System 699:Team 6 (Agile Team)Spring 2013

Agiles vs Traditional System Engineering Development

  • Student Walking on the Fairfax Campus

    What we Did this semester

    Team 6(Agile Team): In the spring semester of 2013, our Sponsor presented George Mason University with questions regarding some of the unknown challenges of switching to the new development model. In specific, the Sponsor has approached the team with the question of whether the Agile methodology can adequately address the rigorous Department of Defense (DoD) standards and needs for documentation on mission-critical software systems. In addition, Boeing would like to know if documentation processes are impacted by adopting the Agile methodology.

    What we found

    Given the current fiscal environment surrounding Department of Defense system acquisitions, Agile development methodologies are increasing in popularity. The associated costs of traditional systems development and the significant failure rates of existing development efforts also drive the need for alternative development options. With proper planning and modification to Defense Acquisition Guidelines, Agile development methodologies are suitable for development of mission-critical software systems in the DoD environment. Currently, the Defense System Acquisition Framework is tailored for systems developed using traditional systems engineering methods such as the Waterfall method and V-Curve. Based upon the success of agile projects, the DoD is currently overhauling DoD Instruction 5000 to better support the use of Agile development methodologies.