Life Cycle Software Engineering Capabilities

Life Cycle Software Engineering (LCSE) is the overall process of developing information systems through a multi-step process from investigation of initial requirements through analysis, design, implementation and maintenance.

Lifecycle Software Engineering Capabilities diagram

The above diagram is the Defense Acquisition Management Framework . It illustrates how the acquisition process is a series of management decisions made in DoD and it components (see Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 (DTM 09-027) (WSARA)) as the development of a Materiel system progresses from stated materiel capability to a fielded/sustained system.

Material Solution Analysis – This phase of the life cycle refines the initial concept and develops a Technology Development Strategy (TDS). Entrance into this phase depends upon an approved Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) resulting from the analysis of potential concepts across the DoD components, international systems from Allies, and cooperative opportunities. It also requires an approved plan for conducting an analysis of alternatives (AoA) for the selected concept, documented in the approved ICD.

Examples of SEC capabilities used in this phase include:

  • Formulating, extracting, and managing requirements
  • Estimating costs and schedules
  • Suggesting standards
  • Preparing acquisition documents
  • Providing computer resource planning

Technology Development – This phase reduces technology risk and determines the appropriate set of technologies to be integrated into a full system. It is a technology discovery and development process reflecting close collaboration between the Science & Technology community, the user, and the system developer. It is an iterative process designed to assess the viability of technologies while simultaneously refining user requirements. The ICD and TDS guide the work in this phase.

Examples of SEC capabilities used in this phase include:

  • Monitoring the acquisition process
  • Evaluating proposals and documentation deliverables
  • Recommending sources
  • Reconciling differences in costs
  • Management and oversight of the software development

Engineering and Manufacturing Development – In this phase a Project Manager (PM) develops concepts into producible, deployable, and supportable products that provide capability to the user. Entry requires Milestone B approval and a validated Capabilities Development Document (CDD). This phase may include system new starts, system re-procurement, or some modification or recapitalization efforts. The aim is to develop the best overall value solution to meet the user’s operational requirements.

Examples of SEC capabilities used in this phase include:

  • Participating in review meetings
  • Identifying significant products and technologies
  • Demonstrating products and technologies
  • Identifying issues and proposes resolutions relating to software development/maintenance
  • Researching issues and propose resolutions pertaining to the interoperability between software and/or systems

Production and Deployment – The purpose of this phase is to achieve operational capability that satisfies mission needs. A system must be demonstrated before commitment to production (or procurement) and deployment is made at Milestone C. Once system maturity is proved to the level required in the approved Capabilities Production Document (CPD), the system is baselined and the deployment plan is implemented, including entry to authorized Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) and decision review for Full-Rate Production (FRP).

Examples of SEC capabilities used in this phase include:

  • Designing and providing a software support facility consisting of hardware, software, networking, and security
  • Participating in full-rate production decision review process
  • Providing technical materials and documentation
  • Performing security scans
  • Investigating and determining security vulnerabilities

Operations and Support – It is during this phase that the system is fielded and supported, and, at the end of its useful life, disposed of in an appropriate manner. The objective is execution of a support program that meets operational support performance requirements and sustains the system in the most cost-effective manner over its total life cycle. Sustainment effort includes all elements necessary to maintain the readiness and operational capability of deployed systems.

Examples of SEC capabilities used in this phase include:

  • Providing Worldwide Field Support
  • Tracking software release schedules, problem reporting and software licenses
  • Providing software training
  • Producing mission data sets
  • Managing databases and data
  • Upgrading commercially available hardware, operating systems, and software
  • Providing a help desk for end users

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