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Costs of Achieving Soware Technology Readiness

Author: Arlene Minkiewicz

Category: White Papers

One problem frequently cited with the definition and application of Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) is that they are extremely hardware focused. Software is different than hardware in that it’s not as obvious what software technology means and how it is best assessed. Software brings almost infinite possibilities for advancements of the state of the art, but these possibilities require the right mix of hardware, tools, people and processes. Assessing the state of software technology becomes a ‘softer’ exercise. Consequently, the issues associated with estimating the costs of transcending Software TRLs become less obvious as well. The paper will clarify the concept of TRLs as they relate to software. It defines components of software technology as they relate to the assessment of technology maturity. It also presents factors that may complicate software TRAs and offers guidance on gaining a better handle on their impacts. Finally, it presents a methodology to give cost estimators and analysts a tool to perform credible cost estimates.

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