Hot Air Rises


Some may think PSI stands for Pounds per Square Inch—like a balloon full of hot air. But it really stands for a government committee called Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, generally made up of U.S. Senators that are full of hot air. But something in Washington is changing. And these senators are not only hot; they are on “FIRE” with technology.

Senators McCain and Levin are hot on Defense Acquisition Reform, and as part of that are keen on getting “value” for their money spent on defense and military IT projects. “Our current defense acquisition system is plagued with inadequate planning, redundant processes, and mismanagement that have resulted in the wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars and delayed delivery of needed capability to our servicemen and women,” said Senator McCain. Well, if I didn’t know better I would have thought that he read the latest CHAOS Manifesto.

Katherine Schinasi, a retired managing director from the Government Accounting Office, acted as an independent advisor to the committee. Schinasi stated: “The problem is not how decisions get made—the Department is overburdened with systems and processes and policies and regulations.” Maybe they could use Dezider to improve the process.

The committee gathered 31 essays from a variety of defense acquisition experts. They offered their views on defense acquisition reform. It all centers on value— the value of doing the defense project and doing the right things right, and getting the best bang for the buck. One of the contributors to this was our favorite “FIRE” man Lt. Col. Dan Ward. Lt. Col. Ward's message was also included in the bipartisan senate report published by Senators Levin and McCain. The report presents expert views for policymakers on how to best develop military technology.

The full report is available at the following URL:

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About the Author:


Jim Crear

Jim is the chief information officer and architect for The Standish Group International. He is an experienced executive with over 40 years of experience in the field of Information Technology. He has had a diverse career leading IT organizations in academia, biomedical, manufacturing, and software companies.

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