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A Study of Systems Engineering Effectiveness - Initial Results

April 2008 Conference Paper
Joseph P. Elm

This paper was presented at the SysCon 2008 – IEEE International Systems Conference in Montreal, Canada, on April 7–10, 2008.


IEEE International Systems Conference


An understanding of the value of Systems Engineering (SE) is necessary to justify a project’s investment in SE resources and activities. To identify the value of SE, the Systems Engineering Effectiveness Committee (SEEC) of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Systems Engineering Division, in collaboration with the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), developed and executed a survey of defense industrial contractors (i.e., suppliers to the government). The survey analyzed the relationships between the SE capabilities (SECs) applied to individual projects, and performance of those projects. Postulating that SE was not the only factor influencing Project Performance, the survey also examined the relationship between Project Performance and other factors such as Project Challenge (PC), Project Environment, and Acquirer Capability. Results of this survey indicated relatively strong relationships between many SE efforts applied early in the project and the overall success of the project.