Army Acquisition Chief Seeks Different ‘Success’

Army Acquisition Chief Seeks Different ‘Success’

Photo by: U.S. Army

The Army acquisition chief is trying to change the perception of success for acquisition program managers. “We are going to be product-oriented,” said Bruce Jette, assistant Army secretary for acquisition, logistics and technology.

Jette, sworn in Jan. 2, is talking about culture change in the acquisition community. Success for a program manager has been measured by adhering to the process, he said. The result could be every box is checked but no product is built. “That is an unacceptable outcome,” he told the House Armed Services Committee during a hearing on acquisition reform.

“What I’ve done is I’ve turned around to my workforce, and I’ve said we’re going to be product-oriented. Your accountability is not whether you followed the process in detail but whether or not you generate a product,” Jette said. “My approach is they are being held accountable to make a proper selection of that pathway, not to take the safest path.”

Jette said he’s working on ideas to encourage career soldiers to specialize in acquisition, with some type of incentives. “I’ve begun talking to the chief of staff of the Army about the possibility of perhaps generating a sabbatical, allowing them to have a paid sabbatical so we can send them off to additional graduate school, to additional experiences in industry,” he said.