Tailorability-focused recommendations for United States Air Force software acquisition policy
Author(s)Muramoto, Dylan Toshinari.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute for Data, Systems, and Society.
Technology and Policy Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Nancy G. Leveson.
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In order to adapt and respond to threats by near-peer-adversaries that are changing at an increasing pace, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has been focused on reforming software acquisition for rapid development and deployment of software capabilities to the battlefield. Military leaders have been focused on accelerating development and increasing the frequency of deployment, encouraging developers to take risks to reduce schedules. However, military systems have certain levels of performance and quality requirements that must be met to successfully execute missions. Additionally, software systems have many different characteristics that must be considered during development. In this thesis, the DoD software acquisition process and new guidance from the Department and the U.S. Air Force (USAF) regarding software acquisition reforms are detailed first. The existing policy is examined to identify gaps regarding tailoring development processes to different software systems. After providing context on how software is developed and describing four process models to show that different processes are most appropriate for developing systems with certain characteristics, eight specific software system characteristics are identified: user, urgency, lifespan, performance (timing), quality/risk, size, integration, and requirements. Furthermore, recommendations to the USAF and DoD for implementing policy/guidelines that help establish a tailorable software acquisition process based on these eight system characteristics are provided. This thesis hopes to help leaders and managers understand the technical characteristics of software systems and match those with appropriate development process designs and practices, instead of a one-size-fits-all blanket solution, so that the required quality and evolvability of military systems are not compromised in execution of the national security mission.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, May, 2020Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, May, 2020Cataloged from the official PDF of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 57-60).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute for Data, Systems, and Society; Technology and Policy Program; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Institute for Data, Systems, and Society., Technology and Policy Program., Aeronautics and Astronautics.