Pentagon signs out new software acquisition policy

By Justin Doubleday / October 2, 2020 at 1:57 PM

Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord has signed out the final version of a new policy to guide the military’s software development and procurement efforts, according to one of her top deputies.

During a National Defense Industrial Association conference this morning, Kevin Fahey, assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, said the software acquisition policy was finalized this week.

Defense Department acquisition officials have spent the past two years rewriting the defense acquisition system directive (DOD 5000.01) and DOD instruction 5000.02, “Operation of the Defense Acquisition System.” The new policies lay out “acquisition pathways” program managers can use for acquiring different kinds of capabilities, including a software acquisition pathway.

“Just this week, Ms. Lord signed out the final version of the software acquisition [policy], so now 5000.01, .02, we have all the pathways, we’re on our way on the instructions,” Fahey said.

The Pentagon’s software acquisition initiatives have focused on shifting DOD program offices to agile software development, rather than the legacy “waterfall” development model.

In January, Lord’s office released an interim version of the software pathway policy, according to a software acquisition report delivered to Congress in August.

The interim policy “simplifies the acquisition model to enable continuous integration and delivery of software capability on timelines relevant to the warfighter/end user,” according to the document.