Defense acquisition program manager as program leader : improving program outcomes through key competencies and relationship management
Author(s)Baumann, B. Marc
Improving program outcomes through key competencies and relationship management
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.
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The US defense acquisition system is a massive enterprise charged with developing and acquiring state-of-the-art military technology and systems. For the past 65 years, many broad-reaching studies and commissions have endeavored to refine and overhaul the acquisition process to improve its value delivery in the form of increased capability, in less time, and for lower costs. But processes don't make things, people do; which reframes this research to focus on people over process. Acquisition people are knowledge workers, who must creatively execute defense programs within the system and processes they are given. The Government Program Manager (PM) is the primary focus of the thesis. The research explores how the PM is able to achieve improved program outcomes through a combination of leadership competencies and management of key stakeholder relationships. The examination of relevant acquisition literature provides opportunities for the application of systems, stakeholder, and negotiation theory to enable PMs to achieve value delivery on defense programs. Additional theories on organizational routines and activity systems provide insight on how effective PMs can build acquisition dynamic capabilities in the small and in the large to benefit US national security. The research gathers interview data from PM experts and leadership of several large acquisition case study programs. Unique to this research is the multi-dimensional perspective obtained from the Government PM, the lead User representative, and the prime contractor PM on the case programs. This approach enables an examination of the influence of dyadic and triadic relationships and program priorities alignment, with particular focus on the Government PM's role in establishing and managing those stakeholder relationships. The research concludes that strong dialectic leadership, with sufficient managerial and technical competence is paramount for an exceptional PM to succeed in delivering improved program outcomes. Recommendations are provided for the PM, those responsible for PM development, and the DoD to increase efficiency and effectiveness of the defense acquisition enterprise.
Thesis (S.M. in Engineering and Management)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, 2013.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 162-168).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering Systems Division.