Here is a blog post on the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), as it was and as it has become. One man's opinion.
I would like to start by saying that I know nothing about the NRO.
The thrust of the Blog Post is that we had an excellent system for building reconnaissance satellites and then messed it up because folks in DC thought that the Project Managers had too much freedom.
This brings up the question. Do we get, overall, better Government Acquisition when we empower managers (think the Navy Polaris Missile System) or do we get better Government Acquisition when we make sure the managers are guided by a large number of specific rules to guide decision making and the application of many reviews (think most recent projects within DoD).
Regards — Cliff
PS: Hat tip to my Brother, Lance.