meet the navy's requirement. Total cost: less than $200.00.
The navy rejected my idea. We built the unit to their engineering drawings. Cost: $25,000.00
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