The Helix Project
Human Capital Development
The Helix project is a multi-year investigation of the demographics and effectiveness of systems engineers in the US Department of Defense (DoD) and the defense community. This project is sponsored by the DoD and the National Defense Industrial Association - Systems Engineering Division (NDIA-SED), and has been initiated in response to the many challenges concerning the systems engineering (SE) workforce. This report highlights the project activities since September 2012 until April 2013 in preparation for further data collection and analysis to be performed from May 2013 onwards.
Initial months of the Helix project have been spent in formulating the research approach; deciding the data collection methodology; preparing the instruments for data collection; obtaining necessary clearances and permissions; setting up and interacting with the advisory panel; presenting the Helix project to various systems engineering groups and professional societies to identify participating organizations; interacting with points-of-contacts of individual organizations towards further data collection; setting up protocols and procedures to handle data in a secure manner; obtaining IRB and DoD approvals; and selecting software tools for qualitative and quantitative data analysis.
From May 2013 onwards, the project team expects to begin conducting actual data collection, perform extensive
qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and to then report findings periodically.