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Abstract

This qualitative single-case study explored strategies that senior U.S. Army Commanders could use to reduce the approval time for an acquisition category (ACAT) III need document in the Joint Capabilities Integrated Development System (JCIDS). Data came from historical documents and semistructured interviews of 30 ACAT III requirement writers and senior U.S. Army commanders with expertise in JCIDS. The conceptual framework was Goldratt’s theory of constraints. Miles, Huberman, and Saldana’s data analysis method was used to identify themes. Six themes emerged that yielded six possible strategies to reduce approval time: (a) define and implement an objective goal, (b) simplify the process and decrease redundancy by reducing or eliminating irrelevant levels of review, (c) determine the optimum number of reviews necessary for the desired outcome, (d) determine if the chief of staff of the Army should be the approving authority for an ACAT III need document, (e) determine the appropriate offices and individuals that should be consulted about the need document during the world wide review process, and (f) enhance training for JCIDS personnel participating in the need approval process. These findings are already contributing to positive organizational and social change because they have already been adopted by the U.S. Army as the basis for a significant effort to streamline the acquisition process, save U.S. taxpayer funding, and enhance the combat efficiency of the U.S. Army, thereby increasing the safety and security of the United States and its citizens.

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