Lelitia Long took over as director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in 2010 and set out to change the way the imagery agency conducted its missions and acquired new technology, according to a Trajectory Magazine article.
Matt Alderton writes that she introduced a five-year strategic plan known as “NGA Strategy 2013-2017” meant to lessen the distance between those who collect location data and those who use it.
“Ms. Long has been very open about saying, ‘We’re aware that there are budget savings, but we’re not doing this because we’re trying to cut costs; we’re doing this because we’re trying to improve mission capabilities and respond to a new threat environment,'” says Barry Barlow, chief technology officer at The SI Organization.
The plan promotes the use of an agile acquisition methodology, to deploy on-demand digital data for the government to access and utilize however they see fit.
To help the agency achieve this goal, the Systems Engineering and Integration for the National System for Geospatial-Intelligence (SEIN) Program was created.
The program established a “GEOINT Solutions Marketplace,” where tools and offerings are consolidated in one place and industry can assist government in filling GEOINT solution gaps.
“It’s really an outcomes-based contract,” Barlow said.
“It’s not as much about a specific task and a person to accomplish that task as it is bringing to bear whatever resources and skill sets are necessary to achieve the [capabilities] that [NGA] customers are demanding,” he added.
The SEIN program is NGA’s way of overcoming the technical hurdles of implementing an agile acquisition framework, according to the article.
“Every person out in the field knows that without geospatial mapping products they’d be blind. To get people [to embrace a more agile acquisition process] you have to show them what it means to the users whose lives depend on it,” said Martin C. Faga, former NRO Director.