Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences


The importance of embedded software, used in every subsystem of ah major weapon systems used by the United States Air Force, has increased drastically over the last decades. However, in spite of the regulations currently in existence, developing and acquiring software which meets the user requirements within the original cost and schedule estimates continues to be difficult. At the same time, the Air Force has pushed to improve the development process with the Total Quality Management TQM program. The primary method used to improve the process has been to create metrics, collect data on these metrics, and then perform a statistical analysis on this data. This process has resulted in large quantities data, but very little improvement. This thesis executes the forgotten first step of process improvement - to analyze the process and determine the significant problems faced while developing software for embedded systems. This goal was accomplished by examining and evaluating four major acquisition programs the B-2, C- 17, F- 16 and the F-22. In each of these programs, the problems identified are categorized as either procurement practice, software development process, or personnel issues. Of these, procurement practices caused at least as many problems as deficiencies in the software development process.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Presented to the Faculty of the School of Logistics and Acquisition Management of the Air Force Institute of Technology

Co-authored thesis.

The authors' Vita pages are omitted.