By Kevin M. Guite, AMSAA contributing writerJuly 9, 2013
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA) initiated the Center for Army Acquisition Lessons Learned (CAALL) in response to a 2010 Army Acquisition Review recommendation that the Army should develop a single database that captures "appropriate programs, issues, trends, solutions and successes in acquisition programs."
The AAE (Army Acquisition Executive), the honorable Heidi Shyu, signed a memo on January 8, 2012 directing AMSAA to "create a web-enabled database for Acquisition Lessons Learned and provide analytical capability to conduct the analysis."
After more than a year of tweaking and refining, the capability is delivering relevant trend analysis and lessons learned to Army counterparts.
The memo tasked program, project, and product managers of all ACAT programs to conduct an After Action Review (AAR) after all milestone events and program terminations, and submit these lessons through the website in order to share this knowledge with the Army acquisition community.
"We have to put data in and have the Program Managers use it, or it is just a repository. It comes down to how easy it is to search, digest the information, and identify trends" said Shyu.
Gabe Camarillo, Principal Deputy to AAE continued "The most useful aspect is to filter lessons, depending on milestone or phase, to easily find the information needed."
User access to valuable acquisition lessons learned and best practices is obtained through the Acquisition Lessons Learned Portal (ALLP), which is a web-based application managed by AMSAA's Acquisition Lessons Learned Team. Within the portal's database is a collection of practical lessons submitted by Army acquisition professionals in response to real-world acquisition challenges. These lessons tackle a variety of Army acquisition program challenges that most likely could not be addressed in official Army acquisition training courses.
"The Army has become risk averse. There are multiple documents needed to show you've laid the program out right. Failures are no longer accepted. Thirty to forty years ago it was understood that failures are part of the learning process" said Shyu during a live demonstration of the portal, which occurred earlier this year.
She added that the acquisition processes are "forcing Program Managers to be more rigorous, to think through the affordability of requirements."
Program, project, and product managers have been encouraged by the AAE to use the database as a means to learn from what other programs have already experienced. Lessons can be searched according to acquisition milestone, category, and ACAT level. The ultimate goal is to improve program success while supporting Army acquisition planning, programming and decisions.
For those government users wishing to provide or capitalize on the Army's Acquisition Lessons Learned, please visit https://allp.amsaa.army.mil to request an account.