Tradespace and Affordability – Phase 1
Systems Engineering and Systems Management Transformation
Report Number: SERC-2013-TR-039-1
Publication Date: 2013-07-09
Project: Tradespace and Affordability
Dr. Barry Boehm
Dr. Tommer Ender
Dr. Jo Ann Lane
Dr. Raymond Madachy
Dr. Adam Ross
Dr. Kevin Sullivan
Dr. Gary Witus
One of the key elements of the SERC’s research strategy is transforming the practice of systems engineering – “SE Transformation.” The Grand Challenge goal for SE Transformation is to transform the DoD community’s current systems engineering and management methods, processes, and tools (MPTs) and practices away from sequential, single stovepipe system, hardware-first, outside-in, document-driven, point-solution, acquisition-oriented approaches; and toward concurrent, portfolio and enterprise-oriented, hardware-software-human engineered, balanced outside-in and inside-out, model-driven, set-based, full life cycle approaches.
These will enable much more rapid, concurrent, flexible, scalable definition and analysis of the increasingly complex, dynamic, multi-stakeholder, cyber-physical-human DoD systems of the future. Four elements of the research strategy for SE Transformation are the following:
- Make Smart Trades Quickly: Develop MPTs to enable stakeholders to be able to understand and visualize the tradespace and make smart decisions quickly that take into account how the many characteristics and functions of systems impact each other
- Rapidly Conceive of Systems: Develop MPTs that allow multi-discipline stakeholders to quickly develop alternative system concepts and evaluate them for their effectiveness and practicality
- Balance Agility, Assurance, and Affordability: Develop SE MPTs that work with high assurance in the face of high uncertainty and rapid change in mission, requirements, technology, and other factors to allow systems to be rapidly and cost-effectively acquired and responsive to both anticipated and unanticipated changes in the field
- Align with Engineered Resilient Systems: Align research to leverage ERS and contribute to it; e.g., ERS efforts to define new approaches to tradespace.
For strategy 3, “Systems” covers the full range of DoD systems of interest from components such as sensors and effectors to full systems that are part of net-centric systems of systems and enterprises. “Effectiveness” covers the full range of needed system quality attributes or ilities, such as reliability, availability, maintainability, safety, security, performance, usability, scalability, interoperability, speed, versatility, flexibility, and adaptability, along with composite attributes such as resilience, sustainability, and suitability or mission effectiveness. “Cost” covers the full range of needed resources, including present and future dollars, calendar time, critical skills, and critical material resources.
RT-46, Tradespace and Affordability, is a major SERC initative within SE Transformation. It particularly focuses on the tradespace among a system’s Ilities, or non-functional requirements. Its project name is ilities Tradespace and Affordability Project (iTAP). The ilities differ from functional requirements in that they are systemwide properties that specify how well the system should perform, as compared to functions that specify what the system should perform. Adding a functional requirement to a system’s specification tends to have an incremental, additive effect on the system’s cost and schedule. Adding an ility requirement to a system’s specification tends to have a systemwide, multiplicative effect on the system’s cost and schedule. Also, ilities are harder to specify and evaluate, as their values vary with variations in the system’s environment and operational scenarios.
Further, the satisfaction of their specifications is much harder to verify than placing an X in a functional traceability matrix, as the verification requires considerable effort in analysis across a range of environments and operational scenarios. As a result, it is not surprising that problems in satisfying ility requirements are the source of many DoD acquisition program cost and schedule overruns. Also, with some exceptions such as pure physical systems and pure software systems, there is little technology in the form of scalable methods, processes, and tools (MPTs) for evaluating the satisfaction of multiple-ility requirements and their associated tradespaces for complex cyber-physical-human systems.
The increasingly critical DoD need for such capabilities has been identified in several recent studies and initiatives such as the National Research Council’s “Critical Code” Report (NRC, 2010), the SERC “Systems 2020” Report (SERC, 2010), the “Manual for the Operation of the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System” (JROC, 2011), and the DoD “Engineered Resilient Systems (ERS) Roadmap” (Holland, 2012). The particular need for Affordability has been emphasized in several USD(AT&L) and DepSecDef “Better Buying Power” memoranda (Carter et al., 2010-2013) and research-need studies such as the AFRL “Technology Horizons” report (Dahm, 2010).
Phase 1 Objectives, Approach, and Results
The major objectives of the initial 5-month Phase 1 activity have been:
- To lay strong foundations for ITAP Phase 2, including knowledge of Department of Defense (DoD) ility priorities; foundations and frameworks for ITAP analysis; extension and tailoring of existing ITAP methods, processes, and tools (MPTs); and exploration of candidate Phase 2 pilot organizations for ITAP MPTs.
