Software Management

Air Force Software Policy


Air Force Software Policy centers on Air Force Instruction (AFI) 63-101 and AFI 63-1201. These policies focus around ten (10) key areas and their associated tasks which mandate that software engineering practitioners and Program Managers (PM) must: [1]

  1. Estimate software development and integration at a high level (80-90%) of confidence.
  2. Ensure program baselines support the disciplined application of mature systems/software engineering processes, are compatible with the overall program‘s Expectation Management Agreement (EMA), and are supported by the program‘s budget.
  3. Manage computer systems and software-specific risks as an integral part of the program risk management process.
  4. Identify the software-related strengths, weaknesses, experience, process capability, development capacity, and past performance for all developer team members with significant software development responsibilities.
  5. Ensure the developer team establishes and applies effective software development processes.
  6. Ensure the program office establishes and applies effective acquisition processes, is adequately staffed, and supports the application of effective processes by the developer team.
  7. Collect and analyze Earned Value Management (EVM) data at the software level.
  8. Employ a core set of basic software metrics.
  9. Plan and develop life cycle software support capabilities and support operations.
  10. Support the transfer of lessons learned to future programs by providing feedback to the center-level Acquisition Center of Excellence (ACE) and other affected organizations.


AFI 63-1201 “Life Cycle Systems Engineering”
Requires programs to address these software focus areas, as a minimum, throughout the life cycle, beginning with pre-Milestone A activities. AFI 63-101 requires programs to incorporate the focus areas as appropriate in the program System Engineering Plan (SEP), Integrated Program Summary (IPS), or acquisition plans. Program Executive Officer (PEO) may tailor the implementation of these focus areas as required, with appropriate supporting rationale, but the Service Acquisition Executive (SAE) should be notified of all tailoring. Tailoring includes developing and implementing additional procedures and/or reducing already stated procedures, where appropriate. [1]


AFI 63-101 “Acquisition and Sustainment Life Cycle Management”
Addresses the acquisition planning, requirements development and management, project management and oversight, and risk management process improvement requirements. PEOs are required to determine how to implement the remaining requirements (metrics for performance measurement and continual process improvement, appropriate experience or training for acquisition personnel, and implementing and adhering to established processes and requirements) within their portfolios. [1]


A Systems Engineering Plan (SEP) should address software planning.  The SEP must remain consistent with the Life Cycle Management Plan (LCMP) which documents the integrated acquisition and sustainment strategy for the life of the system, which, as described in AFI 63-101, includes software considerations. AFI 63-101 also discusses software as an element of specific functions in the acquisition process. [1]


AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 3/04/2021

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