AIAA-2004-6855-649 - AIAA 2004-6855 USAF Developmental Test...

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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 1 USAF Systems Engineering -- Revitalizing Fundamental Processes J. R. Loren * MTC Technologies, Inc., Arlington, VA 22209 Abstract “Systems Engineering is broken; go fix it.” -- Attributed to Dr. James G. Roche, Secretary of the Air Force, Spring 2002. During the first year of his tenure, Secretary Roche became aware that a number of major programs were experiencing significant problems. In particular, critics cited mishaps and accidents, schedule slides, cost overruns, instability in requirements and funding, and poor acquisition strategies; in more than a few cases, a lack of systems engineering was pointed out as the root cause. The Secretary’s remark reflects obvious frustration that program growth in critical areas -- requirements, cost, and schedule -- had not been properly forecast or managed. This paper summarizes over two years of focused efforts to reinvigorate the Air Force practice of systems engineering. Headquarters-level activity began in mid-2002; staff and practitioners from the acquisition, requirements, test, operations, and sustainment communities, as well as industry and academia, are now engaged. I. Introduction ROMINENT among recurring themes in studies of factors contributing to poor program performance are low estimates for software development and integration efforts, lack of true Systems Engineering (SE) practitioners, and insufficient planning for risk reduction as programs take shape. Another major issue is dynamic requirements, frequently characterized by immaturity at program inception and “creep” during system development. Figure 1 at right is adapted from a summary of one such analysis 1 . While some refinement and evolution of requirements inevitable, paralleling product/system design definition, these observations appear to point to two things: a rush to start development, and less-than- well-disciplined processes for managing and controlling growth. * Senior Acquisition Technical Manager, Systems Engineering Programs; Engineering & Technical Management Division (SAF/AQRE); 1500 Wilson Blvd., Suite 600, Arlington, VA 22209; Senior Member, AIAA. P Figure 1. Factors in Program Growth. USAF Developmental Test and Evaluation Summit 16 - 18 November 2004, Woodland Hills, California AIAA 2004-6855 Copyright © 2004 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. The U.S. Government has a royalty-free license to exercise all rights under the copyright claimed herein for Governmental purposes. All other rights are reserved by the copyright owner.
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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 2 In response to Secretary Roche’s direction, a group of 44 recognized SE experts from the Department of Defense (DoD), the Services, industry, academia, and professional organizations met for a two-day “Focus Forum” in August 2002 at Wright-Patterson AFB. This group reached a solid consensus that the SE process itself was not broken; rather, it was the uniform application of SE principles and practices that needed attention if the Air Force was to recapture a strong and vibrant SE environment.
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AIAA-2004-6855-649 - AIAA 2004-6855 USAF Developmental Test...

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