Simulation, Simulation Based Acquisition


A Department of Defense (DoD) M&S education task force is in the process of studying the Modeling and Simulation (M&S) education of the acquisition workforce. Historically, DoD acquisition workforce education is not referred to as education, but rather what the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) refers to as "practitioner training, career management, and services." The DAU is the organization primarily responsible for training the DoD acquisition corps in conjunction with service schools and strategic partners in the civilian sector. DAU programs primarily focus on program management, contracting, and management of logistics across the system life cycle. Further, the examples and cases used in the training are primarily DoD centric. Only select DoD employees are exposed to Harvard Business School (HBS) perspectives. The use of M&S to improve system acquisition is only delivered in three courses. Further, Simulation-Based Acquisition (SBA) as a strategy in development of various systems is not explicitly taught. The general notion for this research is that exposure of actual or potential defense acquisition students to the rich civilian literature on M&S across the enterprise life cycle and SBA in particular may be beneficial to DoD. To further this general notion, this research investigates content in courses whose curriculum, while still more than 50% DoD, contains HBS SBA and other M&S related case studies. While abbreviated for the purpose of this abstract, the overall hypothesis of this dissertation is that M&S and HBS case studies make a positive contribution to DoD or potential DoD employees. To investigate this hypothesis, this research conducted both internal and external evaluations to determine the level to which the course makes a positive contribution to the student ability to "Understand the concepts of SBA across the entire program life cycle, in order to reduce the time, resources, and risks associated with the acquisition pr This was identified by the task force as a key element in the Education Skills Requirement (ESR) that this curriculum intends to address. The internal evaluation used inferential statistics to consider the validity of the course topics, content, evaluation methods, and case study delivery method through student evaluations of a live class. Among other variables, this research tracks class participants' responses (self-assessment) and performance (subject matter expert objective assessment) demographically to include current and potential DoD employees. With the graying of DoD workforce, potential DoD employees are important to the DoD community too. The external evaluation likewise considers the validity of the course topics and content through a survey of acquisition professionals external to the class. External acquisition professionals are drawn from across DoD as well as include former DoD acquisition employees. The combination of the internal and external evaluations provides insight into these and other issues related to the course topics, content, evaluation methods, and case study delivery methods and make recommendations on these and other issues for future course offerings.


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Graduation Date



Proctor, Michael


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Industrial Engineering and Management Systems

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering








Release Date

April 2009

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)