You have reached a collection of archived material.

The content available is no longer being updated and may no longer be applicable as a result of changes in law, regulation and/or administration. If you wish to see the latest content, please visit the current version of the site.

For persons with disabilities experiencing difficulties accessing content on archive.defense.gov, please use the DoD Section 508 Form. In this form, please indicate the nature of your accessibility issue/problem and your contact information so we can address your issue or question.

United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

DoD News

Bookmark and Share

 News Article

Better Buying Power 3.0 Shifts Emphasis to Innovation

By Amaani Lyle
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

NEWPORT, R.I., Sept. 5, 2014 – The projected release next month of Better Buying Power 3.0, the latest iteration of a Pentagon initiative designed to achieve dominant capabilities through technical excellence and innovation, will shift the Defense Department’s focus, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics told an audience of defense industry leaders here yesterday.

Frank Kendall spoke at the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance’s Defense Innovation Days conference.

Though sequestration spending cuts are scheduled to kick back in for fiscal year 2016 will affect planning and investment, Kendall said, long-range research and product development must continue.

“A lot of the things we’ve been doing are going to continue, … but we’re going to move to the product side of the house,” he said. “We have to focus more on innovation, and we have to get better capability in the hands of the warfighter.”

Achieving affordable programs

With inputs from industry, think tanks and Capitol Hill, Kendall said, Better Buying Power 3.0 will offer guidance on topics such as achieving affordable programs and dominant capability and providing greater incentive to the commercial sector to better leverage technology. “We need a variety of contract types, business skills, incentive structures and different ways of doing business to be mutually beneficial to government and industry,” he explained.

Industry and government innovation such as prototyping at the system level will advance technology, preserve design teams and reduce the lead time to future capabilities, he added.

Pentagon officials aim to ensure there are insertion points in DoD programs to bring new technology in as a product in service over its lifetime, the undersecretary said, including tapping into small-business innovative research. But in recent years, DoD has needed to pare costs across the board after a period of living on a large overseas contingency operations budget, spurring the need for the first round of Better Buying Power, which focused on efficiencies and best practices, he added.

“We cannot afford to start things that we cannot afford,” Kendall said. “We’ve canceled … programs over the years we started with great ambitions and aspirations that we should have realized earlier on were not [affordable in the long term].”

Better Buying Power 3.0 will not represent a shift in direction as much as a shift in emphasis, Kendall said.

“We tend to buy high-cost things in small numbers, which means we’ve created lucrative targets for somebody to attack,” he noted. “Those can be things like aircraft carriers or things like air bases.”

Better feedback, business-focused tools

The updated initiative will emphasize better feedback to industry and will give people business-focused tools to improve work performance, promote long-range planning and focus resources into strategic areas that will enable DoD to maintain its advantage, Kendall told the industry leaders.

In addition to collaboration with industry, internal ties will be a critical part of the process, Kendall said. “We want to build stronger cooperation and partnerships with our requirements and intelligence communities, as well as with acquisitions, so that we’re more responsive to threats,” he said.

Ideally, he added, Better Buying Power 3.0 will improve the professionalism of the total acquisition workforce, with a focus on technical proficiency and excellence.

“If you’re going to run the development program, you really have to be an engineer,” Kendall said. “You wouldn’t supervise surgeons if you weren’t a surgeon.”

And far before the professional and technical excellence stage, a focus on science, technology, engineering and math education should remain at the forefront, Kendall asserted. “It’s crucial to the success not just of our military, but of our country as well,” he said.

(Follow Amaani Lyle on Twitter: @LyleDoDNews)

Contact Author

Biographies:
Frank Kendall

Related Sites:
The Defense Department on Facebook
The Defense Department on Twitter
DoD News on Facebook
DoD News on Twitter
DoDLive Blog
DoD Video News

Related Articles:
DoD Seeks Industry Collaboration in Technology Development
Official Describes Emerging Capability, Products, Processes
Hagel Encourages Innovation, Adaptability to Maintain Edge
Solutions Evolving for Budget Challenges, DoD Official Says



Additional Links

Stay Connected