Post deployment software support of the U.S. Army's Special Operations Aircraft: a software acquisition management case study
Dolloff, Scott C.
McCaffrey, Martin J.
Woods, W. Max
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This thesis examines the issues faced by the Program Manager in providing for Post Deployment Software Support (PDSS) of the U.S. Army's Special Operations Aircraft, MH-60K and MH-47E. PDSS of Department of Defense weapon systems is becoming increasingly important for several reasons. First, weapon systems functions are migrating from hardware to software. Second, these functions are migrating to software because it is flexible. Third, because software is flexible, it continues to evolve throughout its lifecycle. Finally, this evolution accounts for approximately 70 percent of the lifecycle cost of software. This thesis presents a case study of PDSS of the U.S. Army's Special Operations Aircraft. The case analysis identifies significant management issues in the following areas: acquisition management, project management, and software engineering. Conclusions drawn from the analysis reveal that the success of PDSS is dependent on effective program management. Effective management of a software acquisition involving PDSS requires the following: planning; a cooperative buyer-seller relationship; selection of the proper contract type; technical support resources; and the use of proven software management techniques such as metrics and process maturity assessments. Implementing the recommendations included in this thesis should improve the future management of PDSS
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