Player Awards for Business Innovation Initiative Game Round 3

Results quicklook, bii MMOWGLI Round 3 Player Awards for Business Innovation Initiative Game Round 3

On Monday, we concluded a two-week crowd sourcing event on the topics of Intellectual Property, Data Rights and Open Systems Architecture (OSA) to find innovative alternatives for removing roadblocks to competition. 16 Action Plans were developed from 1110 Idea Cards.  This work was accomplished by 245 new players plus many returning players from previous rounds of the bii game.  These tremendous contributions are now being evaluated by the Naval OSA Strategy implementation working groups, with recommended actions expected during the coming year. 

Playing to Win

The Leader Board displays reveal the top players.  The Top 10 Idea Card Authors + Top 10 Action Plan Authors each had five players in both categories, resulting in our awards list of Top 15 Players Overall.

    Combined Achievement in Subject Exploration (Idea Cards) and Subject Innovation (Action Plans): players ABWIS, 50 or Bust, Parsifal, AllAboutTheData and Ram.
    Achievement in Subject Exploration (Idea Cards): players TkEng, acquisitionguy, OARocks, Jacko and JohnFire.
    Achievement in Subject Innovation (Action Plans): players FoxyLady, noreaster, Paste, Spud and Collaborator22.

The clear winner in Round 3 of the bii MMOWGLI game is ABWIS.  Seemingly everywhere at once, this player led as both the most influential Idea Card author and the most prominent Action Plan collaborator. 

Actionable Paths Forward

Next up, here are the Action Plans that received the highest ratings for achievability from other players.

    Legion de MMOWGLI.  Action Plan 42, INCENTIVES: Commercialization Funding of Innovative Intellectual Property (CFIIP) for Encouraging Small Business Growth.  Co-authors ABWIS, baselessCOS, Collaborator22, Jacko, botts21 and Parsifal.
    MMOWGLI Commendation Medal.  Action Plan 36, TECHNICAL DATA FOR COMPETITION: Less is needed for OSA:  concentrate on Interfaces, Data Models, and Reference Architectures. Co-authors foxy lady, 50 or Bust, NewLogic, Arch and RobMatt.
    MMOWGLI Achievement Medal.  Action Plan 31, GENERAL INTEREST: define compatible project-integration terms to fairly protect against unnecessary exposure of Intellectual Property (IP) to Competitors. Co-authors noreaster, Ram and ABWIS.

But wait, there are more!  There were even two right-at-the-buzzer Action Plans provided that we are happy to publish, even though group review and comment wasn't possible.  Carefully written and thought-provoking, we are happy to add these Action Plans for the implementation teams (and everyone) to consider.  Special thanks to Parsifal and Arch for their many efforts.

Many people have contributed.  The player pool for the Business Innovation Initiative (bii) MMOWGLI games continues to grow.  The Player Profiles page shows each player's awards, badges for game activity, declared expertise, point scores, Idea Cards and Action Plans.  Also included is an Affiliation Table of Player Demographics (and here is a corresponding demographics spreadsheet).

Onward we go.  The game leadership team considers this latest effort by bii players to be an unqualified "over the top" success!  We will be contacting the winners directly to provide Certificates of Appreciation as a small token of the Navy's esteem for their superlative work.

Our motto, as ever:  play the game, change the game!  Thanks and congratulations to all players.

Paul Bruhns, Don Brutzman and Becca Law

Business Innovation Initiative Round 3 is Complete

Out and back againBusiness Innovation Initiative Round 3 is Complete

Thank you players for a tremendous job.  Game results are totally impressive.  Game organizers are working on posting award results later this week.

Intellectual Property Challenges in Open Innovation

Navy Brightwork site (requires CAC card authentication)

Intellectual Property Challenges in Open Innovation

Innovation is generally considered to be a good thing.  Innovation holds the promise of leveraging a greater pool of creativity, engaging those closest to problems, mitigating some hurdles with an organization's normal processes, and ultimately accelerating the process of bringing new capabilities online.  Our CNO put his weight behind innovation when he directed Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) to stand up the CNO’s Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC) and to foster a culture of innovation within the Navy. 

NWDC has initiated a number of efforts beyond hosting the CRIC to support innovation across the fleet.  Two of our major lines of effort are creating of a crowd-sourced idea-harvesting website, Navy Brightwork and chartering CRICx, an informal network of innovative juniors officers and enlisted who are one of the 15 members of the CNO-funded CRIC. Both these efforts involve open innovation – sailors bring their ideas into a public forum and allow a larger group to debate and refine the idea.  At the end of the day, their innovation is intended to become “government property.”
However, what happens when a sailor wants to benefit the Navy, but also retain the right to benefit from their creativity if they are eventually outside of DoD?  Outside of the small group of CNO-funded CRIC projects, there is no money at NWDC to ensure that even the best ideas are adopted by the Navy.  Our staff makes our best effort to ensure that good, value-added ideas are adopted by other commands with resources, but there are no guarantees.  In many cases, even very good recommendations that might save time, effort, or money do not promise enough of a return on investment to offset the upfront costs of adoptions.  In many case, the ideas join an already-long list of unfunded requirements.  So if the Navy is not going to use a sailor’s good idea, then why shouldn’t that sailor retain an exclusive right to profit from it on the outside?  And even if the Navy does adopt the idea, then why can’t it also be patented for commercial use as long as it does not add to the cost for the government?  That is the intellectual property concern that we have bumped up against as our innovation efforts have pushed into this new territory.
I don’t have a legal background, and I don’t pretend to understand all of the intellectual property, patent, and other legal issues involved.  I do know that that figuring how to resolve intellectual property for potential “dual use” innovations is important to the future of deckplate innovation.

