Processes, strategies track cradle-to-grave lifecycle Published Sept. 30, 2021 By Estella Holmes, Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs Note: This is the fourth in a series of articles on the Air Force Materiel Command Digital Campaign Lines of Effort. The series focuses on one effort each month, providing information on the goals, importance and ongoing successes. Each effort is led by a champion and is supervised by an Air Force Life Cycle Management Center general officer and/or Program Executive Officer who helps drive the accomplishment of the campaign objectives. WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The development of strategies and processes for smooth, predictable acquisition in an integrated digital environment throughout the lifecycle of a particular program is the hallmark of line of effort three in the Air Force Materiel Command Digital Campaign. The goal is to acquire products and services digitally to support lifecycle activities from concept to disposal using an integrated digital environment. “Well defined digital strategies and process are a required starting point and will guide acquisition professionals who need to know the initial steps to starting a shift to digital,” said Lansen Conley, Director of Logistics and Logistics Services, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and the Air Force Acquisition Digital Campaign Line of Effort #3 (Lifecycle Strategies and Processes) champion. Four specific objective teams focus on different parts of the LOE #3 goal. For Objective Team 1, the task is to develop the elements and relationships necessary for the acquisition community to manage and sustain weapon systems throughout the lifecycle in a digital ecosystem. The new ecosystem depends on continuous automated system engineering technical reviews, milestone certifications and integrity programs. The team developed an Acquisition and Sustainment Data Package containing the 20 types of data required for a successful Air Force digital acquisition program. The ASDP defines each type of data and how it is to be delivered to Air Force. Currently, “Statement of Objective” and “Statement of Work” templates for digital acquisitions are being developed to go alongside the ASDP. “The ASDP and associated SOO/SOW language will help program offices get exactly the data they need for a digital program,” said Conley. Objective Team 2 reviewed the templates of four major acquisition documents and recommend revisions suited to acquiring goods and services in an integrated digital environment. Some revisions currently available in the Digital Guide include an update of the Acquisition Strategy Plan, the Systems Engineering Plan, Test and Evaluation Management Plan, and Life Cycle Sustainment Plan. Objective Team 3 developed guidance for Air Force programs concerning the implementation of digital acquisition objectives during request-for-proposal and model contract development. This guidance package helps program office teams conduct critical thinking and decision making in the earliest stages of acquisition. “The Model-Based Strategic Contract Guidance package is an excellent tool to enable our acquisition teams to critically think through development of their programs unique requirements and contract language as they focus on applicable key digital integration features,” said Conley. The final objective is the establishment of digital maturity metrics by Team 4 to allow a program to measure its level of digital acquisition. The Digital Maturity Metrics Assessment Tool, available on the Digital Guide, uses seven metrics with 19 sub-areas to determine a program’s current state of digital acquisition maturity and set targets for future desired level of digital acquisition. The results allow effective comparisons between as-is and should-be, which is needed for risk- based decisions. In the future, Team 4 will also ensure lessons learned and best practices are built into the process. “The Digital Maturity Metrics have already been helpful to programs, program executive officers and AFMC Centers in determining their current state of digital acquisition, their desired future state, and the how and when of getting there,” said Conley. He further explained that the importance of the strategies and processes lines of effort lies in their ability to provide users with mechanisms to critically think through the development of a program’s unique requirements and contract language as they focus on applicable key digital integration features. All of the outputs from LOE 3 objective teams will help programs transition to digital acquisition and are available now on the Air Force Digital Transformation homepage under Enterprise Processes. These products are both a good starting point and a road map for acquisition professionals who have started the shift to digital.