Spiral development

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Apte, Aruna
Date of Issue
Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
Graduate School of Business and Public Policy
Many view the Department of Defense's acquisition process as ripe for repair. Shortcomings of predominantly used acquisition approaches, such as the Block approach or Pre-planned Product Improvement (P3I) to fulfill system requirements, have led to a new approach in Evolutionary Acquisition strategy: a process called spiral development. This research study focuses on the process, promise, and limitations of spiral development. This study is centered on the key issues that distinguish a spiral approach from the traditional approaches implemented by the DoD. This study describes the fundamentals of the process of spiral acquisition: increments, characteristics of the increments, and the capabilities they deliver using a simple model. The interest of this research is in understanding the concept of spiral acquisition as it applies, specifically, to Program Managers. In conclusion, the analysis so far suggests two key issues: the necessity for a template or a set of rules that will aid Program Managers in understanding and implementing the concept of spiral development, and the role of modularity in spiral development. This research.;The following article is taken as an excerpt from the proceedings of the annual Acquisition Research Program. This annual event showcases the research projects funded through the Acquisition Research Program at the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School. Featuring keynote speakers, plenary panels, mulitiple panel sessions, a student research poster show and social events, the Annual Acquisition Research Symposium offers a candid environment where high-ranking Department of Defense (DoD) officials, industry officials, accomplished faculty and military students are encouraged to collaborate on finding applicable solutions to the challenges facing acquisition policies and processes within the DoD today. By jointly and publicly questioning the norms of industry and academia, the resulting research benefits from myriad perspectives and collaborations which can indentify better solutions and practices in acquisition, contract, financial, logistics and program management. For further information regarding the Acquisition Research Program, electronic copies of additional research, or to learn more about becoming a sponsor, please visit our program website at: For further information on or to register for the next Acquisition Research Symposium during the third week of May, please visit our conference website at:
Technical Report
Second Annual Acquisition Research Symposium
NPS Report Number
1 v.
Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.