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Current Barriers to Successful Implementation of FIST Principles


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Authors: Capt Brandon Keller, USAF, and Lt Col J. Robert Wirthlin, USAF

The Fast, Inexpensive, Simple, and Tiny (FIST) framework proposes a broad set of organizational values, but provides limited guidance on practical implementation. Implementing FIST principles requires clarifying the definitions of “fast,” “inexpensive,” and “simple,” recognizing where FIST does and does not apply. Additionally, a subset of the FIST heuristics was expanded upon to increase their usefulness for practitioners. The primary research findings are that FIST principles are less conducive for highly complex or novel systems, immature technologies, future needs, acquisitions in early development phases, or when performance is the foremost value. FIST principles were also found to be constrained by the acquisition process, the requirements process, and oversight.

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