Spiral Development in Action: A Case Study of Spiral Development in the Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program
MBA professional rept.
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Evolutionary Acquisition EA is the established acquisition strategy of choice for the Department of Defense DoD and spiral development SD is the preferred process to execute this tactic. SD is used when the end-state of a weapon system is unknown, and its purpose is to get valuable capability into warfighters hands much more quickly than before, even if the deliverable is only a partial solution. This approach is markedly different than the traditional DoD acquisition approach that too often fielded weapon systems late, over budget, and with obsolete technology. As with any DoD initiative, SD is not a panacea. The purpose of this MBA Project is to identify some of the key characteristics necessary to implement SD in government acquisitions, and to present lessons learned from a program office currently using a spiral development approach. This is accomplished through a case study of the Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle UAV Program. This paper examines the Global Hawks spiral development strategies in several key program functional areas. It discusses SD challenges and benefits with particular attention to successful tactics and potential pitfalls of using this acquisition approach. Finally, it derives several lessons learned applicable to any DoD program manager.
- Pilotless Aircraft
- Administration and Management
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies