The Adaptive Acquisition Framework within the US Department of Defense exists so we can stop the madness with bad acquisitions efforts for modernizing our capabilities.
The Defense Acquisitions University (DAU) has laid it out for everyone. This is finally a means to change software development efforts from “build to spec” to value-adding capabilities built to meet actual end-user mission needs. Acquisitions teams need to do their damn homework and get smarter on this and stop releasing TORFPs that read like a 1980’s GOTS software procurement effort with more buzz words thrown into the Software Development and Engineering Support paragraph than you see walking down the aisle in the expo hall at RSA. Seriously! Also, why the hell are we writing SOWs/PWSs that don’t include direct interaction with end-users/customers and the application of user centered design practices in every single one of these efforts?
Do the Homework – the link is below
The Software Acquisition Pathway is an adaptive acquisition framework (found at https://aaf.dau.edu/aaf/software/) was designed to help the Department of Defense (DoD) acquire custom software capabilities in a timely manner. The pathway consists of five steps:
- Determine whether to use the pathway: In this step, the DoD decides whether the software acquisition pathway is the best fit for their specific needs. This step involves assessing the complexity of the project and determining whether the pathway aligns with the National Defense Strategy.
- Structure technical and contract requirements: In this step, the DoD establishes the technical and contract requirements for the software acquisition. This step involves identifying the necessary capabilities and features of the software, as well as the timelines and budget constraints.
- Develop a Request for Proposal (RFP): In this step, the DoD issues an RFP to solicit proposals from potential contractors. The RFP outlines the project requirements and evaluation criteria, as well as the timeline for submission and selection.
- Award the contract: In this step, the DoD selects a contractor to develop the software and awards them the contract. This step involves negotiating the terms of the contract, such as the scope of work, payment terms, and deliverables.
- Execute the contract: In this final step, the DoD and the contractor work together to develop and deliver the software. This step involves regular communication, monitoring progress, and ensuring the software meets the necessary requirements.
If you’re a government program looking to use this approach for contracting software development services, here are some guidelines to follow:
- Understand the complexity of the project and assess whether the software acquisition pathway aligns with the National Defense Strategy.
- Clearly define the technical and contract requirements for the software acquisition, including the necessary capabilities and features, outcomes and mission effects delivered by the software to end users, timelines, and budget constraints.
- Develop a detailed RFP that outlines the project requirements and evaluation criteria, as well as the timeline for submission and selection.
- Select a contractor that has the necessary expertise and experience to develop the software, and negotiate the terms of the contract carefully.
- Work closely with the contractor to monitor progress and ensure the software meets the necessary requirements, using modern iterative software development methodologies and tools done in active collaboration with users.