Top 10 Reason Why You Need to Contribute to Action Plans

Top 10 Reason Why You Need to Contribute to Action Plans!

Here we go, team. A is for Action Plan!Hey players,  Are you missing an opportunity to take this game and your ideas to the next level?  Well if you haven't been playing in the Action Plans, then the answer is YES!  

10) Your perspective is needed! You might not be an expert, but this is about the Power of the Collective- Innovation comes from the fringe!

  9) Maybe these players are asking the wrong questions- missing the boat- barking up the wrong tree?! It's your change to right the boat and climb the tree!

  8) You were born to be a leader! This is a great place for introverts to LEAD! Put your thinking into the plans that will lead the change!

  7) Get recognized! The Sponsor will be announcing game winners! You could get a letter celebrating your contribution!

  6) It's easy - look at the earlier blog post on how to join an action plan - It's just a click away.

  5) Practice collaboration skills! Action plans are a great venue to expand the conversation with other players and come up with even better ways to craft a final action plan!

  4) Earn innovation points! Authoring Action plans is a great way to score points!

  3) You don't even have to help author a plan to contribute - You can simply comment on plans or cast a vote for the plans you think should be implemented! The power of the thumbs up!

  2) Contributing to action plans elevates your status as a thought leader and may get you invited to future games!

TAKE ACTION. Vote and comment on bii Action Plans!... and (drum roll please!)

  1) You - yes YOU are part of a community doing something to making it better!! You will receive the gratitude of generations to come - while it might not be direct... ok, it might be very difficult to detect on many days, but you will know that You Came - you Played the Game and now the Game is changing - because of YOU!

Take Charge with Action Plans

Take Charge with Action Plans

Navigation takes us from here + now to somewhere newThanks to all for your continued interest and contributions to the IP and Data Rights game in support of the Naval Open Systems Architecture.

End game for bii Round 3.  A few more days are left for your participation:

  • Wednesday 23 July:  Card Freeplay closes at end of day. 
  • Thursday 24 July:  Action Plans authoring closes at end of day.
  • Friday 25 July through Monday 28 July:  Players comment and vote on Action Plans
  • Game Winners announced soon afterward

Here we go, Navy.  We hope to see all Action Plans become “Actionable” in the improvement of Naval OSA Acquisition Programs.  Teams of experts are looking at every one, potentially applying "reality checks" and further improvement as needed.  Those Action Plans that get enough positive player votes are presented to DASN RDT&E for implementation where appropriate. 

Every sentence that you post in the game builds your reputation as a thought leader. Your opinions really do matter.

Want to help?  Great, let's go.

  • Action Plan 30 tells how to write your own convincing Action Plan.The core ideas of each Action Plan are actually pretty simple.  The title states your Goal, then add Who, What, and HowThat's it - rinse/lather/repeat until done.
  • If you are not yet a co-author, and feel you have something to contribute to an existing Action Plan, tell the other co-authors in the game.  Buttons are explained below.
  • Want to start a new Action Plan for your own team? 
    • First please look around - might another Action Plan already provide a good place to add your ideas? 
    • If your plan really is needed, great.  Now is the time find the right card that captures the starting point to build on - keep the discussion alive if more pros, cons and alternatives are needed. 
    • Now send an Action Plan Request to get things started. 
    • Game masters create the initial plan, and you can invite other players to join.  Time to get to work!
  • Some other difficulty or question?   Just send the game masters a Trouble Report.

We need you.  Your next challenge is to help finish and refine the Action Plans.  The buttons themselves are pretty easy, usually they get selected in this order - and you can only click one at a time!  Anyway here is our competitive Technical Data for the Action Plans, telling how to use them.

Action Plan Button Knobology

Take Action. 

Action Plans are collaboratively authored by a small team of players.  They tell "who what when where why" on how we might go forward.  All players get to vote and comment.  Here we go!


View the Idea Card Chain. 

Action Plans don't just appear out of thin air.  Usually there is a bunch of thinking and discussion first - just like people meeting together for a traditional wargame.  What were they thinking? What else were they thinking?  Check out the "back story" to see the lines of reasoning that got the authors here.  Is something missing?  Should we consider an alternate course of action?  Adding your idea might help a missing piece fit into place.

 Interested in participating?

Interested in Participating

Click here if you want to be added to a plan list of a co-author.  Telling them why helps get you in the door.  Join the working party!


Help Wanted

Hey player, the authors are looking for special help.  Maybe your expertise is needed?  Click this to see what they want, and offer to help if you think you can.


Request for Expertise

Authors see this button instead of Interested in Participating... and can ask other players for special help.


Request for Expertise

Authors see this button instead of Help Wanted... and can check on their message asking other players for special help.


You're Invited. 

When you select the ACTION PLAN button, this brief popup alerts you if some invitations await.


Accept Authorship. 

After you select the ACTION PLAN button, the list of all plans shows any that include you on an invitation.  You can accept or or not, the choice to be a co-author is yours.

Talk it Over tab, selected

Talk It Over

Authors and game masters can select this "chat" tab to discuss what they're thinking and collaborate on further improvements.  These comments are not visible to players... until you go to the online bii Action Plan Reports which are generated hourly. 

