We all know one of our biggest challenges in federal acquisition is defining requirements - meaning, defining requirements tightly enough so that we convey our needs, get good proposals from industry, eliminate cost overruns, scope creep and change orders, and ultimately get the outcome and results intended. So what makes defining requirements such a challenge for us? Is it the constrained timelines under which we are operating? Is it the ability to write a good requirements document that allows enough flexibility to take advantage of new technology during the development process? Are our program managers trained well enough in this area? Is it a resource shortage in general that forces us to take short cuts only to eventually prolong the timeline and costs?
Would making the requirements development process more collaborative and transparent help? For instance, if we opened up the process to industry in a semi-public forum, such as using a wiki to identify requirements and ask for input publicly - are we ready for this in government? What about the industry - are you ready to comment, offer suggestions and ask questions publicly? Would it compromise your competitive advantage or help?