Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University

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Software Acquisition Planning Guidelines

  • Abstract

    Guidance about acquisition planning and strategy is scattered by topic throughout many different books, reports, presentations, and Web sites. This handbook presents guidance for acquisition planning and strategy topics in a condensed form, and references the primary resources available for each topic. 

    The topics for the guidelines in this handbook represent selected areas in which the SEI has conducted significant research. The guidelines are organized by the acquisition strategy considerations categories from the Defense Acquisition University's Defense Acquisition Guidebook that describe the principal areas of consideration for planning an acquisition strategy. Guidance is offered on 13 topics, including open systems approach, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)-based systems, software architecture, software sustainment, requirements development, requirements management, operational information assurance, information assurance for COTS sustainment, information asset protection, software testing, software risk management, software metrics, and software-based award fees. 

    This handbook is intended to provide program managers and project management office staffs with recommendations and resources for addressing different aspects of their acquisition strategy. It illustrates acquisition challenges with program scenarios, suggests actions that should be taken, and identifies danger signs to look for when evaluating progress. A basic knowledge of both software development and acquisition practices is assumed.

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