 Additional Action Plan tabs: Images, Video, Map

Images, Video, Map

Coauthors for each Action Plan can also add and annotate images, YouTube videos, or a repositioned map.  Tell the whole story.

 Rate This Plan: 1, 2 or 3 "thumbs up"


Players can vote "one thumb up" (needs work), "two thumbs up" (sounds good) or "three thumbs up" (stellar! send money!).



Tell everyone what you really think about a plan.  Small points or big thoughts are all welcome.


Card Compass supports exploratory visualization of Idea CardsCard Compass supports exploratory visualization of Idea CardsExtra fun anywhere.  Did you know:

  • All bii Round 3 Action Plan Reports are online, updating as we go.
  • You can play the game on a tablet by using the bii-mobile game version.  Also linked on the mmowgli portal Play menu.
  • Our current reports include a cool tool dubbed the Card Compass.  This work in progress can be used now to visualize and "drill down" into all of the Idea Card Chains in bii Round 3.  Hover over a card to read it, select a card to see its children, select the center ring to move back up the tree.  Big Picture!

Your opinions matter.  As players, you can comment on Action Plans as they evolve… please do so.  First (and second) impressions mean a lot.  Do this Action Plan need work?  Write a comment.  Can the plan be adjusted for better impact? Write a comment.  Is the plan so great that you are ready to make money on it?  Write a comment. 

Please feel free to return often and play as much as you want.  If you have an idea you want to see played out, write your own seed card and start a discussion chain… who knows,  you might change the game - for everyone!

Paul Bruhns and Don Brutzman

NDIA - Pentagons Strained Relationship With Vendors Getting Worse

NDIA Blog Post

"Pentagon’s Strained Relationship With Vendors Getting Worse"

Sandra I. Erwin, 16 July 2014

Summary:  Some companies are on the verge of exiting a presumably lucrative defense market because the burdens increasingly are outweighing the benefits.


Kendall said managers are encouraged to negotiate the best possible deals and to ensure contractors do not overcharge. But he conceded that demanding certified cost and pricing data might be counterproductive. “Our policy right now is fairly flexible. It says that the government can rely on commercially established prices for commercial products.” If the price is not found to be acceptable, the government can request certified cost and pricing data, which is a “very high requirement for people to meet, and which commercial companies normally are not in a position to provide,” said Kendall. “So that puts a burden on industry.”

Kendall recognizes that these demands on suppliers could drive some out of the defense market. “I have had companies, large companies who do a lot of commercial aerospace work, for example, say they will walk away from DoD business if they're forced to put certified cost and pricing data on all their commercial products,” he said. “It's just too big a burden for them, and the business isn't worth it to them.”

Short of auditing the company’s costs, there are other ways to verify prices are fair, Kendall said. “If there's an off-the-shelf product that meets our requirements, we do an analysis of the business environment.” When a product is widely sold, the market is efficient at setting the price, he said. “Where we get into trouble is with things that are kind of on the margins, where there may be a modified commercial product that even though it may be sold through a GSA catalogue, it's really unique.”

It has been difficult for the Pentagon to strike a balance between accepting commercial prices and doing due diligence to make sure those prices are reasonable, said Kendall. “We need some way to determine it's a fair and reasonable price. It doesn't have to be fully certified cost and pricing data.”

Thank Goodness It's Monday - Player Freeplay on Top-level Cards

Thank Goodness It's Monday - Player Freeplay on Top-level Cards

Lead, follow or get out of the wayWelcome back players.  Round 3 of the Business Innovation Initiative (bii) MMOWGLI game has explored multiple themes.  We're looking for what helps - and hurts - Competition, which is the best way for all companies to contribute effectively in the Open System Architecture (OSA).

What have we missed?  We are looking to see even more from you.  So far, the bii MMOWGLI game design team has provided Seed Cards at the top level to explore program themes developed by the bii MMOWGLI game design team.  It's your turn now - please tell us (and everyone).  Players are able to introduce new topics, building on the themes of the bii game:

  • Helping Competition: Good Practices for Intellectual Property and Data Rights in Naval Open Systems Architecture
  • Hurting Competition: Harmful Practices for Intellectual Property and Data Rights in Naval Open Systems Architecture

Top-down thinking.  So, what are top-level cards?  They are leading questions that are intended to spur conversation.  This challenge is for you to inspire other players, helping to unlock their different areas of expertise on the right questions.  Here are some tips for pursuing this challenge:

  • Look before you leap. Round 3 has been based on a series of themes so far.  Make sure your idea hasn't already been covered.  The SEARCH tool can help you check.  The bii Idea Card Report also can provide the "big picture."
  • Less is more. Don't try for more than one (or at most two) top level cards.  Take a moment to look around at what others are saying and thinking.  
  • Give big ideas a chance to grow.  In some ways, top-level questions are like "seed crystals" indended to spur dialogue growth in a particular direction. Remember that this doesn't happen automatically, so be generous in adding cards to help build on the ideas.

Start with the goal in mind. You can think of a top-level question like the topic sentence of a paragraph or briefing. A good one will focus your fellow game players on a core idea or key issue that needs to be examined in more detail. Often it will lead to an Action Plan for further progress.  Creating a good leading question can have a notable impact on the overall effectiveness of our efforts in the game.

War games are a deliberate team journey from the known towards the unknown which is sometimes difficult and frightening to do. Don't be afraid to go there. Explore ideas beyond conventional wisdom and see what "knowledge accidents" can occur when many people work together.  This is a special chance to make a difference.  

Thanks for considering the possibilities.  Play the game, change the game!

