A major responsibility of DoD acquisition programs is to perform technical oversight and technical monitoring of the systems it acquires during the contract performance phase. Although these system acquisitions are highly software intensive, software considerations often take a back seat to system considerations due to
Since the quality and longevity of a software intensive system is largely determined by its architecture, there is a growing recognition that the DoD acquisition community can realize significant benefits by adopting an architecture-centric software acquisition approach. Architecture-centric development involves iteratively
The importance of focusing on the software architecture is that it embodies the earliest set of design decisions about a system. These design decisions
Software architectures that are poorly designed result in greatly inflated development and integration and testing costs and an inability to sustain systems in a timely and affordable manner. As a result, the earlier the acquisition organization can evaluate the architecture as to its ability to achieve the desired system qualities (e.g., performance, security, availability, interoperability, modifiability, openness, and so forth) the better.
To support the DoD, the SEI has collaborated with DoD acquisition organizations and their contractors in transitioning and applying some of the architecture-centric techniques and methods developed under at the SEI in actual systems acquisitions. The overarching goal is to reduce software acquisition risk.
A number of the architecture-based collaborations have been documented in technical reports and technical notes that are relevant to or address some aspect of promoting an architecture-centric software development approach in an acquisition context.