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An Acquisition Perspective on Product Evaluation

October 2011 Technical Note
Grady Campbell, Harry L. Levinson, Richard Librizzi

This technical note focuses on software acquisition and development practices related to the evaluation of products before, during, and after implementation.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number

CMU/SEI-2011-TN-007

Abstract

This technical note focuses on software acquisition and development practices related to the evaluation of products before, during, and after implementation. From engagements with numerous DoD acquisition programs, it has been observed that a number of recurring issues reduce the effectiveness of how software-reliant products are evaluated. An acquisition effort consists of identifying the customer’s needs, selecting or developing a product that is responsive to those needs, and then evaluating the product to determine if it properly addresses the identified needs. This technical note describes the Product Evaluation (verification, validation, and certification) process including test, reviews, and formal methods. It also makes the argument that Product Evaluation should not be deferred until after a product has been built, but should begin as soon as the customer’s needs have been identified and should continue throughout the acquisition effort.