MMOWGLI is back up and ready to play

Knocked down, back up, and ready to play!

We're baacck...The MMOWGLI game was out of commission during working hours Friday. A system failure knocked down our game platform during the backshift early that morning.  No work was lost - all player entries are immediately saved on receipt, and database backups occur hourly.  NPS system administrators worked at full speed to correct the failures and bring everything back up safely.  We apologize for this interruption and any inconvenience it may have caused.

Improvise, adapt and overcome.  All players are welcome to revisit the bii MMOWGLI game itself, right now, to review intriguing work from the past week. Our plans for Freeplay Friday are pushed ahead and on deck for Monday morning. 

In addition to responding as a player in the game, you can check out everything done so far in the bii Game Reports.

  • What ideas deserve your continued reaction?  There are a lot:  671 idea cards (each one a sentence) were entered Monday through Thursday.
  • What Action Plans might take us forward?  Five new Action Plans have been initiated so far in Round 3, expect see more next week.  Working titles:
    • Action Plan 31.  GENERAL INTEREST: Compatible project-integration terms to fairly protect against unnecessary exposure of Intellectual Property (IP) to Competitors
    • Action Plan 32. LICENSING: Establish a Protection-Period License for OSA Computer Software Components
    • Action Plan 33. TECHNICAL DATA FOR COMPETITION: Managing TD implies not just procure, store, retrieve & update tasks, but also clearly defining what purposes are relevant.  How will TD be used?
    • Action Plan 34. TECHNICAL DATA FOR COMPETITION: What Contracting Processes Can Be Used To Address Unknown Data Rights Requirements
    • Action Plan 35. TECHNICAL DATA FOR COMPETITION: how can legacy programs unlock previously negotiated restrictions on technical data in order to regain competition opportunities?
  • Who else should play?  During this first week, 197 new players have joined over 300 past players in the Business Innovation Initiative (bii) games, exploring how acquisition improvements might better support system life-cycle competability as part of the the Navy's Open Systems Architecture (OSA).  You are welcome to invite a friend to play.

Today's quote: "The value of an idea lies in the using of it." - Thomas Edison

Players decide what happens next.  You have an important role to play, please let others see what you are thinking.  We look forward to another week of even-deeper dialog and planning to improve competition. 

Who's making money?  Who's losing money?  Who's helping the fleet?  The potential benefits of improved competition for Industry and the Navy can be immediate and continue for decades.  Play the game, change the game!

Defense Daily Network - Navy Begins Round Of Online War Gaming On IP Rights

Navy Begins Round Of Online War Gaming On IP Rights

by Mike McCarthy, online at Defense Daily Network, 17 July 2014.


The Navy has begun a second round of online war gaming designed to address the contentious issue of intellectual property (IP) rights, a key aspect of the Pentagon’s effort to promote open architecture systems and greater competition in acquisition programs.
Acquiring intellectual property is seen by the Pentagon as critical for creating more competition in the acquisition process and breaking the “vendor lock” a company can have on a program through control of intellectual property rights. The issue has become a key point of contention between the Pentagon and industry, as companies are reluctant to surrender their IP rights.
“We are trying to get some good practices for IP, to help understand how we can improve competitions, get more businesses involved in bringing innovation to the warfighter, and also to improve our competitions with the things we are already buying,” said Nicholas Guertin, the Navy’s director of transformation in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation.


The full article is available online.  (As a backup, a 2-page discussion summary is also available.)

Players in the bii MMOWGLI game are welcome to consider these ideas and add their own experiences when building new discussion topics on Free Play Friday.

Are you a new member of the crowd?  Our recent blog How To Play MMOWGLI gives a quick introduction.  Our motto:  play the game, change the game!

Contracting and Business Practices

Who bought this thing?Contracting and Business Practices

Welcome back bii MMOWGLI players!

Thursday is the last day of structured card play.  Let’s take a few minutes to look at some critical Open Systems Architecture (OSA) values. One of the established benefits of an open system is the ability to procure improvements competitively from multiple sources.  So far in the bii game, we’ve been examining licensing and data rights that either help or hurt competition (on all sides) as the government attempts to competitively procure both systems and upgrades.

Today’s Idea Card focus is on Contracting and Business Practices. 

In order to level the competitive playing field among large and small companies, are there viable alternative acquisition models that can reduce or eliminate the need for technical data?  Together let's identify what the government needs to consider more closely when defining contracts.  The following Seed Cards set the stage for your consideration.

Things that help competition.  Here are two examples:

Card 2824. CONTRACTING: Is there a better business model than an "hours" contract to incentivize providers to deliver defense capabilities?  Most development contracts are cost-plus-fee arrangements where the vendor charges work hours to develop products.  Under this contract arrangement there is no incentive for the vendor to do anything but charge as much time as possible, all the way up to the limit allotted in the bid.  Then the government may try to assert data rights on behalf of the taxpayer in order to protect the public’s investment.  Even so, this may only serve to incentivize the vendor to develop a complex and verbose solution that is too difficult for others to maintain.  While this protects an incumbent vendor's position, it does not reward efficiency and innovation, nor does it unlock competion.  What are better acquisition models?   


Card 2825. CONTRACTING: When can Government consider “Software as a Service" agreements as an alternative to competitive replacement and upgrade?  If a vendor did a great job delivering a “non commercial software” capability to the government, and there is interest in its use across multiple programs, can we develop an alternative procurement model based on the idea of “software as a service” that is sharable? Is there a potential DoD market for an agreement that provides a total package of integration, upgrade, and maintenance services, all provided together on a fee basis?  

