Carnegie Mellon University
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Results in Relating Quality Attributes to Acquisition Strategies

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posted on 2014-02-01, 00:00 authored by Lisa Brownsword, Cecilia Albert, David J. Carney, Patrick R. Place

In the acquisition of a software-intensive system, the relationship between the software architecture and the acquisition strategy is typically not specifically examined. The first phase of our research discovered an initial set of failure patterns that result when these two entities become misaligned. Programs with these failure patterns experienced reduced operational capabilities and effectiveness, cost overruns, and significant schedule slips. In other words, these programs resulted in systems failing to satisfy stakeholder needs.

This report describes the conceptual foundations for our project and summarizes the first phase as context for the second phase, which is the major thrust of this report. The current research has centered on demonstrating the existence and utility of acquisition-related quality attributes, embodied in a program’s business goals, which then drive the shape of the acquisition strategy. This is comparable to the relationship between mission goals, software-related quality attributes, and the software architecture. This report describes the approach used in phase two to generate 75 acquisition-related quality attribute scenarios based on data derived from more than 23 large government programs spanning business, logistics, command and control, and satellite domains.




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