Improving the prototyping process in Department of Defense acquisition
Kwinn, Brigitte T.
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The current Department of Defense (DOD) multiyear acquisition process is too costly and takes far too long for weapon systems to be developed. To help the DOD address this challenge a model was developed that will mature and transition technology into formal system development. The team utilized a tailored systems engineering strategy, including requirements analysis, functional architecting, modeling, simulation, and risk analysis when developing the Technology Development System (TDS) model. The TDS is based on risk assessment, detailed planning, and early system prototyping in order to successfully proceed into formal system development with proven technologies. This model was developed with the intent that it be extendable to all program offices within the DOD. The TDS leveraged attributes and known best practices from doctrinal sources combined into a step-by-step development process. The context surrounding successful prototyping still lacks the proper knowledge-based approach needed to make the effort worthwhile. The architecture, model, and simulation together provide the traceability, validation, and system requirements to define system entry criteria, accurately plan and conduct technology maturation, and reduce the cost and technical risk associated with early system development within the DOD acquisition life cycle.
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