The Department of Defense (DoD) announced last week that Better Buying Power 3.0 is taking the next step in its efforts to improve the productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of DoD’s acquisition and logistics and to achieve dominant capabilities.

Deputy Secretary Robert Work said at a press conference announcing BBP 3.0 that a major impetus for its implementation is “a steady erosion of our technological superiority that we have relied upon for so long in all of our defense strategies.” This is “one of the biggest issues facing our department and our nation,” he stressed. BBP 3.0 will provide “dominant capabilities to the warfighter to try to maintain that technological overmatch that we’ve always enjoyed and try to extend it if possible,” he said.

BBP 3.0 is the third iteration of DoD’s program to improve its acquisition process to get more from every acquisition dollar. BBP 1.0 (2010) stressed best practices and 2.0 (2013) emphasized critical thinking skills and better tools for the decision makers.

BBP 3.0 places a “stronger emphasis on innovation, technical excellence, and the quality of our products,” Frank Kendall, DoD’s Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics said in a memo implementing BBP 3.0. The overarching theme is “Achieving Dominant Capabilities through Technical Excellence and Innovation,” he said.

There are eight focus areas for achieving dominant capabilities: Achieve affordable programs; Achieve dominant capabilities while controlling costs; Incentivize productivity in industry and government; Incentivize innovation in industry and government; Eliminate unproductive processes and bureaucracy; Promote effective competition; Improve tradecraft in acquisition of services; and Improve the professionalism of the acquisition workforce. Some of these areas are “core” initiatives from earlier versions, some are expanded, and some are new. These areas contains over 30 initiatives.

Within these areas, BBP 3.0 sets goals for new focus initiatives. To Institutionalize Stronger DOD Level Long Range Program Plans, the Deputy Assistance Secretary of Defense will lead the development of the Long Range Research and Development Program Plan (LRRDPP) by July 15, 2015. The LRRDPP explores and develops “new technologies and approaches to warfighting.”

Cybersecurity issues will receive special attention. BBP 3.0 seeks to Strengthen Cybersecurity throughout the Product Lifecycle. Efforts will focus on ways to improve cybersecurity of system designs and methods to implement higher levels of protection for unclassified technical information. DoD components and the military services will develop a ways to link Intelligence, counterintelligence, law enforcement, and acquisition activities to improve protection of classified and unclassified technical information.

To Remove Barriers to Commercial Technology Utilization, DoD will assess the potential benefits from greater participation in consortium arrangements focused on innovation, establish a “Community of Practice” for faster acquisition of Commercial Off-the-Shelf products and commercial services, and evaluate possible legislative changes to give DOD greater access to commercial technology.

BBP 3.0 will also seek to increase the use of prototyping and experimentation to allow the exploration of innovative operational concepts, improve outreach to global markets for technology and products, strengthen organic engineering capabilities by more proactively managing the organic workforce, and use modular open systems to stimulate innovation. DoD will also promote outreach efforts to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and careers.

Kendall stressed implementing BBP 3.0 is even more important during the current period of financial constraint, especially with sequestration set to reengage in FY2016. “Getting as much buying power for the money as we possibly can is what this is all about,” Kendall said.

More detailed information is available on the Better Buying Power program website.