Things that hurt competition.  There are harmful practices out there right now that are slowing competition in the marketplace.  "Vendor lock" and divisive business practices hurt other industry players and can even shut down a program prematurely, making everyone a loser.  Can we better identify when that is happening and put a stop to it?  Here are two examples:

Card 2826. CONTRACTING: Prime to Subs - "what's mine is mine, and what's yours is... mine!" How can contracts protect Subcontractor IP against predators?  When a prime contractor hires subcontractors, often at reduced labor rates to make their bid more attractive and to provide expertise not available in-house, they are doing the right thing.  Howevers, prime integrators might still "go to the dark side" when they then demand exposure to their subcontractor's IP.  This potential hazard drives good businesses away from participating in multi-vendor government contracts.  How can the government prevent and eliminate predatory IP practices that might be surreptitiously performed by a Prime Contractor?


Card 2827. CONTRACTING: Big Contractor buy-out of an SBIR business stifles future competition. How can this practice be de-incentivized?  SBIR rights are conveyed to new ownership when big companies buy out smaller SBIR contractors.  This is not the intent of the small business initiatives enacted by the government!  Further, the acquisition of small business just puts more income into the big companies (typically adding zero value) and the incentives of the small business may even devolve to “be bought out” as a strategic goal.  Members of the innovative small company lose control of their destiny and their special capabilities.  The government program loses competitiveness.  The warfighters lose out on innovation and capability.  Ka-ching ka-ching ouch ouch thud.  Maybe it’s all legal, but should it be?  Really?  Would you invest your time and money that way?  What are good ways to de-incentivize the monopolistic acquisition of SBIR businesses?

Playing for high stakes.  This is serious business, folks!  Many choices are possible.  We are looking for the best ways to improve how the Navy might better utilize the great power of the federal acquisition system.  That means Real Money. Incentivizing competitiveness can help all industry players, rather than allowing hands-tied status-quo inertia to call the tune.

What lessons learned have you observed?  How might contract terms work better to support your company and your OSA program?  How can contracts support industry competition, encourage company innovation, and discourage destructive business practices?

Your voice counts as we work together to "change the game."

Technical Data for Competition

Hump Day Hustle: Technical Data for Competition

What do you want to do? ... I don't know, what do you want to do? Welcome back gamers!  We’re at “hump day” for card play and lots of rich discussion continues in the Business Innovation Initiative (BII) MMOWGLI game.  New players are welcome, there is plenty of time for you to get on the Leader Board.

  • Monday we opened with eight cards on Licensing and General Interest.
  • Tuesday examined pros, cons and alternatives of Data Rights for OSA programs.

Today, we are looking at how Technical Data Rights can help (or hurt)  Competition.

By the Way... on Thursday, we’ll extend our discussion on Data Rights concerns to Subcontracting, and on Free Play Friday, you can post top-level theme cards that you design yourself.

Then What?  As we progress through the week, Game Masters are identifying “Super Interesting” cards, and discussing them with their peers.  In the next day or so, as those conversation chains play out, we will be identifying cards that can initiate Action Plans.  Stay tuned.  Action Plans are a big development where teams of players propose pathways to success.

Today’s Topic: Technical Data for Competition

Competition is the cornerstone of Better Buying Power; the DoD initiative to improve innovation, price, and performance of the goods the DoD procures on behalf of the taxpayers.  It is also the cornerstone of the Navy’s Open Systems Architecture business model. The four cards we introduce today are intended to spur conversation on how the lack of adequate data inhibits the government’s ability to let industry compete, and conversely, how an adequate system data package ensures follow-on industry competition can be effective. 

For example, 5 years into a program lifecyle, how can industry competitors bid on providing new technology to build a better black box if the government is prohibited from describing the black box?  We shall see that there is more than one loser in this painful scenario.

Card 2828: TECHNICAL DATA FOR COMPETITION:  Better Buying Power (BBP) requires competition across lifecycle. Replace or Upgrade: What Data Must I Have?  Better Buying Power is all about alternatives that rise from the competitive marketplace.  In follow-on contracts, effective competition relies on an adequate data package. Programs first make a choice to upgrade or replace what they have.  This decision will drive the scope and content of the data package needed for competition.  Let’s face it; less is what we’re after here.



Card 2829: TECHNICAL DATA FOR COMPETITION: TECHNICAL DATA FOR COMPETITION: to paraphrase Howard Baker, in an Open System RFP, "What technical data do we need, and when do we need it?"  What are the best practices?  Does this begin before the system is designed, developed, and produced?  Should the government know ahead of time what its life cycle strategy will be, and design a data rights management plan to support it?  For example, "let’s plan to compete all or part of a program every x years.  What technical data do we need, and when do we need it?"  Too soon may threaten the initial incumbents investment, but too late thwarts re-competition at key program milestones.  We are looking for your ideas about this so that we can identify fruitful tradeoffs for mutual success.



Card 2830: TECHNICAL DATA FOR COMPETITION: What are potential pitfalls and unintended effects of current policies on GPR and how data is delivered?  This is a subject that Contracting Officers feel the pain of first.  In the interest of value, negotiations sometimes trade on Government Purpose Rights (GPR) for data and deliverables… sometimes those trade decisions are tied to payments… sometimes the system's technical data sets are not final when delivery is specified. In the end, a program contract might be executed properly but the data was not adequate for competition to resume, and perhaps not even enough for the program to continue. That is a lose-lose-lose-lose situation for the incumbent, for other industry competitors, for the government, and for the uniformed personnel serving our country who need modern systems.  Where are the balance points?



