Friday, August 15, 2008

Process versus Results

Slightly old news, but a lot of people got pretty angry over the recent Air Force tanker competition, because there were apparently some irregularities or the Air Force made some procedural missteps. The Air Force recently opened yet another round of bidding... we'll see how things go this time.

Here's what I'm wondering: People are upset about procedural problems, but where is the outrage that we've spent all this time and money and have so precious little to show for it (actually, we have nothing to show for it). Where's the outrage over the fact that some of our tankers are 50 years old?

We're so concerned that the process was flawed (perhaps we expected perfection?) that we've overlooked the lack of results.

Chalk up another "victory" for Michael Hammer and his legions of process-oriented Hammerheads (really, that's what his fans call themselves!).


Gabe said...


That's me making my Yosemite Sam impression (you should see how red my face is). It just so happens today that a trusted agent was revealed as a process zombie. Subsequentally I had a long, exhausting battle with the LOUG today trying to continue a project I don't stand behind at all. Unfortunately, I lost. Questions raised by the battle:

To prove you've thought something through, is it necessary to write it down?

What ever happended to simply experimenting to see what happens?

Or better yet, what ever happened to simply playing?

This is also pertintent to your post on being 5 years old.

Mark said...

"...the GAO concluded the Air Force unfairly gave Northrop extra credit and did not make it clear that size and the ability to carry more fuel would be a bonus."

Yeah... who would have thought that the Air Force would want a tanker to be able to carry more fuel?

And now all they are going to do is spend more (time, money) to re-write the requirements, stating that they would prefer more fuel capacity, then send basically the same proposals through again, and come to the same original conclusion?

Someone will probably get promoted along the way...

The Dan Ward said...

Good point, Marko - and sadly, the promotions are no doubt already in the works...