System Readiness Level, System Maturity And Architecture Assessment

Principal Investigator:  Dr. Brian Sauser, Stevens Institute of Technology* (

(*during time of project)

Timeframe:  November 2009 to December 2010, September 2010 to August 2011

Category:  Systems Engineering and Systems Management Transformation


Objectives: At present, the System Readiness Level (SRL), as developed by the Systems Development & Maturity Laboratory (SD&ML) at Stevens Institute of Technology, is a descriptive model that characterizes the effects of technology and integration maturity on the system engineering effort of a Department of Defense (DoD) program. The current tools and methods have demonstrated utility for defining system status and providing leading indicators of integration risk. While the SRL model has been subjected to a series of validations with DoD programs and organizations (e.g. NAVSEA PMS 420, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman), it still has not reduced the level of subjectivity in the assessment and reliability in the results.  The success of the SRL’s implementation thus far highlights the potential benefits of extending the research to explore its application to broader areas of the Systems Engineering (SE) and management domains, particularly with respect to systems of systems implementations, where validated models and supporting tools are lacking. The research objectives are:

  • Identify the SE architectural artifacts that support the assessment of a technology maturity (via TRLs), integration maturity (via IRLs), and likewise system maturity (via SRLs)
  • Correlate SE architectural artifacts to supported views and artifacts within the Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) that enable TRL and IRL assessment
  • Develop a maturity assessment tool that works with standard industry SE architecture tools (e.g. IBM Rhapsody).

Approach:  This research was executed in three phases:

  • Phase 1: Survey current practices in SE architecting with a focus on DoDAF views/artifacts that support system maturity assessment. This knowledge helped in identifying artifacts available in DoDAF that will be supportive of the maturity assessment that could be performed with SE architectural tools. Capture sensible aspects of a DoDAF model that would successfully create a systematic and less subjective assessment of TRLs and IRLs.
  • Phase 2: Code the current state practice of the SRL methodology, which takes TRLs and IRLs as the input to calculate and display SRL results.
  • Phase 3: The partnerships of the SD&ML with the industry and government will allow for sample input files (e.g. system architectures) to assist in testing, verification and validation of the embedded readiness calculator. It would also improve the methodology by serving as a feedback loop.

Significant Research Findings & Products:  The results of this study can introduce a new facet where maturity type information can be introduced to the system architecture. However, there is no need to make these views universal to all programs. It is not an ideal practice to interrupt the natural engineering and architecting process by focusing on specific views, regardless of their technical necessity for solving the problems at hand.



Sauser, B., Magnaye, R., Tan, W.,  Ramirez-Marquez, J.,  “Optimization of System Maturity and Equivalent System Mass for Exploration Systems Development”, Proceedings of the 8th Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research, March 15, 2010.

Research Team

Current researchers

  • Dr. Brian J. Sauser, Stevens Institute of Technology (Now at University of North Texas)
  • Matin Sarfaraz, Research Assistant, Stevens Institute of Technology

Past researchers

  • Dr. Jose E. Ramirez-Marquez, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Abhi Deshmukh, Senior Personnel, Texas A&M University (Now at Purdue University)
  • Dr. David Nowicki, Senior Personnel, Stevens Institute of Technology

Collaborating Institutions

Project Researchers