What Kari is asking for is the acquisition lifecycle time, or lead time. However, there is no way any specificity can be provided. The only real “answer” available, like many things, is that it depends.
Some dependencies of note, but are also not any where exhaustive, include:
- Size and scope of the need. The more complex, the more time.
- Relationship between contracting and program management. Typically, the relationship is adversarial with little substantive communications, which slows the process.
- Soundness of the requirements, which also touches on #1.
- Effective market research, to include proper acquisition planning.
- The capabilities and skill set of the assigned contracting specialist or Contracting Officer (KO)
For easy, repetitive commodity buys, maybe you can have in place in days or weeks. More complex is months if not years. There are no set timetables, other than the development of the acquisition milestone schedule that hopefully has realistic timeframes injected into the process.
More sophisticated acquisition shops have guidelines, but even those are not set in stone.
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