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How to help DOD with couples therapy

Weapons testers and program managers in the Defense Department need couples therapy, according to the Project on Government Oversight.

POGO found an internal defense memo recently that insinuates the testing, requirements, and program management communities in DOD need better relationships and interaction with each other. But it is not enough for POGO to simply say these defense communities need couples therapy. DOD needs more concrete takeaways for repairing their relationships and helping the therapy along.

Therefore, each recommendation from the memo has some insights for couples:

1."Stronger mechanisms for rapid adaptation to emerging facts by the requirements, acquisition, and test communities and less resistance to change."

Translation: If you've agreed on a movie and she changes her mind at the last minute, go with it. 

2. "A requirements process that produces well-defined, and therefore, testable requirements."

Translation: Consider the true character of the man if he stops opening doors and paying for dates.

3. "An executable plan to use developmental and operational testing together as a means to achieve and demonstrate success."

Translation: Set your vacation itinerary ahead of time to be sure both of you agree on where to go and what to do on the trip.

4. "To ensure that expected and healthy tension between the program and test community doesn’t turn to animosity by having early and objective communication of concerns and issues."

Translation: Apologize early and often. Alternately: Accept that you have a choice to be happy or to be right, but not necessarily both. 

Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jun 09, 2011 at 12:11 PM

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Reader comments

Fri, Jun 10, 2011

I really don't see this as anything new. As a member of many many DoD test teams over the last 30 years I would say that this has been the understanding of the entire acquisition community for decades. Most of the personnel in the community try very hard to cooperate to get the job done and provide an effective product for the war fighter. That's our job! But, there are always a few Type A personalities out there with plenty of ego and more than a trace of professional dishonesty who can throw a spanner in the works. Caution should be a watchword with these suggestions. Suggestion 1 could also be translated as "Don't worry about throwing out the baby with the bathwater ... we can always make another." Sometimes, and I do emphasize "sometimes," the first answer is the right answer. Change for the sake of change is almost never the right course to take.

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