Department of Defense

Enterprise-wide requirements management for Acqusition

In the DOD there is not an effective requirements management process for the acquisition programs. E.g. the requirements for the current electronic health record “AHLTA” came from an evolving set of capabilities and has spanned decades in development. Over the course of time, requirements changed or became flawed with no traceability of requirements from capability needs through design, test and implementation. Some the changes were due to a change in stakeholder expectations, evolving user needs, emerging technologies, contractor and congressional influence. One example of contractor influence is when a major systems integrator working on the program built additional capabilities for the system. Per the system integrator, this additional capability was developed with the knowledge gained from government input. Although the systems integrator used government resources to develop this capability, the version provided to the government did not include any of this new capability. The program manager inserted this new “glimmer” capability into the program without verification and validation of the requirements, nor was consideration was given to lifecycle management costs. These forced changes greatly benefited the systems integrator, at the expense of significant cost overruns. It allowed the system integrator to insert custom code into an already proprietary system. A system that had already cost billions over the past decade and still doesn’t meet the user’s needs.

The idea is to develop an enterprise-wide requirements management process, clear concise requirements based on standards, minimize or avoid customized development. It should include the appropriate users and stakeholders throughout the process. JCIDS is the Department of Defense need-driven requirements generation system. The value proposition is that is increases effectiveness and efficiencies resulting in significant cost savings, avoid unnecessary development, reduce cycle time and increase the agility

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Idea No. 7444