Product Development Strategies in Evolutionary Acquisition

Keywords Product Development Strategies in Evolutionary Acquisition Research Associate Center for Technology policy and Industrial Development
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The challenges faced by the aerospace community came to a head with the events of September 11, 2001. That is not to say that the difficulties in product development did not exist before this time—only that this event publicized product development shortfalls and demonstrated a clear need for improved product development methodologies in the aerospace industry. In particular it demonstrated the dynamic nature of the world today. The commercial world was faced with the fact that fewer people wanted to fly, and the development decisions of major players Boeing and Airbus were called into question.
Airline bankruptcies showed that the traditional business models used to justify new products had to be reevaluated.

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Programs are constantly faced with the decision on how to best deliver capabilities to the user. This challenge is magnified by the number of uncertainties and risks the program can expect throughout the product development process—that is the means by which the program gets from perceived need to deliverable solution. The Air Force, as a result of increasing development times for new products, has decided to implement an Evolutionary Acquisition strategy, meaning the development process focuses on delivering incremental capabilities through short increments or spirals. The question, however, is whether this strategy makes sense across the broad spectrum of Air Force programs. More importantly, how can the Air Force, and aerospace programs in general, decide what product development strategy applies to each
program? An extensive literature review yielded a number of relevant questions regarding product development. The hypothesis of this research is that this selection should be based on attributes of the product, the program goals, the uncertainties, and
stakeholder involvement.

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