A Complexity-Based Approach To Quantitative Technical Risk
Systems Engineering and Systems Management Transformation
Dr. Roshanak Nilchiani
A novel approach to technical risk identification and analysis for major weapons systems acquisitions is proposed. It is informed by the limitations of the current risk matrix. The approach is to examine representations of the evolving system design to locate sources of complexity and then inform the program manager as he/she makes technical choices among competing alternatives. Some of the alternatives will create more complexity and therefore more risk. The PM will then be able to balance risk and reward at the point of decision-‐making, deciding to engage risk at that moment by his/her choices. In addition, we propose to rate or score the contractor + government organizations' abilities to master the complexity they have chosen, so that the PM will know whether there is a match of product complexity with organizational capability.
Future work will add dimensions of interconnections and interdependencies among risks, timing, delay, order of risks, and uncertainty