Would the fact that there is an existing SOA/SaaS system providing the architecture to host applications warrant the need to a full AoA to support a new program that would develop these applications, or is a full AoA required? Also, are there examples of how this approach (agile) has been employed in the development of DOD systems?
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From the 5000.02 guidance if the DoD component has already done analysis that supports the SOA / SaaS architecture as the best alternative then the MDA can use this to narrow the range of the alternatives. The DoD component will develop the AoA study plan and can layout this out in the plan. If the AoA study plan approver signs off on this then a more limited AoA could be performed.
Here is some relevant text from the DoDI 5000.02: DoD Components may have conducted enough analysis to support preliminary conclusions about the desired product at this point. If so, that analysis may be used by the MDA to narrow the range of alternatives. If not, requirements are likely to be less well-defined or firm, and a wider range of alternatives will need to be considered.
Enclosure 9 in the DoDI 5000.02 covers the AOA.
a. The DCAPE develops and approves study guidance for the AoA for potential and designated Acquisition Category (ACAT) I and IA programs and for each joint military or business requirement for which the Chairman of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) or the Investment Review Board Deputy Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense (DCMO) is the validation authority. In developing the guidance, the DCAPE solicits the advice of other DoD officials and ensures that the guidance requires, at a minimum:
b. The DCAPE provides the AoA Study Guidance to the DoD Component or organization designated by the MDA or, for ACAT IA programs, to the office of the principal staff assistant responsible for the mission area, prior to the Materiel Development Decision (MDD) and in sufficient time to permit preparation of the study plan prior to the decision event. The study plan will be coordinated with the MDA and approved by the DCAPE prior to the MDD. The designated DoD Component or other organization or the principal staff assistant will designate responsibility for completion of the study plan and the AoA.