How to Extract Software Information from Reluctant Contractors 901019

Existing orthodox procedures for acquiring non-software items are usually inappropriate for acquiring software-intensive weapon systems. Nevertheless, several practical mechanisms are available (if not widely known) to facilitate software acquisitions. This paper presents and clarifies these appropriate mechanisms.
Acquisition managers must focus on developmental phase contracts to eventually deliver effective software-intensive systems. The source selection process presents a critical opportunity to apply unique software management mechanisms, and to incorporate them into development contracts. Three mechanisms are discussed: (1) software Work Breakdown Structures, and (2) Cost/Schedule Control reports, and (3) formal documents from DOD-STD-2167A. A bibliography of regulations and documents is provided.
This paper details merits and limitations of contractual mechanisms, and demonstrates how managers can use them to impose discipline…onto the normally undisciplined software acquisition process.


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