One size does not fit all: a system development perspective
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Investments in technology have the potential to improve lives and organizations and can be force multipliers for an organization, however federal IT projects too often experience cost overruns, schedule slippages, and performance shortfalls. Specific to the Coast Guard, there are currently four Information Technology Level 1 acquisitions programs that have life-cycle costs estimates equal to or greater than $1-billion. Many of these projects are over budget, and as a result, many of the desired capabilities do not make it to the end user. Since the passage of the first Acquisition Act and every acquisition mandate since, the federal government has struggled to deliver capabilities that have met the requirements of the end-user, while staying within budget, on schedule and within cost. To alleviate this, adding more mandates and oversight has become the go to play. However, these mandates just might be having the antithesis effect on desired outcomes. This thesis describes alternative system development methodologies that could assist Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense in maximizing the delivery of capabilities to the end-user, while staying on schedule and within budget.
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