Using Case Studies for Professional Development

April 9, 2021

Professor Bob Mortlock has been conducting case study workshops for members of the defense acquisition workforce for over two years, and he’s ready to expand them to new organizations. The case studies are based on real-world defense acquisition programs, so participants can learn first-hand about navigating the complicated decisions involved in managing acquisition programs. The greater acquisition workforce rarely gets the opportunity to read and study case studies, and this opportunity fills that learning gap. Members of the acquisition workforce can earn continuous learning points in a learning environment.

These workshops feature 6 hours of group discussion and directed study on a defense acquisition program. The Leader Professional Development (LPD) workshops allow participants to develop critical thinking, decision-making, resource management, and stakeholder engagement skills. The sessions also enhance communication between NPS faculty and the acquisition workforce, and highlight current defense acquisition challenges—enhancing the connections between acquisition research and education.

This year, Mortlock has already facilitated two workshops:

  • On 2 Mar 2021, BG Vince Malone, JPEO Armaments & Ammunition (A&A) at Picatinny NJ, hosted a Leader Professional Development (LPD) workshop for the 35 members of the JPEO A&A acquisition workforce.
  • On 23 Feb 2021, BG Mike Sloane, PEO Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (IEW&S) at Aberdeen Proving Ground MD, hosted a Leader Professional Development (LPD) workshop for the 20 members of PEO IEW&S acquisition workforce.

Mortlock previously offered the following acquisition workforce development sessions:

  • Mar 2020, PEO Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), Orlando FL
  • Feb 2020, PEO Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS), Warren MI
  • Mar 2019, PEO Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), Orlando FL
  • Feb 2019, PEO Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), Fort Belvoir VA
  • Feb 2019, PEO Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS), Warren MI

These acquisition workforce development opportunities have been highlighted in the Summer 2019 edition of Army AT&L magazine article entitled “A Chance To Think”.

Want to get your acquisition team into one of these sessions? Mortlock offers the workshops through a virtual, distance learning environment. Development sessions are modular and can be tailored to the needs of the hosting organization. The hosting PEO/PM offers the education to their workforce on a volunteer basis. Current cases available for discussion include:

  • Rapid acquisition – combat helmet program initiation and procurement decisions
  • Incremental development – acquisition strategy for missile development program
  • Decision making & stakeholder engagement – combat uniform camouflage effort
  • Defense Industrial Base – body armor/PPE industrial base planning
  • Cost estimating – missile development program milestone review
  • Adaptive acquisition/prototyping – combat pistol acquisition program planning
  • Shipbuilding – warfighter requirements and acquisition strategy planning

For more information, please contact:  Dr. Bob Mortlock, Colonel U.S. Army (Retired), Professor of the Practice, Program Management and Defense Acquisition, Graduate School of Defense Management, Naval Postgraduate School, Email: 


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