Technical Report: Identification, Characterization, and Evaluation Criteria for Systems Engineering Agile Enablers

Report Number: SERC-2015-TR-049-1

Report Name: Identification, Characterization, and Evaluation Criteria for Systems Engineering Agile Enablers

Publication Date: January 16, 2015



In the SE community, it is important for systems to be agile and rapidly and effectively adapt to sudden changes in the environment. Agility in SE is found in two general areas – process and product. Process agility provides systems engineers with the methods, processes and tools necessary to operate more effectively in development environments driven by change. The ability to rapidly adapt is necessary while working with an increasing rate of technology advancement, an increasing need for interoperability between legacy and new capabilities, evolving requirements throughout the development lifecycle, and the changing economic and political factors that undergird and enable system development. Perhaps one of the most important concepts in Agile SE is the reconciliation and integration of systems and software engineering activities. If software development processes are to operate seamlessly with SE processes, SE processes must borrow notions of agility and flexibility found in software engineering.

The purpose of this research task is to identify, describe, and evaluate possible methods, practices or tools (enablers) that could improve the ability of systems engineering to adapt to changing development environments. In order to efficiently make use of scarce research resources, this research task has established a triage process for identifying and then rapidly evaluating the probability of effectiveness of candidate enablers as they are identified. The ultimate result of the process is an evaluation white paper supporting one of three decisions:

  1. not likely to be effective,
  2. possibly suitable but more research is needed, or
  3. definitely suitable and expedited transition is recommended.

This paper describes the process and its products. After each execution of the process, a reflection activity will be held to identify strengths and weaknesses of the process and to identify and make appropriate improvements.

Additional Researchers:

  • Mr. Keith Barlow, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Mr. Richard Ens, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Mr. Joshua Bloom, Carnegie Mellon University

For more information on the project click here.