Project Management Institute

Competition strategies for defense projects

Competition is one of the strategies used to achieve project cost and performance goals by motivating the suppliers who support large defense projects. During the early 1950s, policy moved away from competition toward more regulatory control, but procurement scandals helped to move the policy emphasis back toward competition in the 1980s, as exemplified by the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) of 1984. Increased competition, however, when coupled with inappropriate use of award criteria or an overemphasis on cost as opposed to value, can also have drawbacks. This article discussed how the defense procurement process differs from the free-market environment, explores various competition strategies, and argues that competition can be an effective management tool when used properly and tied to a project's strategic goals.
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