Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
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An Investment Model for Sustainment

  • This collection describes an SEI-developed economic model that helps decision makers determine where and how much to invest in organizational capability and capacity.
  • Publisher: Software Engineering Institute
  • The SEI is developing an economic model to help decision makers determine where and how much to invest in organizational capability and capacity. Traditional economic models are insufficient for software sustainment, where many factors can change at once and result in sudden, dramatic changes in outcome.

    SEI researchers are building and calibrating a system dynamics model of investment in sustainment of software-intensive systems. The model demonstrates how varying the timing and amount of funding in response to changes in technology or threats affects the organizational performance of both sustainer and fleet. The final output will be an interactive, dynamic model that program managers can calibrate and then use to test the viability of several decision scenarios to inform funding discussions.

    The results show that decreasing the level of staff training and tool support to get more sustainment hours in the short term sacrifices organizational performance later. An improved outcome could result from increasing hiring, training, and tooling when there is a threat change.

  • A Dynamic Model of Sustainment Investment February 2015 Author(s): Sarah Sheard, Robert Ferguson, Andrew P. Moore, Mike Phillips This paper describes a dynamic sustainment model that shows how budgeting, allocation of resources, mission performance, and strategic planning are interrelated and how they affect each other over time.
  • Modeling Sustainment Dynamics March 2014 Author(s): Sarah Sheard, Andrew P. Moore, Robert Ferguson This presentation overviews a systems dynamics simulation model that describes influences of multiple variables on the sustainment phase of a system.
  • Dynamics of Software Sustainment October 2014 Author(s): Sarah Sheard, Robert Ferguson, Mike Phillips, Andrew P. Moore This paper describes the development of a dynamic economic model of sustainment to predict the consequences of funding decisions within sustainment organizations.
  • Modeling Software Sustainment February 2014 Author(s): Robert Ferguson, Mike Phillips, Sarah Sheard This paper describes research to develop a model that shows the results of investment decisions, allowing decision makers to make adjustments before problems occur.