FIGURE S-1 DOD life cycle acquisition process. Points A, B, and C at the top of the figure represent Milestones A, B, and C. LCC, life cycle cost. SOURCE: Richard Andrews, 2003, An Overview of Acquisition Logistics. Fort Belvoir, Va.: Defense Acquisition University. Available at,12,Slide12. Last accessed on November 20, 2007.

tion life cycle in addressing the root causes of program failure, especially during the pre-Milestone A and early phases of a program. Currently, few formal SE processes are applied to Air Force development programs before the Milestone A review.1

The committee has devoted much time and space in this report to trying to define a minimum set of systems engineering processes. Chapter 4, in particular, is devoted to this effort. The most important of these processes are summarized in the checklist in Box S-1 below in this summary (Box 4-1 in Chapter 4). A few of the things that need to be taken care of before Milestone A and just after it are the following: the consideration of alternative concepts (solutions) up front; the setting of clear, comprehensive key performance parameters (KPPs) and system requirements; and early attention to interfaces and interface complexity, to the concept of operations (CONOPS), and to the system verification approach. It is these early-stage processes that are covered in this report. The importance of


This is a result of the elimination in the 1990s of the development planning function that had existed in the Air Force Systems Command.

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