The following main points provide amplification of this issue:
Acquisition and development processes must be more responsive to urgent mission needs to deliver
capabilities to the field more quickly. The current DoD acquisition environment is not well-suited to address
these needs, and agility can be encumbered by mismatches in processes, terminology, milestones, and
Prioritization of capabilities within an aggressive deployment schedule requires cooperative engagement
between the acquirer, developer, and warfighter.
Rapid development and deployment of new capabilities can be accelerated through reuse of existing
systems, and use of open source and COTS components. This depends heavily on software architectures
that are well-designed to flexibly accommodate rapid development, change, test, verification, and fielding of
new capabilities, as well as effective sustainment capabilities to quickly upgrade and maintain systems.
Rapid development and adaptation of systems requires a multi-disciplinary approach, yet this is not often
emphasized outside of the software environment. Cross-disciplinary processes are not generally in place to
responsively provide the concurrent engineering and management approaches needed.
For rapid development and deployment, there are often inherent tradeoffs that must be managed between an
appropriate level of engineering rigor during development and the sustainment issues encountered postdeployment.
Prototypes are often declared operational as soon as they are introduced to the warfighter without
comprehensive life cycle engineering and adequate sustainment infrastructure. Prototypes leveraging existing
systems can also be inhibited by issues such as organizational accountability, configuration management and
Replaced/Superseded by document(s)
The NDIA Systems Engineering Division convened a workshop March 15-16, 2010 to examine the top software engineering issues that face the acquisition and successful deployment of software-intensive systems, and to develop recommendations to address them. The workshop was coordinated with the Director, Systems Engineering, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Acquisition Technology & Logistics, who serves as the primary OSD interface to the NDIA Systems Engineering Division.