Card 2831: TECHNICAL DATA FOR COMPETITION: Requirements & Deliverables - what "worst practices" block or hide adequate data for program re-competition?  There are success stories out there, but also some notable problems.  What unbalanced tradeoffs or mistakes have prevented worthy programs from successfully negotiating lifecycle challenges?  What are choices that can lead to disaster?  What lessons learned can be applied for everyone's benefit?  What "puts the hurt" on competition?  This is another “yang” card, counterpart to the “yin” of card 2830.


Game play tip.  Here is the key to Idea Card scoring: players who are stimulating the most responses to their ideas are picking up the most points!

Thank you for your continued participation in the BII Intellectual Property (IP) & Data Rights Game. Play the game, change the game!

Come On In - The Water is Fine

Come On In - The Water is Fine!

Here we go! Welcome back BII Game players. It’s Tuesday. Today we’re introducing four cards; all are on the subject of Data Rights.  To be technical, Data Rights is a term used in DoD parlance to include the government’s usage rights to design data and computer software developed under an acquisition contract.  Let’s examine this in an Open System Architecture business context.

Open systems allow for replacement, or addition, or modification of existing capabilities and components, both in hardware and software, while maintaining the integrity of the overall system.  As more and more DoD acquisition programs adopt an open system architecture and its associated business model, the management of technical design data and computer software become all the more critical.  Consider the government’s ability to compete a follow-on system acquisition contract: An RFP that is too comprehensive (one that essentially presents the prime contractor’s statement of work and deliverables) can be fraught with unacceptable risk.  If the government lacks sufficient technical data, it can become justification for sole source procurements or, where competition is conducted, can result in single bid responses.  Decomposing systems into compete-able parts, enabled by modular- open system architectures should improve the government’s ability to compete because the data is also modular and replaceable.

But the big question remains, how do we manage the data?  We’re asking this question from four different perspectives:

Card 2822. TECHNICAL DATA: Are major system RFP’s so comprehensive there is no practical way to unseat the incumbent no matter how much TD is available?  The GAO report (GAO-14-395) on Defense Contracting, May 2014, showed that a lack of adequate technical data was cited in nearly half the justifications of sole source awards.  This problem begins in the Program Office, but it impacts industry too.  The key word here is “risk prudent competition” how does the government reverse the trend of declining competition?



Card 2806. TECHNICAL DATA: Decompose the system-right sizing the RFP improves competition. How do we manage the technical data?  The Interim DODI 5000.02 calls for an IP Management Strategy for acquisition programs.  If we know how to partition the system for replacement and upgrade, can’t we develop a similar strategy for Data Rights?  Has anyone tried doing this? What are your experiences?



Card 2807. DATA RIGHTS: If contracting process doesn’t examine what is needed over program lifecycle, then government asks for everything.  This is often a “lose lose” proposition.  If the government doesn’t know what it needs for sustainment and competition, how can it have a meaningful dialog with the contractor?  Often, a good Life Cycle support strategy can identify a potential subset of data rights needed for sustainment.



Card 2820. TECHNICAL DATA: How does an individual contractor’s IP leak into common domains as part of multi-vendor contracts?   There are stories to be told.  If they’re plausible, they’ve probably occurred. What is the government’s role in IP management and how can contracts and relationships be structured to protect a vendor’s “stock in trade”?


Thanks for playing today!  Best of luck gathering points on these important topics. Play the game, change the game!

Welcome to bii MMOWGLI Round 3

Welcome to bii MMOWGLI Round 3!

Can't see the video?

Call to Action.  Welcome players!  This new bii MMOWGLI game is examining how new Business Innovation Initiative (bii) possibilities for competition can improve Navy acquisition for everyone. Our motivating theme is exploring the contracting trade space for Intellectual Property (IP) and Data Rights for Navy and Industry. What are they worth to you?

Monday 14 July 2014 is our first day of card play in bii MMOWGLI Round 3.  Please signup for approval and then you can play bii MMOWGLI.  Today we introduce the first two topics: General Interest and Licensing.  What helps, and what hurts, industry from being as competitive as possible?

General Interest

Card 2801: What IP terms attract component vendors to deliver their best products for integration into DoD systems? We’ve heard stories that suggest some component vendors will hold back some of their best product innovations to DoD clients because of the Data Rights Clauses allowing the government to make their system data available to participating contractors, either in the area of overall system integration or for future competition.  This is not the intent of the Government Purpose Rights contract Clause.  In an Open Systems Business model, the government will be increasing competition through the program lifecycle.  It’s important that potential vendors don’t view data rights clauses as a barrier to their participation.  How might we improve contract terms to eliminate this problem?


Card 2808: How an Programs manage to reduce overall Tech Data needs as a function of planned life cycle upgrades? A good open system architecture strategy benefits from the ability to decide whether to upgrade, maintain, or replace components regularly or as needed, without disrupting retained components in the architecture.  Let’s call it modular level life cycle sustainment.  If we know this ahead of time, can’t we develop a companion data management plan that reflects the architecture?



Card 2804: Are Infrastructure & IRAD investments by contractors actually "vendor lock" strategies inhibiting competition? The government does gain value when contractors invest their own capital to improve performance or gain efficiencies in the product they deliver.  But, if IRAD is comingled with products the government paid for, isn’t that in effect a willful creation of vendor lock for that product?  This practice alone can derail even the most well conceived OSA business model.  How can we develop better strategies to “separate the church and the state” in our defense system procurements and ensure needed capabilities are openly compete-able in the future?


