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George Mason University

GMU C4I Center-AFCEA Symposium
May 20-21, 2014

SESSION 5: Progress in IT Acquisition Reform


Value Assured Framework (VAF): Risk Revisited

Chris Gunderson
Capt USN (ret),
Government Technical Director,
Multi-Agency Collaboration Environment (MACE)

May 21, 2014 at 14:30


Traditional Defense Acquisition risk management approaches attempt to subjectively quantify, and then minimize, both the probability of risk events occurring, and the magnitude of the negative consequences of those occurrences. This approach does not directly associate risks with potential rewards, or manage the probability or consequence of reward events occurring.

In contrast, VAF objectively quantifies targeted "value" as a variable that is highly dependent on the variables "utility", and "cost." Utility and cost are both highly dependent on the variable "time" required to field increments of capability. VAF then objectively optimizes co-dependent risk and reward by applying novel value metrics, probability models, and risk-reward optimization factors.

Risk-reward optimization factors include use of "Plug Fest" techniques to vet off-the-shelf system components in terms of objective risk/reward potential.

An ongoing MACE project serves as a case study.


CHRIS GUNDERSON is a Research Associate Professor of Information Science at the Naval Post Graduate School. He is on a special assignment in Herndon VA sponsored by the Department of Defense to serve as the Technical Director of the Multi-Agency Collaborative Environment. The MACE is a new-think government approach to deploying Information Systems based on incentivizing a consortium of expert commercial providers to deliver more information value per time per cost.

Prior to this assignment, Professor Gunderson managed an initiative sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense to create the World Wide Consortium for the Grid (W2COG), a global network of collaborative experts committed to rapidly fielding network centric tools for enhancing global security and peaceful commerce.

Gunderson retired from the US Navy in October 2004 as a Captain following 27 years' service.

His last assignment in the Navy was as Commanding Officer of Fleet Numerical Oceanographic & Meteorological Center, a super computer network operation center in Monterey, Calif.

Prior to command of Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, Gunderson served as Deputy Oceanographer of the Navy, and helped develop Department of Defense policy for enhancing information system interoperability.


PlugFest as an Enterprise Information System
Acquisition Risk Mitigation Methodology

Eric Westreich
Defense Business Development

May 21, 2014 at 14:30


A Plug Fest, generically, is a pragmatic industrial best practice for proving that a product or service is usefully interoperable per chosen open standards. A loose coalition of government, industry, and academic advocates have adapted PlugFest to demonstrate the feasibility and value of more agile, open, COTS-friendly approaches to acquisition of governmental Enterprise Information Systems (EIS). Three years of experience collected against various use cases in various venues provides strong evidence that the government can effectively apply the Plug Fest process to optimize risk and reward within an EIS Acquisition Strategy designed to harvest the benefit of rapidly evolving COTS technology. It makes sense to establish a persistent Plug Fest virtual laboratory in an academic environment to build on these lessons.


ERIC WESTREICH is known for turning complex problems into clear solution maps...and then facilitating collaboration between diverse groups to improve the solution map and deliver technology solutions. For over ten years, as Esri's C2 Industry Manager, Eric has helped groups define and deliver decision based solutions using cloud based geographic information systems. During 21 years of naval service, Eric pioneered the integration of revolutionary technology into traditional government systems: fusing intelligence, environmental, and operational information into tactical products. Examples include the successful acquisition and delivery of one of DoD's first global subscription based web services. Eric also serves as AFCEA International's PlugFest Consortium Lead whose goal is showing that government, industry, and academia working on the same problem, at the same time, together can deliver some technology solutions faster, better, and cheaper.


Last updated: 05/20/2014