Want to Transform IT Acquisition? Go Back to School – The Defense Acquisition University

You can’t talk federal IT today without discussing the need for business transformation. Ever wonder where DoD folks go to learn how to transform the acquisition process? Well, they go back to school – to the DAU, Defense Acquisition University. The DoD’s award-winning corporate university is located just down Route One a piece, headquartered at Ft. Belvoir just south of Alexandria, VA.

The mission of the DAU is to provide training, career management and services to enable the entire acquisition community to make smarter business decisions. By doing so, timely and affordable services are delivered to the warfighter. Since 2008, the DAU has been using Business Process Management (BPM) tools from Appian to help accomplish its mission.

Back in 2008, DAU started using BPM to simplify, automate and manage their micro purchase and training request system. Users submit via a simple web-based form, business rules and approvals are automatically followed, and every user receives email notifications. Here’s how Mark Whiteside, Performance and Resource Management Director at DAU described it back then:

”We saw automation of micro purchases as an important first step in financial process improvement,” he explained. “We anticipate expanding our use of Appian to other key process areas to the point where ultimately it will act as the central business system for the DAU.”

Boy, have they ever expanded their use! Here are the processes Appian’s BPM supports today for DAU:

  • Suspense tracking
  • Hiring requests
  • Faculty application process
  • Contracts
  • Receipt/Acceptance of goods
  • Case management

This is what business transformation looks like in the DoD. If you want more info, you can either enroll in the DAU, or just drop us a line at BetterGov – we’ll hook you up!