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Title: Charting Progress in the Software Acquisition Pathway
Authors: Richard Wahidi
Keywords: Software Acquisition
Department of the Navy (DoN)
Acquisition Reform
Earned Value Management (EVM)
Agile Software Development
Issue Date: 15-Dec-2022
Publisher: Acquisition Research Program
Citation: Published--Unlimited Distribution
Series/Report no.: Acquisition Management;NPS-AM_23-005
Abstract: The Department of the Navy (DON) recently implemented the Department of Defense (DOD) Software Acquisition Pathway (SWP), a software acquisition strategy for custom application and embedded software. The purpose of the SWP is to enable rapid and iterative delivery of high-priority software capability to the intended user. But while the SWP uses an agile software development approach, neither the DOD nor the DON have yet provided comprehensive governance tools and methods for SWP programs to iteratively plan, track, and assess acquisition outcomes in agile environments. To close this gap, the author systematically researched commercial software engineering management and digital product development practices as well as prior DOD software acquisition reform studies. Based on the results, the author showed that Earned Value Management is incompatible with the SWP and recommended alternative techniques to measure cost and schedule performance. Additionally, the author recommended a phased approach to manage DON SWP custom application programs, whereby a minimal, unitless work breakdown structure is used to track progress until demonstrating the minimum viable product to the user in a testing environment; product-based metrics are then tracked until initial release of the custom application software; and then outcome-based goals are iteratively set, tracked, and assessed using the Objectives and Key Results framework for as long as the custom application software is in use.
Description: Acquisition Management / Graduate
Appears in Collections:NPS Graduate Student Theses & Reports

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