- To help develop an Ilities Tradespace and Affordability community of interest via collaborative activities with the DoD Engineering Resilient Systems (ERS) program and counterpart working groups in the International Council for Systems Engineering (INCOSE), the Military Operations Research Society (MORS), and the National Defense industry Association (NDIA).
Four activities were pursued in achieving these objectives:
- . Ility Definitions and Relationships. Phase 1 included a discovery activity to identify and analyze DoD and other ility definitions and relationships, and to propose a draft set of DoD-oriented working definitions and relationships for the project.
- iTAP Foundations and Frameworks. This effort is helping to build iTAP foundations by elaborating key frameworks (process-based, architecture-based, means-ends based, value-based), anticipating further subsequent elaboration via community efforts. These elaborations would enableDoD projects to better establish an integrated set of iTA capabilities.
- Ility-Oriented tool demos and extension plans. This effort created initial demonstration capabilities from strong existing ITA analysis toolsets and explored piloting by user organizations in the DoD Services.
- Program management and community building. Considerable effort is involved in ensuring rapid and effective research results across three activity areas and eight SERC collaborators, as well as coordinating efforts with complementary initiatives in the DoD ERS, INCOSE, MORS, and NDIA communities – but the resulting payoffs will be worth the effort.
The Phase 1 results for activities 1 and 2 are presented in Section 1 on Technical Foundations of ility Tradespace Analysis. They include sets of views relevant to ilities tradespace and affordability analysis that are intended to provide a common framework for reasoning about ilities, similar in intent to the various views provided by SysML for product architectures and DoDAF for operational and architectural views. Section 1.1 summarizes results on ility relationship views, including definitions, stakeholder value-based and change-oriented views, views of ility synergies and conflicts resulting from ility achievement strategies, and a representation scheme and support system for view construction and analysis.
Section 1.2 summarizes results on process-oriented views, including an incremental epoch-era approach to deal with change and uncertainty; differences between point-based, outside-in and set-based, inside-out architecting processes; and evidence-based decision processes. Section 1.3 summarizes results on means-ends views, including hierarchies of means for achieving the ends of affordability and timeliness. Section 1.4 addresses domain-oriented views and their advantages of speed and interoperability when composing system elements within the domain.
Section 1.5 addresses aspects of system interoperability and composability within systems of systems and enterprises, including the challenges of interoperability of multi-domain elements and the tradespace between investments in portfolio or product line assets, and the savings involved in their resulting reusability. And Section 1.6 summarizes results in systems engineering for affordability in the context of the series of DoD memoranda on Better Buying Power.
Section 2 presents results in adapting and extending the team’s previously-developed methods, processes, and tools (MPTs) for tradespace and affordability analysis, and their demonstration at iTAP workshops at INCOSE IW in Jacksonville in January 2013 and at CSER in Atlanta in March, and in two presentation sessions at the Army Engineer Research and Development Center, the lead organization for the DoD Engineered Resilient Systems initiative, in Vicksburg, MS in January and April 2013. These are summarized in Section 2.1, along with the capabilities explored for adaptation and extension with DoD early adopters described in more detail in Sections 2.2 through 2.5.
Section 2.2 discusses iTAP university MPTs in the ground vehicle domain, including the FACT system developed at Georgia Tech, being applied at the US Marine Corps, and prospectively for the CREATE-SHIPS program; and the Wayne State ground vehicle MPTs being developed and applied at the US Army TARDEC. Section 2.3 summarizes iTAP Phase 1 explorations by NPS and Wayne State to apply their capabilities to the CREATE-SHIPS program, now being followed up in Phase 2. Section 2.4 summarizes the MIT incremental epoch-era approach to deal with change and uncertainty MPTs developed for the space domain, and being explored in Phase 2 for application to the Army ERDC logistics domain. And Section 2.5 summarizes an exploratory USC-NPS initiative to create a next-generation full-coverage satellite system cost estimation capability in concert with USAF-SMC, NRO, and the Aerospace Corporation.
Section 3 summarizes the overall plans developed in Phase 1 for the pursuit of Phases 2 and 3
objectives. The 7.5-month Phase 2 will extend and refine the initial foundation capabilities
discussed in Section 1, and will conduct exploratory MPT applications and extensions of the
capabilities discussed in Section 2. Phase 3 will extend these to more general and robust
capabilities for further and more general pilot application, evaluation, refinement, and