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Digital Acquisition Accelerator

Accelerating the adoption of digital acquisition practices.

Summary

As part of the White House's Office of Management and Budget's Acquisition Innovation Labs initiative, the Digital Acquisition Accelerator was a pilot program designed to accelerate the adoption of digital acquisition practices across the government.

An abstract image of a speedometer.

The challenge

The modern delivery of information technology, including human-centered design, lean-agile development, open-source software, and cloud computing, all represent fundamentally new ways of procuring products and services from the vendor community. But how do you induce the necessary institutional changes at the scale of government?

The solution

To address this challenge, Chris Cairns architected and led a "train-the-trainer" program designed to help agencies establish their own multidisciplinary team of digital acquisition experts.

The program brought together expert trainers and coaches from 18F, the Presidential Innovation Fellows, and the U.S. Digital Service (the first-ever such cross-organizational collaboration) who worked with agencies to assemble their teams and build-up their expertise through a variety of development techniques, including classroom training, hands-on learning (involving real-world acquisitions), and knowledge capture and sharing.

The results

Notable results include:

  • Pilot program announced to all agencies via formal memo from the White House's Office of Management and Budget
  • Over a dozen agencies applied to participate
  • Delivered training to two agencies
  • Produced first-ever, government-wide guidance on digital acquisitions ("Digital Acquisition Playbook")