Enterprise System-of-Systems Model for Digital-thread Enabled Acquisition

Principal Investigator:  Dr. Chris Paredis, Georgia Institute of Technology (chris.paredis@me.gatech.edu)

Timeframe:  May 2017 – May 2018

Category: Systems Engineering and Systems Management Transformation



This research will use the enterprise systems of systems methodology developed within the SERC to develop an enterprise transformation model that can be used to provide insight into the values of different acquisition strategies and incentives. To limit the scope of the project, the team will focus specifically on the impact of digital engineering on the Department of Defense’s approach towards owning the technical baseline.

“Owning the technical baseline” means that “[Department of Defense] program managers and personnel have sufficient technical knowledge of their engineering development  programs to ensure program success by making informed, timely, and independent decisions to manage cost, schedule, and performance risk while ensuring disciplined program execution.” This initiative is well-aligned with the Department of Defense objective of achieving dominant capabilities through technical excellence and innovation. Owning the technical baseline will allow the Department of Defense to respond more quickly and without disruption to changing mission needs and to opportunities for technical innovation.

Approach The following high-level approach will be conducted.

The research team shall:

  • Perform structured interviews with key stakeholders in Department of Defense and major defense contractors
  • Investigate impact of Digital Thread on Department of Defense’s approach towards owning the technical baseline, and the corresponding impacts on the business ecosystem
  • Identify opportunities and challenges (e.g., intellectual property, training, infrastructure,…)
  • Identify and analyze potential modifications/improvements to Digital Thread and corresponding processes
  • Identify short-term and long-term value propositions for each of the key stakeholders
  • Identify possible incentives to accelerate adoption


Major Deliverables:

  • Final technical report (at completion of task)


Publications: none to date

Research Team

Research Team

  • Chris Paredis, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Thomas McDermott, Georgia Institute of Technology

Collaborating Institutions

Project Researchers