PLRS and EPLRS: a case study in system development and post deployment software support
Aldridge, Jon K.
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Software development and acquisition have been the Achilles' heel within the Departtnent of Defense for many years. In spite of considerable oversight and the control exercised by many regulations standards, there still exists significant problems in cost, schedule, and delivered capability will programs. This thesis looks at the acquisition of two software and firmware intensive programs, Position Location and Reporting System (PLRS) and the Enhanced PLRS (EPLRS). Its primary focus is the transition of life cycle management of the software to the government post deployment software support (PDSS) activity. The acquisition of PLRS by the U.S. Marine Corps involved the acquisition of an unprecedented new technology and system capability never before attempted. As a result, configuration management, testing, and transfer of the software maintenance support functions can considerable problems at the PDSS activity. A number of the lessons from this experience were applied to the acquisition and development of the Army's EPLRS resulting in a more thorough statement of contractual requirements for the contractor, better understanding of the configuration management by government, and the testing of the system under more realistic conditions to validate its abilities. recommendation of this thesis will result in a smoother acquisition process, a more mature system at time of delivery to the government, and a more capable PDSS.
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