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Acquisition Essentials for Software-Reliant Systems

The challenges and failures of software development and acquisition of software-reliant systems have been well documented. There are many reasons software-reliant acquisitions fail, including unrealistic estimates, overly ambitious requirements, and inadequate software engineering and testing.

This hour-long course is part of a series of e-Learning modules to acquaint acquisition staff with key aspects of software-reliant systems acquisition. This course provides an overview of three fundamental software acquisition topics, Software Requirements, Software Architecture, and Software Testing. Each of the topics answers the most important questions about that area:

  • What is it?
  • Why should I care about it?
  • What's different about it?
  • What are the key questions I should ask?

This course features stories from real acquisition programs showing the significance of these three aspects of acquiring software-reliant systems. Examples are used throughout the course to provide the learner with a concrete understanding of Software Requirements, Software Architecture, and Software Testing.


Acquisition program leaders and staff who are experienced with acquisition, but want more information about addressing the software aspects of the program


At the completion of the course, learners will be aware of:

  • the unique challenges of software-reliant systems
  • some fundamental aspects of software-reliant systems
  • the knowledge needed to manage software-reliant acquisition programs and keep the programs on track by proactively recognizing problem symptom and implementing recovery strategies


  • Why software is important
  • Essential knowledge of software requirements
  • Essential knowledge of software architecture


This course is presented in the form of narrated instructional pages. Self-assessments following each topic presented assist with comprehension of the subject matter. Learners will also be able to access additional resources related to the subject matter and a downloadable copy of the course presentation slides.


This course has no prerequisites.

To access the SEI Learning Portal, your computer must have the following:

  • For optimum viewing, we recommend using the following browsers: Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari
  • These browsers are supported on the following operating systems: Microsoft Windows 8 (or higher), OSX (Last two major releases), Most Linux Distributions
  • Mobile Operating Systems: iOS 9, Android 6.0
  • Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Chrome and Safari follow a continuous release policy that makes difficult to fix a minimum version. For this reason, following the market recommendation we will support the last 2 major version of each of these browsers. Please note that as of January 2018, we do not support Safari on Windows.

This is an eLearning course.

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Course Fees [USD]

  • eLearning: $75.00


Your access period will begin once you have been added to the SEI Learning Portal and launch the course.

Learners will have three weeks to complete the course. Upon completing all course elements, the learner is awarded an electronic certificate of course completion.

If you wish to purchase this course for a group of learners, please email or telephone at +1 412-268-1817 for group rate details.

Course Questions?

Phone: 412-268-7388
FAX: 412-268-7401

Training courses provided by the SEI are not academic courses for academic credit toward a degree. Any certificates provided are evidence of the completion of the courses and are not official academic credentials. For more information about SEI training courses, see Registration Terms and Conditions and Confidentiality of Course Records.