DoD'S Software Sustainment Ecosystem: Needed Skill Sets and Gap Analysis
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Software is the foundational building material for the engineering of the Department of Defense (DoD) systems;the principal means for delivering almost 100% of the integrated functionality of kinetic weapon systems. Software is also the means for creating warfighter competitive advantage in today's net-centric warfare environment, where the flow of information in real time is critical to the execution of the DoD's mission across all domains. There is no plateau in sight for the advancement of software technology and its extensive use by the DoD in new systems, as well as to enhance the capabilities of legacy systems and extend their operational value far beyond their designed service life. To maintain its competitive edge, it is imperative that the DoD have the capability and capacity to affordably acquire and sustain software-reliant systems to continually operate and achieve mission success in a dynamic threat, cyber, and net-centric environment. However, the DoD is strategically challenged to produce high-quality software more affordably and efficiently across the system lifecycle, as noted by the Defense Science Board (2000) and others (National Research Council [NRC], 2010a). The acquisition and sustainment of software, particularly for distributed real-time and embedded systems, remains high risk and more problematic as individual system and system-of-systems complexity continues to grow. As long recognized, successful acquisition of software-intensive systems by the DoD is driven to a significant degree by the competencies of the DoD's organic software engineering workforce in applying evidence-based knowledge and practice throughout a system's lifecycle (Software Engineering Institute [SEI], 1998). In a prior study, we emphasized the need to better address software sustainment issues, particularly by engaging appropriate software expertise at the right points early in the acquisition lifecycle, when critical engineering decisions are made (Shull & McLendon, 2017). This means that the DoD organic software engineering sustainment community must be an active participant early in the requirements and engineering process and that the product support manager in acquisition programs must be knowledgeable and proactive in representing software sustainment equities. Achieving this early engagement to influence software design-for-sustainability requires DoD organic software engineering staff who are not just knowledgeable about software but also "street-smart"in system acquisition. Many DoD sustainment programs with which we have interacted over the last few years have been separately developing software workforce competencies to enable effective engagement early in the acquisition process. In this paper, we synthesize what we have learned to date regarding an initial model to assist the DoD in thinking about DoD software engineering competencies. We emphasize that this is an initial model recognizing that defining workforce competencies is complex and also dynamic given the nature of software and system sustainment policies.
NPS Report NumberSYM-AM-18-059
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Naegle, Brad R. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2017-04); NPS-CE-17-042Department of Defense (DoD) software-intensive systems and the software content in other systems will continue to grow and may dominate total ownership costs (TOC) in the future. These costs are exacerbated by the fact ...
Naegel, Brad R. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2017-04-19); NPS-CE-17-042Department of Defense (DoD) software-intensive systems and the software content in other systems will continue to grow and may dominate total ownership costs (TOC) in the future. These costs are exacerbated by the fact ...
Naegle, Brad R. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2018-04-30); SYM-AM-18-136Department of Defense (DoD) software-intensive systems and the software content in other systems will continue to grow and may dominate total ownership costs (TOC) in the future. These costs are exacerbated by the fact ...