DoD re-affirms importance of HSI in acquisition policy overhaul

The US Department of Defense is overhauling it’s acquisition policy from a stale, process-driven approach to a new, outcome-driven approach. The new concept is called the Adaptive Acquisition Framework (AAF). Its goal is to remove bureaucracy and give government program managers more flexibility to adapt to the needs of their particular acquisition.

The updated DoD Directive 5000.01 released earlier this month (pdf) lays out 25 high-level policies from “b. Conduct System of Systems (SoS) Analysis” to “u. Maintain a Professional Workforce” that guide both individual acquisitions and the enterprise as a whole. The content of policies are simultaneously not surprising and extremely important: not surprising because the particulars were evolved from previous documents and extremely important because they lay the foundation for the ongoing redevelopment acquisition policy.

Among the policies listed in DODD 5000.01 is “p. Apply Human Systems Integration”:

Human systems integration planning will begin in the early stages of the program life cycle.The goal will be to optimize total system performance and total ownership costs, while ensuring that the system is designed, operated, and maintained consistent with mission requirements.

DODD 5000.01

This text is streamlined from the previous version of the directive. With its inclusion, the DoD acquisition leadership under Ellen Lord have reaffirmed the importance of HSI to the development of military systems.

Key concepts for human systems integration

The effort to revamp acquisition policies is ongoing. A new document, “Human Systems Integration in Defense Acquisition”, is currently in development. In the meantime, the existing policy1 remains in effect.


  1. DoDI 5000.02 Enclosure 7, “Human Systems Integration (HSI)”