Applying the Fundamentals of Quality to Software Acquisition

May 2012
Topics: Contracts and Contracting, Software Engineering Management, Software Standards
Steve Bygren, The MITRE Corporation
Greg Carrier, The MITRE Corporation
Tom Maher, The MITRE Corporation
Patrick Maurer, The MITRE Corporation
David Smiley, The MITRE Corporation
Rick Spiewak, The MITRE Corporation
Christine Sweed, The MITRE Corporation
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Historically, software developed under government contracts often does not stand up under real-world use, and defects frequently result in cost and schedule overruns. While proposed development activities from contractors commonly list measures to improve quality, these descriptions cannot be used to select a winning bidder if they are not part of the evaluation criteria. By making software quality requirements explicit at the proposal stage, contractor selection can be influenced by criteria based on best practices in software development.

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