Sunday, June 20, 2010

Software Human Capital

Software human capital is the theme of the May/June 2010 "Crosstalk: the journal of defense software engineering". Five essays in this issue raise interesting questions and offer some interesting ideas on managing and utilizing human resources in software projects.
One that caught my eye was "From Projects to People: Shifting the Software Acquisition Paradigm"
After reciting a litnay of defense acquisition problems, the authors arrive at the conclusion that more talented people are needed: Here's the main idea:

Establishing a National Systems Engineering Laboratory

Quality and schedule could be met (at least within a consistent cost and schedule margin) if we fundamentally shift our acquisition paradigm: from program-by-program cost and schedule management to a focus on the quality of people used to feed our engineering teams. This would be accomplished by establishing what we call a National Systems Engineering Laboratory (NSEL). ..... The NSEL would also be cooperatively staffed with selected personnel from our universities, federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs), and government services.

There might be some merit to a national effort to build more and better system engineering; perhaps a DARPA like laboratory for this would help stimulate the effort.  Perhaps the author's have an idea worth talking about.

Are you on LinkedIn? Share this article with your network by clicking on the link.