Compilation of Report Findings and Recommendations
Finding 1-1: Software has become essential to a vast range of military system capabilities and operations, and its role is continuing to deepen and broaden, including interlinking diverse system elements. This creates both benefits and risks.
Finding 1-2: The growth in the role of software in systems is due to a combination of technological advances and a maturing of the supply chain structure associated with software systems development at all levels of scale.
Finding 1-3: The DoD relies fundamentally on mainstream commercial components, supply chains, and software ecosystems for both business systems and many mission systems. Nonetheless, the DoD has special needs in its mission systems driven by the growing role of software in systems. As a result, the DoD needs to address directly the challenge of building on and, where appropriate, contributing to the development of mainstream software that can contribute to its mission.
Finding 1-4: The DoD’s needs will not be sufficiently met through a combination of demand-pull from the military and technology-push from the defense or commercial information technology sectors. The DoD cannot rely on industry alone to address the long-term software challenges particular to defense.
Recommendation 1-1: The DoD, through its Director of Research and Engineering (DDR&E), should regularly undertake an identification of areas of technological need related to software producibility where the DoD has “leading demand” and where accelerated progress is needed to support the defense mission.
Finding 1-5: It is dangerous to conclude that we are reaching a plateau in capability and technology for software producibility. To avoid loss of leadership, the DoD will need to become more fully engaged in the innovative processes related to software producibility.
Finding 2-1: Modern practice for innovative software systems at all levels of scale is geared toward incremental identification and mitigation of engineering uncertainties, including requirements uncertainties. For defense software, the challenge is doing so at a larger scale and in ways that are closely linked with an overall systems engineering process.
Finding 2-2: The prescription in DoD Instruction 5000.02 for the use of evolutionary development needs to be supplemented by the development of related guidance on the use of such practices as time-certain development, requirements prioritization, evidence-based milestones, and risk management.
Finding 2-3: Extensions to earned value management models to include evidence of feasibility and to accommodate practices such as time-certain development are necessary conditions to enable successful application of incremental development practices for innovative systems.
Finding 2-4: Research related to process, measurement, architecture, and assurance can contribute to the improvement of measurement practice in support of both routine management of engineering risks and value assessment as part of earned value management.