Defense Software:

Review of Defense Report on Software Development Best Practices

AIMD-00-209R: Published: Jun 15, 2000. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2000.

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Jack L. Brock, Jr
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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) report on its efforts to adopt management best practices for software development and acquisition, focusing on whether: (1) it satisfied the Senate Committee on Armed Service's directive; and (2) the information included was accurate and complete.

GAO noted that: (1) in responding to the Committee's directive, DOD was required to report on its efforts to identify and adopt best practices in software development and on its efforts to address six additional issues--ranging from the employment of risk management in software development, to the management of requirements changes, to the development of metrics to help assess performance and pinpoint potential problems, to tracking software development rework expenditures; (2) DOD's response addressed the Committee's basic question and all six additional issues; (3) however, the responses on some issues were incomplete and others contained inaccurate or outdated information; (4) of the seven total issues, DOD's response did not fully address two issues and was inaccurate or outdated on three; (5) DOD's response also did not offer additional relevant information that could have improved the report; (6) for example, DOD has begun some initiatives under its goal of building a coherent global network that focus on developing an effective DOD software management program; and (7) this information would have provided insight into current and future DOD efforts.

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