DOD to focus on improving software management

DOD to focus on improving software management

By Dawn S. Onley

GCN Staff

Jan. 29—Undersecretary of Defense Delores M. Etter told a group of software and electronics engineers that the issues facing the Defense Department this year revolve around the need to increase software capabilities.

Citing a 1999 Defense Science Board study, Etter said DOD would concentrate on six key areas this year. They include stressing contractors that have achieved Level 3 or higher in the Capability Maturity Model for software development, and that have strong past performance, when making procurement decisions.

The other areas are institutionalizing expert program reviews, improving the software skills of acquisition and program managers, collecting and disseminating best practices in software, restructuring contract incentives and strengthening the software technology base.

'Software engineering is a very critical component in national security,' said Etter, undersecretary for science and technology. 'We will pay a lot of attention in this issue and increase capabilities in software.'

Etter made her remarks last week at a dinner sponsored by the Software Productivity Consortium of Herndon, Va. The consortium was honoring its newest member, Raytheon Electronic Systems.

The consortium is a nonprofit made up of more than 80 member companies and organizations. It helps its members implement advanced systems and software engineering processes to improve productivity and reduce risk, said Greg Friedmann, the consortium's director of public relations and communications.

Etter, who became undersecretary in 1998, has retained her job under the Bush administration.

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