Card 2811: What is your view, is Government overreaching for system data and inadvertantly risking compromise of vendor's IP?  in a January 2014, Defense Magazine published an article “DoD Clashes With Suppliers Over Data Rights.”   Here is a quote: “The government is being significantly more aggressive trying to obtain data rights… That effort is being driven by a desire to use the data for follow-on competition.”  If the government is disclosing a vendor’s IP outside the government as part of a competitive procurement solicitation, what are the damages?  Certainly, the vendor is potentially damaged, but isn’t the program also at risk?



Card 2802: Can negotiated time-based user licenses (restricted then GRP) incentivize more commerical competitive involvement? Everything has an expiration date, but somewhere along the way, technology and products gradually lose their value in the marketplace.  This is especially true in OSA systems where planned obsolescence is the Industry business model.  Would all parties benefit from a specially negotiated license that protected both the vendor and government as a function of time?  What would this license do that current regulations fail to do?



Card 2818: How might a more "vendor friendly" IP license be crafted for OSA systems to attract more competition? In this card, we’re specifically calling for an OSA license model for delivering capabilities from one vendor that are integrated through another vendor and then delivered to the government.  The purpose here is to avoid the perception that this would be a “one and done” contribution from the vendor; that some business value potential exists beyond the instant delivery of the capability.




Card 2819: How to detect and remedy patent misuse when a vendor claims rights to whole objects modified using government funds? This is the yang card to (card) 2804’s yin.  Are any programs in the government addressing this issue in their current procurements?  It’s been referred to as adding secret sauce (IRAD, etc.) to a public recipe and claiming the whole thing as proprietary.  That somehow, the sauce is so intertwined that it can’t be isolated and removed.  How can programs better protect their systems from “secret sauce” syndrome?



Card 2823: Helping small companies-are government subsidies and SBIRs overreaching practices that hurt open competition? Sometimes the government subsidizes initiatives that appear well intentioned and beneficial but they never quite get off the ground or deliver promised rewards.  Their essentially mandated use in programs actually precludes the use of more technically suitable solutions available in the open market. This card is prompting players to identify the ways this can occur from inside the government, to stimulate further player response on problems and remedies.

All hands on deck.  Welcome aboard, or welcome back - we're glad to have you.  Play the game, change the game!

How to Play MMOWGLI

How to Play MMOWGLI

Welcome to Round 3 of the bii MMOWGLI game!  We're excited to see what new and innovative ideas we can come up with on intellectual property rights and technical data rights together.

Now that you've received your invitation, you're probably wondering "How do I play a MMOWGLI?"  Great question!  We've got you covered.  Outlined below are the four phases of a MMOWGLI. Over the course of the next two weeks, hundreds of people will collaborate to build new ideas and action plans. If knowledge is half the battle, we've got you covered.

1. Create a game name:  Registration is quick and easy! Simply select the "I'm New to MMOWGLI" button on your game's registration page and tell us a little bit about yourself. You'll need to pick out a game name, password, avatar image and provide your first/last name and email address.  All personal identifiable information (PII) is private and never revealed to other players! 



2. Receive your Call to Action: Once you've registered and received an email confirmation, you're now ready to view the Call to Action.  The Call to Action is your motivation for participation.  The Call to Action can be viewed as a video and text. In addition, you'll want to view the portal and blog.  Here you'll find the latest game information!


3. Play Idea Cards (Exploration Points): Now that you have viewed the Call to Action, it's time to express your thoughts and share your knowledge.  Players do this through Idea Cards. Here, players can express themselves in 140 characters or less and in one of two categories: Helping Competition: Good Practices for Intellectual Property and Data Rights in Naval Open Systems (blue) or Hurting Competition: Harmful Practices for Intellectual Property and Data Rights for Naval Open Systems (yellow). Players can also build on other players' ideas by using the Expand, Explore, Counter, and Adapt cards.  Remember, it's not just how many cards you play but how other players react to your cards!  Lots of responses (Idea Cards) = more exploration points!


4. Author or Co-Author an Action Plan (Innovation Points): Finally, after a period of Idea Card play, players will have the opportunity to develop their ideas in an Action Plan.  Action Plans are the who, what, why, when, and how of one, single Idea Card in the game. Action Plan creation can be requested by players via a Trouble Report or behind the scenes Game Masters may create them.  Your idea didn't evolve into an Action Plan?  No problem! You can also co-author Action Plans of other players.  Action Plan authorship= innovation points! So remember, collaboration is key in MMOWGLI.

(Action Plan #25 from Round 2, bii MMOWGLI)


Now that you will you play the game, change the game?  Looking forward to seeing you in the bii MMOWGLI game.

From Idea Cards to Action Plans

Hello players!  Thank you for your continued contributions.  So far, over 590 Idea Cards played and 4 Action Plans created!  Speaking of Action Plans...what are they?  How do you create one? Why are they important?

Action Plans are the who, what, why, when and where of one, single Idea Card.  An Action Plan is your opportunity as a player to tell us more about your idea.  In an Action Plan, you are not restricted to 140 characters or less.  In addition, you can even add images and video to enrich your plan. 

