Report Number: Technical Report SERC-2012-TR-030-1
Report Name: Prototype of a Graphical CONOPS (Concept of Operations) Development Environment for Agile Systems Engineering
Publication Date: March 23, 2012
Gaming and immersive virtual environments provide a new way to engage stakeholders during early stages of Systems Engineering lifecycle to help them reach a common mental model of the concept of operations. A weak link in the Systems Engineering lifecycle is often the connection between what the users need and what the system developers think the users need, together with a shared understanding of the operational environment and associated constraints and dependencies. The current system development environment calls for user needs to be specified in a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) document, which provides a foundation of future system capabilities and describes typical scenarios that it will encounter. Given the size and complexity of today‟s systems, CONOPS development can take considerable time and effort, which can cause its production to be incomplete and insufficient. This introduces misunderstanding and miscommunication early in the Systems Engineering lifecycle. This paper describes a method allowing stakeholders to express their needs through a model-based approach to create a graphical CONOPS leveraging gaming technology. The resulting CONOPS would provide system developers with direct access to the needs of stakeholders, and would enable the creation of Model-Based Systems Engineering artifacts early in the development lifecycle. This work is exploring the use of an Integrated Concept Engineering System to improve the CONOPS development process.