The Helix Project (Workforce Evolution)
Human Capital Development 
Project #
Project Dates
10/1/2012 - 10/1/2013

Project Description

I.    Objective: To answer three research questions:
-    What are the characteristics of systems engineers?
-    How effective are systems engineers and why?
-    What are employers doing to improve their effectiveness?

II.    Approach: This is a multi-year longitudinal study of the SE workforces within the DoD and other defense contractor organizations in the NDIA Systems Engineering Division. The primary mode of data collection would be face-to-face interviews with systems engineers representing a wide cross-section of the SE workforce. In addition, institutional data will be collected from participating organizations to better understand the characterization, structure, organization, and improvement initiatives of the SE workforce.  
Data collection will be performed in three rounds:
-    Round 1: Introduction – Interactions with organizational points of contacts to clarify research objectives and mutual expectations, and to establish ground rules. Collection of institutional data will be initiated.
-    Round 2: Small scale interviews – Interviews will be conducted with a small number of employees (up to 6); more institutional data will be collected; preliminary data analysis will be performed and shared with participating organization
-    Round 3: Full scale interviews – Based on experiences and preliminary data analysis from Round 2, interviews will now be conducted with a larger number of individuals from the organization (about 50).
To ensure that project delivers the greatest value and to help obtain access to the necessary data, DoD and NDIA-SED have formed the Helix Advisory Panel (HAP) with representatives from both organizations.

III.    Project Deliverables: Quarterly reports of findings and analysis will be published. Only anonymous aggregated data will be reported. Individual reports will also be provided to participating organizations without revealing identities of the interviewees.

IV.    Application: The DoD at large, and the participating organizations are expected to respond based on the value provided to them by this research.