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.