I wanted to share a paper worthy of a read by those in the government acquisition community: Patterns of Success in Systems Engineering — Acquisition of IT-Intensive Government Systems http://www.mitre.org/work/tech_papers/2011/11_4659/11_4659.pdf
In this report, George Rebovich, Jr., and Joseph DeRosa of The MITRE Corporation used a method typically associated with social science to explain what’s working—and why—in systems engineering and acquisition of IT systems in government. Rebovich and DeRosa applied the concept known as positive deviance, which is commonly used in the healthcare and education fields. This method is based on the observation that every community performing an activity has certain individuals or groups whose attitudes, practices, strategies, or behaviors enable them to function more effectively than others with the same resources and environmental conditions. Two large-scale patterns emerged, one representing the social aspects of successful SE, the other the technical aspects.
In keeping with the positive deviance objective, the authors are sharing their findings with the wider SE community to improve acquisition practices in government. I work for MITRE and am posting this information on GovLoop to further share this work.