Systems Engineering Management Model (SEMM)
Program management functions, such as requirements and risk management as well as health and status monitoring, are performed by disparate agencies and individuals using various software applications and methods. To get a "state of the union" check on the overall health and status of a program, the program manager, chief engineer, and lead systems engineer must go to these multiple sources to compile the data and distill them to determine the relative strength of the program. Because the data are from multiple sources with multiple data formats, the process of finding the latest data sets, reformatting them, digesting the implications, and finally making an informed decision regarding future paths for the program is not efficient.
An additional shortfall of current processes/tools is the lack of identification of interdependencies. In other words, what is the cumulative effect of changing a design or the manner in which a design is used? For instance, a change in a transmitter's weight can have cascading effects on other system specifications, ranging from the handling equipment to battery endurance (and size), which can in turn impact weight, spiraling the process back to the beginning of the interdependency waterfall.
No single engineering management software application provides this capability for integrated program health and status observation, informed decision making, interdependency identification, and requirements and risk management. The SEMM is intended to fill this void in the capability for total executive management of systems and products.
This management model is beneficial to any field where a product is acquired, developed, demonstrated, or produced. It can be tailored in scope to model only a subsystem/segment of a system and to model the current development state of a system's life cycle. For example, the SEMM can model a navigation system in detail and identify only its interfaces with the rest of the vehicle, or it can model the entire vehicle and all its systems, including the navigation system. In addition, the SEMM would be only as detailed as necessary to reflect the current evolutionary state of the system under development.
The SEMM application could be used for product development in the fields of medicine, defense, space, information technology, automobiles, etc., as well as for training purposes relating to a specific program or product. Potential users include the Office of Naval Research, Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs, Naval Air Systems Command, U.S. Air Force, Missile Defense Agency, and their contractors. Possible developers include Telelogic, SAIC, BAE, ManTech, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and any other company involved with systems engineering, system development, or software applications.
Separate software applications for tracking/managing requirements, risk, and schedule exist, but no single application to integrate the results and synthesize them in context to allow efficient, knowledge-based management of a program currently exists. A limited set of examples follows:
* PMPlan uses a WBS format but is limited to tracking cost and schedule.
* Risk software such as @Risk and Risk Radar are specific to tracking risk and facilitating risk management.
* Requirements software such as DOORS and CORE are specific to requirements management and specification development.
No commercially available application provides a mechanism for integrating the systems engineering factors enumerated above--to provide a veritable one-stop shop for program technical management.
Patent Status: U.S. patents pending.CONTACT:
Mr. M. T. Hickman