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The Role of the Software Factory in Acquisition and Sustainment

August 2018 Podcast
Paul Nielsen

Dr. Paul Nielsen discusses his involvement on a Defense Science Board Task Force that concluded that the software factory should be a key player in the acquisition and sustainment of software for defense.

“This is one case where the military or the government can learn from industry, sort of a spin-in to the government. The government has traditionally followed other approaches that were very requirements-based. They have perfected requirements engineering. What we have found is that in many cases with software systems, we really don’t know the requirements when we start, not completely, and they evolve with time as users start to experience the software.”


Software Engineering Institute




SEI Director Paul Nielsen recently served on a Defense Science Board Task Force whose purpose was to determine whether iterative development practices such as Agile are applicable to the development and sustainment of software for the Department of Defense (DoD). The resulting report, Design and Acquisition of Software for Defense Systems, made seven recommendations on how to improve software acquisition in defense systems, but it stressed that overall the software factory should be a key player in the acquisition and sustainment of software for defense.

About the Speaker

Paul Nielsen

Dr. Paul D. Nielsen is director and chief executive officer of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a global leader in advancing software and cybersecurity to solve the nation's toughest problems through focused research, development, and transition to the broad software engineering community. The SEI is a key innovator in areas central to U.S. Department of Defense and civilian government operation in the cyberspace domain, including software architecture, software product lines, interoperability, the integration of software-intensive systems, network and system resilience, and the increasing overlap of software and systems engineering. The SEI also provides direct support to more than 50 U.S. government entities in their efforts to efficiently and effectively acquire and sustain new software and systems. Nielsen earned a B.S. in physics from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an M.B.A. from the University of New Mexico, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in applied science from the University of California, Davis.