Action Plans are important because they are another way to win generate points!  Innovation Points begin to rack up when you create an Action Plan and/or contribute to them.  There are many ways to collaborate on an Action Plan without being an author.  For example, players can contribute their knowledge by adding to the Comments section of an Action Plan.  Players can also vote on the quality of the Action Plan.

Also, Action Plans with a red number need expertise! These are just a few of the ways you can contribute!

Know that you know what an Action Plan is how do you create one?  Simply select the Trouble Report link at the bottom of the game page.  Within the first paragraph, you'll see a link on how to create an Action Plan.  Fill out this form and your request will be answered shortly. 


In the end, collaboration on Action Plans is what MMOWGLI is all about.  Generating "knowledge accidents" and making them a concrete plan.  Thanks for your continued contributions.  Play the game, change the game!

Federal News Radio - In Depth Interview with Nick Guertin

go to streaming site

Federal News Radio "In Depth" Interview with Nick Guertin

go to streaming site A new approach to defense acquisition reform may come from a television show. Nick Guertin, director of transformation in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, and his colleague Howard Reichel, presented a paper called "Open Systems Architecture License Rights: A New Era for the Public-Private Marketplace" at the 11th annual Acquisition Research Symposium. Their views are their own. Nick tells Francis Rose on In Depth about the unique challenge intellectual property poses for defense contracting.

(As a backup, here is a direct link to the audio .mp3 recording for the interview.)

Business Innovation Initiative Round 3 Game Invitation

Business Innovation Initiative (BII) Game is preparing Round 3 on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Can you find the venture capitalist in this picture?Greetings Navy and Industry Professionals!

First, thanks to all participants in Business Innovation Initiative (BII) MMOWGLI game so far! Round One during January 2013 explored key challenges to the Naval Open Systems Architecture (OSA) strategy. Round 2 focused on OSA Incentives and Motivations: profitable business models for industry and positive benefits for government acquisition. We gained great insight into how industry views the Open Systems Architecture, competitive business models, and challenges facing the Navy acquisition workforce.  

Now stand by for action!  We are ready for Round 3: Intellectual Property and Data Rights, What is it Worth to You?  This may be the most important game we play.

The effectiveness of our national security systems depend on the intellectual capital forged from America's industrial base.  Large and small industry players each want to compete and profit effectively, now and in the future.  Meanwhile, the Navy needs technical data for long-term system interoperability, maintainability, and competition.

How can the government cultivate a welcome atmosphere of competition?  Can we work together to create better license options for intellectual property and technical data?

Business Innovation Initiative (BII) MMOWGLI Round 3 runs 14–25 July 2014.  Please signup for bii MMOWGLI now!

  • The first part of the game will consist of idea card play, with a new theme each day;
  • The next part will focus on action planning; and,
  • In the final three days, everyone will have a chance to review action plans, vote, and select winners.

Your ideas are important!  Join the growing crowd of interested experts.  The results of this game will be used immediately to develop improved licensing options for Program Managers supervising the acquisition of National Security Systems.  We believe that win-win scenarios are possible for industry and government.

You must be a U.S. citizen to play.  Department of Defense players can join using their work email account.  For industry players, you can signup for bii MMOWGLI to receive email confirmation that you are eligible for playing in Round 3.  You must use your company email to register. 

Ongoing game information is available on bii game portal and on our bii game blogIf you want to check out the earlier rounds, please visit the bii game itself.

Please pass this invitation flyer along to your colleagues and encourage them to participate.   Every idea counts, and we hope you will join us.  Play the game, change the game!

very respectfully yours, Nick

Nickolas H. Guertin, PE
Director for Transformation
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation

OSA License Rights - New Era for Public-Private Marketplace

Open Systems Architecture License Rights: A New Era for the Public-Private Marketplace

Nickolas Guertin and Howard Reichel presented at the Defense Acquisition Research Symposium hosted by Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) 23-25 May 2014.

Abstract. The prosperity of our nation is driven by brilliant and hardworking entrepreneurs who convert their intellectual property into revenue in our free market economy. Abraham Lincoln, in his creation of the Patent Office, understood that guaranteeing an entrepreneurs ownership of his or her own intellectual property is the only thing that could add the fuel of interest to the fire of genius necessary to incentivize entrepreneurs to take the risks and provide the sweat equity necessary to make our nation truly prosper. The resulting commercial business cycle, that interposes the entrepreneur, intellectual property rights, venture capital, and a vast and complex commercial market, has produced the worlds most innovative and extensive market place. The efforts of these entrepreneurs, when harnessed by the Department of Defense, built the world. 

Kendall Discusses Budget Climate Impact on Acquisition

Pentagon's Kendall: Budget Climate 'Worst I’ve Seen' for Planning

(Charles S. Clark, Defense One, 7 November 2013) The current budgetary environment for Defense is “the worst I’ve seen for doing a sound plan and executing it with any kind of confidence,” the Pentagon’s top acquisition official said on Thursday at a think tank discussion of procurement reform.

Implications emphasize the importance of the Better Buying Power program and related efforts.

Interview - Navy turns to online gaming to develop acquisition strategies

Nick Guertin

Interview: Navy turns to online gaming to develop acquisition strategies

The military has used electronic games and simulations for years to train its soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Now, the Navy is using a massive, multi-player online game to develop new acquisition strategies.

go to streaming siteOn this week's edition of the Agency of the Month radio show, host Sean McCalley talks with Nick Guertin, the Navy's Director of Transformation in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, about the new strategy. They also discuss the Navy's new checklist for acquisition professionals.

(As a backup, here is a direct link to the audio .mp3 file for the interview.)

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