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Product Line Acquisition in a DoD Organizational Guidance for Decision Makers

March 2006 Technical Note
John K. Bergey, Sholom G. Cohen

This 2006 report chronicles the decisions a program manager might face in considering the adoption of a product line approach.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number

CMU/SEI-2006-TN-020

Abstract

In the Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition environment, many organizations have not seriously considered adopting a product line approach or are reluctant to because it is not a well-understood acquisition paradigm. Nonetheless, a compelling case can be made for adopting a product line approach because it addresses a problem facing many program managers today's how to cost-effectively acquire, develop, and maintain a set of related software-intensive systems and how to respond to the needs of greater product agility in the face of the current DoD transformation. 

This technical note chronicles the decisions a program manager might face in considering the adoption of a product line approach. This report uses a hypothetical acquisition to focus on why an acquisition organization should consider adopting a product line approach - instead of the traditional stovepipe approach - when acquiring a number of software-intensive systems that have a lot in common. The technical note provides a program manager with insight into the many benefits of adopting a product line approach and examines alternative acquisition approaches for acquiring a product line capability.