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Enterprise Architecture facilitates adopting Agile development methodologies into a DoD acquisition

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1 Author(s)
Cagle, R. ; MITRE Corp., Bedford, MA, USA

The role of the Contract Data Requirements List [CDRL] in the DoD acquisition process is to provide the authoritative list of required artifacts for a given procurement. It forms an appendix to the acquisition contract, and includes delivery information and a schedule for each, typically mapped to milestone events such as the Preliminary Design Review [PDR] or the Critical Design Review [CDR] in the DoD Acquisition Waterfall Lifecycle. A number of CDRLs were proposed for the Joint Mission Planning Systems [JMPS] Framework, including a number of artifacts specific to the architecture and design of the application. Alignment with the DoD Acquisition Waterfall Lifecycle milestone events posed significant challenges to the program, given the contractor's proposed Agile development methodology. Many of these architectural and design documents carried a delivery-schedule expectation that placed them in conflict with the best practices and anticipated benefits of Agile, including the principle of “design only as much as is necessary to build features”. Using the Enterprise Architect tool, the contractor was able to produce a “living design” used daily by the development team, including architects, designers, developers, integrators, and testers. The tool provided capabilities that facilitated templates for various CDRLs, including the Systems Architecture Description [SAD], the Software Design Description [SDD], and the Interface Design Description [IDD], allowing on-demand generation of snapshots of the architecture and detailed design as it evolved, providing the appropriate level of documentation of the as-built system. The result better addressed the contractual intent of the CDRLs, to provide subsequent platform developers an accurate and up-to-date understanding of the architecture and design of the JMPS Framework, while better preserving the integrity of the development of the Enterprise Architecture within the selected Zachman Fram- work, and in the context of the contractor's Agile methodology.

Published in:

Systems Conference (SysCon), 2012 IEEE International

Date of Conference:

19-22 March 2012